Review: yonige – Neyagawa City Pop

This is the third mini album from Osaka indie group yonige, a three piece band with just the guitarist and bassist as formal members. They play pretty straightforward Japanese indie pop rock, with driving beats, overdriven barre chords, and a tendency for repeating lyrical phrases. Previously they touted the singer Arisa’s biracialness in their tag line “Yonige from Neyagawa, Osaka, Japanese rock sung by a 20-year-old half-Australian Japanese girl” (still listed in the description of a music video from two years ago), but they have dropped everything but “Yonige, Japanese rock from Neyagawa, Osaka” on their current website bio. Their growth is quite visible of late, with appearance at bigger festivals like Muro Fest and on TV music programs as well. They’ve also recently had Komaki, formerly of tricot, playing drums for them.

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  1. our time city
  2. Sayonara prisoner (さよならプリズナー)
  3. Kanashimi wa itsumo no naka (悲しみはいつもの中)
  4. Shiganai futari (しがないふたり)
  5. Saiai no koibitotachi (最愛の恋人たち)

The lead track off this album, “Sayonara Prisoner,” is another break up tune like their biggest hit up to this point, “Avocado.” This album is catchy as a whole, with particularly memorable verses, and although it sticks to one style doesn’t fall into the trap of being bland. Each track is just different enough from each other to be fresh and distinguishable. I think this is marginally their best CD to date, but at the same time there is nothing particularly new about what they’re doing here. If you’ve liked yonige up until now, you should definitely like this album too.  If you felt iffy about them before, nothing here is going to change your mind. If you haven’t heard of yonige, definitely give them a try! Judging by their current level of popularity, it wouldn’t be too surprising if they get picked up by a major record label for their next release.

Standout Tracks

  • our time city – there’s this break in the second prechorus that really does it for me
  • Sayonara prisoner – catchy verses

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