Posts tagged album reviews
5:19 pm - Fri, Nov 4, 2011
2 notes

Abe Yoshiharu -The Missing Fourth Leaf

The Missing Fourth Leaf
Abe Yoshiharu

I’m looking all over a four leaf clover that I overlooked before
One is for sunshine the second is rain third is for roses bloom in the spring
No need explain the one remaining is somebody I adore
I’m looking over for a four leaf clover that I overlooked before

Carl Belew

from wiki:
According to tradition, such leaves bring good luck to their finders, especially if found accidentally. According to legend, each leaflet represents something: the first is for fame, the second is for wealth, the third is for love, and the fourth is for health.

Listening to this album was even more of a revelation to me than discovering Unicorn, and that is saying something.  I was completely astonished and instantly addicted. And I am hopelessly torn, because of course I want Unicorn to keep making music and performing for ever, but even more I want Abe Yoshiharu to make more of his wonderful music and to sing! Five years is too long between albums!
I’d listened to A, Singles, and ABEX GO GO, and loved each one more than the last, but NOTHING prepared me for the awesomeness of The Missing Fourth Leaf.

Of all the music I have listened to, this is the most inspiring creatively,  and Abe has the most brilliant genius of a musical talent I have encountered anywhere.  His music is truly my kind of music and there is nothing else out there like it. It’s like the music of my dreams come to life.

I can’t find any lyrics on line for The Missing Fourth Leaf at all anywhere, so totally in the dark on that front. If anyone can help with Abe solo translations I would be so very happy! I did discover that two of his albums have English translations in the booklets (Rain and 44 Magnum). That was MOST appreciated. I do wonder if the hard copy of Fourth Leaf has them too…I bought mine from International I-Tunes. I hope you will show some support for Abe and do this as well.  I-tunes has named the album The Missing Forth Leaf and I have taken the liberty of correcting the spelling. The actual Japanese title translates as a “Forest of Four Leaf Clovers”.

EDIT: Just after I posted this review, I received a message with lyric translations from [info]hgmega , which was such a wonderful surprise! :) Apparently the lyrics had originally been translated into Korean by her friend Minimini, and she then translated them into English. I am very grateful to them both for their efforts, and I have posted all the lyrics as a foot note to the review, so everyone can enjoy them.

I need to mention WILDFIRE. Why is it out of print? That anything he has made could languish OOP boggles my mind. So please rerelease this one.

Having heard all his other solo albums now I’d say Abe just keeps getting more and more amazing with each album, but I do have a special soft spot for his acoustic album 風花雪月. So very beautiful! 

1. Undo
This reminds me of my childhood. The bass drum is like a tropical thunder storm in the distance, the rain is pouring from a hole in the gutter and my father is practicing the piano upstairs. Oh and then the Aliens from The Dark Side of the Moon landed…

2. 宣告
Senkoku is  the stand out supreme master of the universe track on an album full of gems. I’ve always had a big interest in the interface of technology and organic music and this is a premium and ground breaking example. Being a master of both, which is very rare, he manages to combine the two like no-one else has even imagined is possible. This is ten minutes of total bliss. It feels like he could expand this style and concept to fill a whole series of albums. I wish he would…he truly has unlimited potential as an artist. His unbound innovative imagination makes him unique. And this song is his most unique piece of uniqueness.

3. 風船とキャンパス
Balloons on Canvas
Gorgeous singing. I LOVE his voice best of all voices! Expressive power of a great and vital heart. That’s what it is. Attention to the finest detail of every nuance of speech. The way he breathes. So warm it’s like he is a living furnace. It’s a musical education. I love this song too, very, very much!

4. チェーン
Dub style bass orgy song. Grows on you and provides an interesting contrast, but seems a little out of place with the album so far. A bit too repetitive at times perhaps.

5. コンクリートの水たまり
Concrete Puddle.
Slice of life sound scape. More rain and a hopeless sounding telephone call. Just dump that bitch…

6. Trauma
This is a concept/sound track. With the Floydian heartbeat and a train like sound. Ominous foghorn noises and a girl giggling without sounding amused. There is some vocals but they aren’t front and center. Clocks ticking and engaged signals. Time is running out.

7. 虹色のパレット
Iris Palette…i-tunes version Rainbow Palette
We are suddenly cheesed off into a slightly over cheerful pop style. But Abe can and will force you to love any style, and as soon as he starts singing we forgive him the shock. But I do feel often the need to move onto track 8, which seems to pick up the knitting where he left it at the end of the lovely track 3.

8. 神の粒
Gods Grain (Gods Pill)
This one fits well into the saikou Senkoku opus. It’s quite radical and totally original, and of course wickedly naughty too. Really a very inspired and creative use of the human voice. He is lifting the repressed lid off Pink Floyd, which was exactly what needed to happen to them. They always sounded like they were in pain and frustrated, but Abe is set free into ecstasy. And so are we.

9. Are you OK?
Back to the pure heart soul again. Love that concertina. Abe can even make a squeeze box sound sexy. He’s that warm. And that guitar solo is a killer! This is a long gorgeous winding epic. I love it! But again it seems to want a whole new album to itself, with all it’s pure and lovely friends. Superb though really, wherever you find it, you would be pleased to hear this song. Abe must be a total delight to see performing live. This is the core of his greatness I think. You can only really seriously and effectively use technology when you can do just as well without it.

10. Redo
For god sake get that gutter fixed and put a sock in the baby.

11. セイリング
A version of the Rod Stewart song, sung differently and in Japanese of course. Love those incredible sustained notes! Vocals are as warm and invigorating as a summer breeze. Sailing boats are magical symbols of freedom for me due to my childhood spent mucking about in boats. And the sea….

12. WAVE
I love how the sound of the foghorn merges into the piano, connecting these two songs. He has used these kind of sonic bridges very skillfully throughout the album, so that it has become much more than a collection of songs.
The piece itself is a highly passionate modern classical instrumental piano piece. Abe has a melancholy and romantic Schubert like nostalgia running through this album. The obvious depth of his musical training and the fact that his mother started giving him piano lessons at the age of 4 isn’t the only reason he is so unique and gifted, but it certainly adds to the mix! All the elements have come together in this highly civilized and yet extremely wild individual. He is the perfect paradoxical mix of training, a liberated questing mind, and an exceptionally courageous spirit.


…Come closer.


「暁は渦巻いて かななかと忍び寄る
(The dawn comes noiselessly in swirling storm
But the flowers in the field everywhere become extinct)

Who are you??

Who the hell are you!!

(Fates blossom darkly and fall reflecting each other
The grave blooming in the sky become extinct)

Who are you??

Who the hell are you!!

Tick-tock tick-tock the sound of beating heart is annoying,

isn’t it?
Creaky creak the sound of living is annoying, isn’t it?

───────────────Balloons and Canvas

-Multi-coloured balloons in a row,
drawing lines stretching over the white sky-

Yes, that’s right, the child himself observed the cloud

Disregarding his bleeding knee, he kept running after it
Jumped into the sky running west and disappeared

It will be sunny tomorrow for sure

Guarded by excessively great power,
the pure ignorance let the days pass by leisurely
Oh yeah! Oh yeah!
Oh yeah! The world is here
Oh yeah! Oh yeah!
Oh yeah! You can go anywhere

-Multi-coloured balloons in a row,
drawing lines stretching over the white sky-

On the way back ate flowers and berries
Misty rain fell on that cheek on tiptoes
Between the heart that expands and changes and the

Spreading seeds rushing forward to that crag in the

mountain, yeah-!

Guarded by excessively great power,
the pure ignorance let the days pass by leisurely
Oh yeah! Oh yeah!
Oh yeah! The world is here
Oh yeah! Oh yeah!
Oh yeah! You can go anywhere

Show me your balloons, show me
Fuji’s Susono(name of a place) is the end of the sea
Become one with my balloons
Become wind at the end of the cloud

-Multi-coloured balloons in a row,
drawing lines stretching over the white sky-


“Someone like you
Don’t have to come
That’s complete misunderstanding
Aren’t you ashamed?”

“Hey, it’s, hey
Hey, it’s still there
That clover
‘Cause it’s not four-leafed”

1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3, …

“Cumbersome branches just get cut”
“The water here’s delicious delicious…”

───────────────Puddle on the concrete

When you think about it, yes, precious things
For example balance, or
Being able to feel
The deliciousness of water in a cup
The piano actually even the fingers too
Everything is utterly soaked

Amidst the concrete
Only your skin is soft
I put an umbrella over you who is so
Not even the car knows
In this world where you can’t see
Even a damn exit

You know, on that day why did you
Tip the receiver?
In the consciousness rising from a distance
The siren closed in
I won’t act as I please
Since I can’t anymore

Don’t cut away this defiled me


Tick-tock tick-tock the sound of beating heart is annoying,

isn’t it?
Creaky creak the sound of living is annoying, isn’t it?

- Look at the sky -

───────────────Rainbow-coloured Palette

You, who like TV games, always
Ask me to take over at scary bits
The arm that holds me tight is all soft and smooth
This is the blessing(冥利: means the biggest blessing that being can rightly attain) of man, this is happiness

Crossing thousands years of time and now
Here lies sea and the light continues
Waves reach higher and higher and accept the circle
People also keep on singing and accept the love

The palette that flows from the past to the future
Amid overflowing hopes and meetings
Waking up early using a bit of willpower
Soon I will discover it
Or maybe not-.

Looking at the rising clouds, crushing the cigarette underfoot
“There’s no time” did someone say that?

The palette that flows from the past to the future
Amid usual conversations and confusions
Each colour has a life dwelling within that
Cross over and blend together and touch the eyelids

Brighter palette, brighter than yesterday, than today
If only I can create a rainbow
-Similar to the one I saw that day-

Soon I will discover it, soon I will meet it

───────────────God’s Grain

What is this? Where am I?
I can see the bit of my flesh that was cut away
“Is the sound of beating heart annoying?”
Where’s water the pill the white God’s grain

Taste of aluminium melted on my tongue
Again closed in, leaned, inflated, and saw
“Is the sound of living annoying?”
The umbrella the piano the wall wants God’s grain

White white white white white white white…

I miss you my friends
Still happy while one, myself got missing…
Presently the balloon bounced and disappeared

───────────────Are you OK?

One evening for a
Definitely trivial reason, I ran away
Time when apple trees bear apples, maybe a recollection of light and shadow

Forgot how much time has passed
My young self crouched down and cried
Nan’s voice calling me again and again, in that shadow of terribly red setting sun
Are you OK? “…My gums are numb”

Frogs came out on the roadside
And soon the sky changed, the signal for rain
Was engrossed and began catching them, it rained like crazy fierce and sharp
Are you OK? “…You still got that palette??

From that thing controlling rock’n’roll in the end
From those guys wearing golden suits
Because I couldn’t stand a future like that
I ran out and surely…

Are you OK? “…It’d take 4 hours, right?”

No matter where you are at now
That is where you must be now
If there is a God above
Then surely there is no disaster you can’t overcome
This life this reality now
That is so as it is
This life this truth now
Draw it as it is

“With a four leafed clover on your chest”


“Can you see?”

“Four leafed clover, it existed.”


Spread your wings shine fly towards it
Sea and sky of Shonan(name of a place) continue to speak more and more

Flowers blooming in the fields
The key that was lost
They are all in your heart

Sailing oh sailing
Can you see the good wave
Sailing oh sailing
Come closer to your sea

Things I can think of are, yes, all embarassing
Yet just because you are here I can shine

Get it? This sky
This shining sea
Everything is in your heart

Sailing oh sailing
CAn you hear the good wave
Sailing oh sailing
Come closer to your sea

“Thank you…”

So I will always
Always here I will sing
Waiting for your true self
With warm and true heart

Sailing oh sailing
You can see the good wave
Come closer to your sea
Come closer… to your sea

8:24 am - Tue, Nov 1, 2011
1 note
Love this new Brahman photo! It’s so epic! I think that is why I like them so much…they are EPIC! Courage, or maybe a sense of the true tragedy and wonder of life. Intensity of course, and intelligence.
Whatever it is they have fueled my last two months worth of cards, both 8’s and 9’s. This is something of a record, especially as today starting the 10’s, I’ll probably put Man of The World on. Man of the World is the best one, the keeper, but Forlorn Hope is also quite flawless.
Suppose I’d better get to work. I’m over the stressful stage of coming up with ideas. Bit between teeth now, time to run with it.

Love this new Brahman photo! It’s so epic! I think that is why I like them so much…they are EPIC! Courage, or maybe a sense of the true tragedy and wonder of life. Intensity of course, and intelligence.

Whatever it is they have fueled my last two months worth of cards, both 8’s and 9’s. This is something of a record, especially as today starting the 10’s, I’ll probably put Man of The World on. Man of the World is the best one, the keeper, but Forlorn Hope is also quite flawless.

Suppose I’d better get to work. I’m over the stressful stage of coming up with ideas. Bit between teeth now, time to run with it.

8:12 am - Sat, Oct 29, 2011

Masatoshi Mashima - RAW LIFE ~Revisited~

Masatoshi Mashima - RAW LIFE ~Revisited~

真島昌利/RAW LIFE -Revisited-

"I’d rather be killed by excitement
than by boredom.”

ROAR LIFE I think he means ;p
I love the reverby echoing effects on his vocals. And the funky seventies style guitar.

2. 俺は政治家だ
Ore wa Seijikada
This is also very seventies in style. The chorus reminds me of Staying Alive XD. Not sure I like it that much. But then from the title I don’t think I’m meant to. It gets much sweeter around 3 minutes. He is extremely politically aware and outspoken, and also very very cynical….

I’m a Politician
by Mashima Masatoshi

I’m a politician. Give me money.
I want to accomplish splendid works.
I’m a politician. Give me money.
I will clean up the rotten crumbs once and for all.
I’m a politician. Give me money.
I will shut up the big-mouth sluggers with money.
Formality always has no heart.
Reality always surpasses theories.
I’m a politician. Give me money.

Oh Oh Oh Oh Hidin’ in the night.
We want money after all, don’t we?(Kane ga hoshii jya-nai?)
Oh Oh Oh Oh Hidin’ in the night.
We want money after all, don’t we?(Kane ga hoshii jya-nai?)

I’m a politician. Give me money.
if you believe in me.
Before greed, ambition tumbles down.
When supporting this, you can’t support that.
I’m a politician. Give me money.

Democracy but(demo) living is good(kurashi ee)?
Democracy but(demo) gloomy(kurashee)
Technology, Biology, Bureaucracy
Ultra C, Breezy(sugasugashii), Vitamin C
Maybe this, maybe that… (It) makes me sick!

I’m a politician. I’m sincere.
I’m a saint. I’m pure.
I’m a politician. Do you want to be it?
I’m a politician. Will you join us?


GO!GO! Hedoroman
He is quite experimental too. Using a lot of different sounds in these songs. This video is translated on Youtube and it seems to be about corporate shits. Hedoroman I suppose is the capitalist shit (correct me if I am wrong) fucking the whole planet up just to get rich.

Ego de Buttobase
LOL! Ego on overdrive. I wonder who this song is about. I like this one. It’s dark and bluesy and funky all at the same time. Not sure about the weird solo minute long solo starting around the half way point of the first minute. What is that instrument? I don’t like…argh there it goes again. I’m in UR song, hurting UR ears.

Kashikoi Bokutachi
AWW I like Marcy when he’s being Mushi. He gives great heart. In fact its quite suprising to hear a B type (aka Bastard type) sing with so much genuine emotion.

Entotsu no Arumachi
Ska/reggae style now. This is really sweet. Love the lead guitar in this. It’s so subtle and resonant. And the vocals too, which build most satisfyingly. Everything about this song is highly impressive.

Drive Shiyouyo
Mushi Marcy again now. Twee and pretty but really adorable! I actually think he is a real sweetie. I am sure he loves his mum anyway, which is the most important thing.

Johojidaino Yabanjin
Bleh I can’t think of anything sensible to say tonight. This song is cool, and has a wild bass twang going on. Reminds me of that New Order style galloping bass, but much more upbeat. And it kind of wobbles out at you in the strangest way. Must be some kind of weird effect I suppose.
I love this song. Great solo at 3.50. He is really SUCH a talented guitarist.

Hmm opening reminds me of Bow Wow Wow. Remember them? XDD Not just the opening either. What was that song called? Oh yeah. I Want Candy!
This has some fun experimental stuff. He is really playing with the panning.

Me likes the harpsichord. This is a winner of a song generally! Really superbly crafted gospelly tune that infects your brain like a virus. I’d say it’s the highlight of of the album. Another Mushi Marcy song, but very uplifting and inspirational. He doesn’t do gloomy, thankfully. Here it is translated…such a wonderful performance!

11.RAW LIFE(リプライズ)
RAW LIFE (Reprise)
Pan and scan! I really really like this song. Actually thinking about the guitar riff it reminds me a little of The Goodies theme XD Which makes sense because I did find a pic of Marcy wearing a Anywhere, Anytime t-shirt recently. And there’s even a didgeridoo in this version :D It’s a really creative effort. He uses mad effects with taste and style.

Desu Metal
And here he demonstrates that yes he can play metal if he wants (but of course). Actually this is really cool :D I wish he’d do it more often. And it’s funny too. Great guitar work! Very short :(

A bonus live cd added to this reissue.

Kyujitsu no Yume
Adorable. Sunshiney holiday dream. Nostalgic violin sounds and crooning of the gruff variety. I am almost tempted to whisper the word cliche…but I can’t say that, it’s too sweet. And really is there anything new under the sun?

A real heart song. The violin is still around being sentimental, but this time I think it’s all a bit fresher. Actually the violin contrasts with Marcys vocal style very effectively.

Totemo Samuihi
He has a very warm rich speaking voice. And this is a very warm song. Designed I suppose to heat you up on the Extremely Cold Day.

This has such a beautiful vocal melody. I adore it.

Hanakoganei Breakdown
Now the violin is really coming into it’s own. This is one of the best songs of all. GODZ! What a vocal melody. Makes me really want to sing. Such emotive guitar. WOW! This is most certainly FOR REAL. Maybe all that blood type stuff is total bullshit after all. Though sadly I am such a typical A type.
BUT I DIGRESS….this is a perfect song in every respect. I LOVE IT. What more can I say?

Bouncing right on. This is very cute :D Very down home. Again a really killer melody. I don’t think I’ve ever come across a man with such an unending supply of wicked tunes. This song does actually make me very happy.

7. 踊り踊れば(シングル・カップリング)
Odori Odoreba
Ahhhh yes! This is the one I wanted to talk about the most. See, I spent my early childhood in Central Africa and I was raised on this kind of music. I know EXACTLY where this is coming from, and I love him to bits for it. This kind of guitar sound makes me so blissful. It originates in The Congo (Zaire).
*cries with happiness and nostalgia*

Well this song was made famous by The Clash but it was originally recorded by Sonny Curtis and The Crickets. I’ve always loved it, and The Clash too. This is a kind of hill billy version of the song and quite different really.

Anyway that’s your lot for now. Time for me to go.
Take care peeps!

7:40 am - Mon, Oct 24, 2011
3 notes

Kuroyume - Nakigara O….

Note: a lot of repetitiousness here…one thing I have realized if you do something enough you get better at it. My later reviews are much fruitier.  Nakigara O…about the corpse….one thing you can say about Kiyoharu, his sense of drama is intuitive.


words: Kiyoharu, music: Shin
Eastern European style; mad jangly guitars and ominous heart attack drumming. Very complex with lots of shifts in pace and tone. Just my kind of thing.

2. 終幕の時
Shuumaku no toki.
(Time of ending)
words: Kiyoharu, music: Shin
Ooooo….I love this too. Alot. I can hear a little early Joy Division and New Order, but they never had Kiyoharu! He sings laments with such vigor. He has so much fight, which takes him way beyond Goth. He has no self indulgence to his darkness, no self pity…I like that!

3. Dance 2 Garnet
words: Kiyoharu, music: Hitoki
Actually the whole cd is awesome. You can see I’ve given up the star system. There’s no songs that wouldn’t get one anyway. It’s ALL very good. Garnet was Kiyos band before Kuroyume, with Hitoki but not Shin.

4. 讃美歌
words: Kiyoharu, music: Shin
Slower, as you’d expect, but magnificent. GREAT vocals, even for Kiyo.

5. 十字架との戯れ
Jyuujika tono tawamure
(Play with the cross)
words: Kiyoharu, music: Hitoki
Very good! Hitokis’ style is quite different to Shins, which is nice. This is a faster, punkier track as Hitokis’ usually are, and Kiyos vocals are freer.
"Loving suicide, so laugh’n die"

6. Misery
words: Kiyoharu, music: Shin
*sighs* delicate, sensational guitar, perfect for Kiyos’ lush vocal melodies.
"Sad please, need misery…"

7. If
words: Kiyoharu, music: Shin
As much as I love Corkscrew, this really is the most perfect Kuroyume album ever made. New Order again, but even more Scarlatti. Shins guitar often sounds like a harpsichord.

8. Jesus
words: Kiyoharu, music: Hitoki
Shin manages to sound quite trancey too. This is bass driven and complex, full of interesting breakdowns.

Shinainaru Death Mask
(Death mask which becomes love)
words: Kiyoharu, music: Kiyoharu
Kiyo song is one of the best, maybe even my favourite (but I would say that…) It’s true though. It has the extra pace and extra mad vocals which make it stand out.

10. 亡骸を
Nakigara O…
(About the corpse)
words: Kiyoharu, music: Shin
*sighs and weeps* I think I’ve run out of enthusiasms for now, but this one really deserves them. Kiyo layers up those vocal tracks brilliantly.

8:08 am - Sun, Oct 23, 2011
1 note

Kuroyume - Ikete Ita Chuuzetsu Ji


Ikete Ita Chuuzetsu Ji
(the abortion who survived)

1. 黒夢
Words: Kiyoharu, Music: Hitoki
(Black Dream)
This is the song that the band was named after, and you can see why! It’s fuckin brilliant ( i should stop swearing so much :D) Heart attack drumming and the most amazing sense of build up. Overlaid vocals to die for. Kiyo is on top of his game here. He really goes off at the end..the whole effect is spectacular. You can only wish someone had given them a bit more money to record this with.

2. 狂い奴隷
Words: Kiyoharu, Music: Shin
(Deviation Slave)
I love this song SO much. A little heavier than the last one. They are so complex these songs, it boggles my mind and that little guitar break/trill is just gorgeous. Shin is edging out Cipher as my all time favourite guitarist. He is perfect for Kiyo.

Words: Kiyoharu, Music: Hitoki
Not as strong as the last two, but still good. Lacks the distinctive features that would make it great.

4. .楽死運命
Words: Kiyoharu, Music: Shin
(Easy Dead Destiny)
Now this I do love. Wow! First bar and I am hooked. Intricate, emotional and full of build up. Wish I knew what he was saying :D Love is like a what? I think I would have brought his vocals out a bit more in the mix. Love the drumming on this ^^.

Shinainaru Death Mask
(Death mask which becomes love)
words: Kiyoharu, music: Kiyoharu
I reviewed this one for Nakigara O..sort of’s an awesome song but the Nakigara version is a nicer recording.

6. 鏡になりたい
(We want to be the mirror)
Here we go, lushest song in the known universe. Very gentle and sweet at first, with all that acoustic stuff and Kiyo doing a wonderfully sexy spoken voice over. Waaah!! This song is probably the main reason I wanted to review this album.
Anyway he proceeds to GO OFF in a fantastically emotional fashion. I really have never heard anything quite like it before. A lovely jangly soft guitar just goes delightfully. The only complaint I have is that this song is WAY too short :O

7:54 am

Kuroyume - Chuzetsu


Maxi Single HR-004 (Haunted House Records)

Chuzetsu (Abortion)
Wheeeeeeee! What a fantastic song. Strongly Eastern European in flavour. Brilliant, mournful and highly skillful. Frantic drumming, intricate spiralling guitar riffs and track apon track of overlaid vocals. Just superb! What is it about Kiyo? He can pour out his most bitter feelings without ever being anything but charming. He is so conscious of his audience and of making sure they are totally awed.

2. 浮遊悲
Fuuyuuhibi (Floating Sadness)
Oh yes! The guitar broadens out a bit here, a little slower and more massive, but still in Shins bewitching whirling dervish style.

3. In Sky
A little less exciting, but still a good song.

8:27 am - Fri, Oct 21, 2011
3 notes

Kinniku-shoujotai - Kinshou no Daisuigin (2cd)

 Kinniku-shoujotai - Kinshou no Daisuigin (2cd)

Yeah yeah I know its a best of but it gives me a chance to get a few of my O-Ken (Ohtsuki Kenji) thoughts down. It’s an incomplete review and I’ll admit, a rather silly one, but oh well..I am a silly person XDD

Disc 1

1. 元祖 高木ブー伝説
ganso Takagi Boo densetsu
In the Takagi Bu Tradition
Takagi Bu being a 60s rockstar/TV Comedian.
Kenjis’ vocals in this remind me a lot of Bruce Lees’ Dragon screaming. I’m quite sure that is intentional. I love the sheer force of this song.

2. 星の夜のボート
hoshi no yoru no booto
The Boat of Stellar Night
OH-Ken! No-one can emo as sweetly as he. Resonances ~ Heart ~ Energy. He’s got the lot. Really fucking impressive I have to say. He knows how to keep his channels open. I’ve never heard him be less that pure in soul, even when he’s singing the same song for the 100th time, he still manages to give it something fresh.

3. サボテンとバントライン
saboten to banto rain
Cactus and Bunt Cat (well….)
This is a sweet little ditty, and I find the subject matter very amusing. O-Ken sings it with an innocence that makes it very charming. He understands that the highest art is always childlike in its simplicity and honesty. Straight from above to below…O-Ken is the perfect Shaman/priest.

4. 釈迦
Gautama Buddha (!)
This is the live ass shaking song and very effective as that. Very African in influence, which is another element that appeals to me very strongly. The glorious sight of O-Ken in his leopard skin beret stomping about to this song will bring the Zulu out in anyone XDD
Seriously though I need to watch a live of this again soon.

Odoru dame Ningen
Dance of the Useless Person
The song that turned me into an O-Ken fanatic. More Africanity, more innocence, more ass shaking. A vocal part to die for…what more could you ask for. Building the energy up and up in the usual King Show style. They all do such great Backing Vocals, which is a sure sign of a truly wonderful band. O-Ken is SOOOOO masculine here, it is stunning. And that squealing guitar riff sets it all off to perfection. At about 4 minutes he goes off in spectacular style >< WOW (by O-Ken ^^)

6. 風車男ルリヲ(ライブ・バージョン
kazaguruma otoko (live version)
Windmill man RURIWO (live version)
Wah! I love this ;_; It’s so urgent and ominous. O-Ken is being all dramatic and Kurt Weillish and the band is pounding like crazy. It feels as if you are charging down the Italian Alps with Hannibal and his elephants.

7. 氷の世界
kouri no sekai
The Icy World
Hubeke stuff. Funky, hard, sweet, exciting..this is a truly wonderful Yosui Inoue cover. He was obviously thinking of O-Ken when he wrote it XD O-Ken always improves on the songs he covers, even when they belong to someone as stellar as the Baki man. To me this is a sign of the highest intelligence, because hell the Baki man = GOD. Fumihiko is a very impressive guitarist indeed, with a very unique style. There is a lovely solo of his just before the 3 minute mark. O-Ken always shows remarkably good taste in band mates.

8. 戦え!何を!?人生を!
tatakae! nani wo! ? jinsei wo!
Fight! What!? Life!
This is sounding very rap influenced but in a good way. Kenji is able to meld lots of different styles together incredibly successfully. Traditional Japanese X rock X rap X punk X metal X classical X jazz…you name it he’ll use it, which is yet another sign of a truly creative mind at work. Genres and definitions are for lesser artists. True genius accepts no boundaries.

batoru yarou ichizerozeroma nin no aniki
battle guy ? — 1 million big brothers
( バトル野郎~100万人の兄貴~ )
COOL XD Have stick a few more of these through nifty.
Go to the King Show site for the original Kanji and a full disco.

10. じーさんはいい塩梅
jiisan wa iianbai
Mr. Ji - is good arrangement.
Well this is silly but fun. I remember this PV was one of the first things I watched and I just thought WAH! These guys are totally adorable, especially that maniac with the grey streaked ponytail XD

11. 暴いておやりよドルバッキー
abai te o ya riyo
Will animal dollar BAKKI
Cute silly and childish. And very funky too. O-Ken wrote it btw. PV is very amusing…

12. 死んでゆく牛はモー
shin de yuku ushi ha moo
The cow which dies and dies is MO <.<
OMG OMG OMG this is the heart breaking one ;_; In which O-Ken demonstrates his exquisite emotional vocal style. Magnifique!

13. 君よ!俺で変われ!
kun yo! ore de kaware!
you — ! Change by me!
Love this song too and O-Ken wrote it too which is always a good sign, but I am finding it hard to think of anything sentient to say about it. I’ll probably come back and fill in these reviews later. OMG OMG OMG though, this is just stunning >< I will say that. Brings tears to my crocodile eyes.

14. ゴーゴー蟲娘
Go - Go Musume
Another superb song..this is real Best Of in every sense. My god no-one can make songs like this except O-Ken

Disc 2

15. 釈迦
Again… but I’m told these are Indie versions on the second disc.

16. 高木ブー伝説
Takagi Buu Densetsu
… a really frikkin bouncy version.
ORE WA TAKAGI BU DAN!! With some wonderful Satoshi Mishiba piano.

17. 遺言動物ドルバッキー
abai te o ya riyo
Dollar Bakki song again.

2:00 pm - Thu, Oct 20, 2011

Kegawa no Maries - Faust


1. おはようミカ
Ohayou Mika
A glam rock fans wet dream. Voice is quite harsh, aggressive, snarling, all raw rock star ego. But its also spectacular in its honesty, and incredibly versatile too. Ryohei Shima is one of the most talented and charismatic vocalists to appear this century. He has the gift of chaos, a discordian pope if you like, but he also shows a vulnerable side, hiding away behind his hair. It’s so charming!  And his band is just superb! They’ve really got the lot.

2. 人生
This song is on fire! Punk glam orgy of sound. The bass player is so powerful! Women always make the best bass players. It’s because we have the rhythm in our hips.

3. ハートブレイクマン
Heartbreak Man
Sudden change of pace. This is SO Flippers Guitar. All smooth and seductive. A glittering gentle fishy song.

Hi Seisan Teki Ningen
All noise and chaos. This is more Hanatarash, right down to the Eye style dragon shrieking.

I fucking adore this song! Very very impressive. Everyone is shining on this track. That hip grinding bass demon most of all. And the guitar stuff that starts about one and a half minutes is just fantastic! Wow! To be honest I am shocked. I thought rock and roll was dead and buried, but seemingly it aint! :D Really goes off around 3 minutes, turning into a blistering psychedelic masterpiece. These guys have all the intuitive psychedelic brilliance of Rallizes de Nudes.

Raidein (Ai To Warai No Road)
Another great song. Very Lust for Life, very get up and dance you bastards. I really think they are doing something totally unique and new here, for all their retro referencing. It’s a mutant sound of epic and future shocking proportions. I can’t wait for the next album :D Not to mention the world tour, because I’m telling you, everyone would love this band. And I think the time is over when language barriers or corporate hegemonies have any relevance whatsoever.

Note: ah wishful thinking….all that happened was that they went major and got all the life sucked out of them. Now they are disbanding and presumably Ryohei will start a solo career. It is rather lovely how he has blossomed though, and stopped hiding behind that hair.

4:11 pm - Sat, Oct 15, 2011

Gargoyle - Ha~Yaiba

Written in 2007. This review made me laugh…it’s so over the top! But I hold to my opinion totally. Gargoyle are awesome! And Kiba was a great magical inspiration to the birth of my Tarot Deck…magical and aesthetic. He is the original Hierophant.


Gargoyle = intelligent measured aggression. You know a true warrior never gets angry. To get angry and lose control is to instantly lose the battle. Gargoyle know this. They are forceful, but calm and thoughtful at the same time. Very Wen Wu!

I was in the mood for a little aggression when this cd arrived. Not many of my favourite artists are into that now so it’s really good to have them around, doing what they do best, and so very brilliantly too.
And it’s Kiba that really makes it all. He is such a kingly soul. Gentle and gentlemanly. The exact opposite of the archetypal metal singer in every possible way.

Gargoyle do work to a formula, and that is very intricate thrash metal, but they play around with it a great deal, and they are overflowing with heart and soul. I am by NO MEANS a metal head (in fact I unilaterally despise all Western metal and I always have) so perhaps genre isn’t really an issue here. Though Gargoyle play Metal style, the content is more traditional, folk influences. What really matters most is the level of intelligence and the quality of the emotion.

This feels to me like the best album Gargoyle have made in a very long time. Everything they do is glorious, but this…I dunno, it’s really really special. It’s one of those discs that when you get to the end you think, fuck, it’s finished already? I WANT MORE! It’s just so fresh and exhilaratingly energetic, I am literally bouncing in my chair while listening. It is wild dancing dervish music, sufi stomping of the first order. I can only wonder how Bacchanalian their gigs must be, because no-one could resist dancing to this music.

And Katsuji, well, he is now officially my favourite drummer. How could he not be? He is the backbone of both my favourite bands. Anyway, onwards and upwards….

1. ジェットタイガー
Jet Tiger
Oi oi oi Jet Tiger! Go, go, go Jet Tiger!
A truly stunning opening track! Take no fucking prisoners :D
I Love it. Kibas’ voice is evolving in rather incredible ways. Always a unique instrument, it has become something quite ominous and electric here. Judicious use of effects no doubt, but also incredible skill.

2. 花蝶風月
Hana Chou Fuugetsu
How very strange the title of this song is to me o.o… It perfectly describes a painting I was working on in the weeks leading up to the arrival of this disc.
Now this song is quite aggressive still (considering the flowery name) and the guitar work is mad and wild (as you’d expect). The drumming! JESUS! It’s like a heart attack! Kiba is running the show of course, as is his right. Everything is designed to complement him and this it does quite perfectly.

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! The Bass! The Bass! This song is like an earthquake. Elemental, that is the best description I can think of for Gargoyle. Kiba is like The Bull From The Sea. This is very ecstatic in feel. Very exhuberant. Actually that is a feature of the whole album. A kind of irrepressible energy and joy. So wonderful! :)

4. アイコノクラズム
Smashing up the Idols, yeah! Let’s do it! This is so subterranean, and then Kiba lets loose with this incredible soaring, resonant vocal melody. It’s so fucking awesome. More earthquake heart attack drumming! Lol! Wow, where does Katsuji find the energy? Destroy!! This has trademark intricate and yet heavy guitar craziness that I expect from Gargoyle, but even more incredible than ever. It’s like they’ve taken everything that’s great about themselves and turned up the volume on it. They have exceeded themselves in brilliance, and lets face it, in their field, who else did they have to beat? Finally I will say again OMGAH @ that drumming.

5. 太陽の道
Taiyo no Michi
This song is love sex and the future all rolled up together! Possibly the best song they have ever recorded, and most certainly my favourite at this very moment. Jesus, Kiba! Jesus! Your singing! I love it! So special! Raw power plus the most sentient intelligence. Heart and soul ON FIRE! What more can I say? I drink to you!
The bass is just spell binding too. Bloody hell, I just can’t express how I feel about this adequately. Words are such a second rate art form.

6. 韋駄天
Loving the guitar riff. It’s circular and insane, and bouncy and invigorating. And here comes the doramu!
This song is very good too. In fact there really isn’t a song on this disc that doesn’t awe me. The bass is TO DIE FOR, especially around the 2 minute mark. I’m not so hat stand about Kentaros’ guitar solos, but I am sure he will improve with age ;)

7. 猛毒少年
Moudoku Shounen
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! LOVE THIS ONE SO MUCH! It’s badass :D Wicked guitars and stuff but what really kills me is the way Kiba sings the chorus. Can not get that one out of my head at the moment. And that wild riff that follows the chorus….so dancey, I can’t keep still.

8. 失敗R二乗
Shippai R ni jou
~*FUNKY alert*~ you have been warned…
Great song. They do this style so brilliantly…it always features somewhere on every album. This is a particularly fine example. YA HO! Very upbeat and lively, a good antidote to the dark urgency of the last song. Don’t stop till you get enough!

9. 光の風
Hikari no Kaze
OH MY FUCKING GOD! So superb. This is my ideal Gargoyle song. Lovely, lovely, lovely. Tearing at my emo heart strings. When bands do feelings like this they can transform your whole experience of life. Sublime chorus! I can feel it deep inside my heart chakra. Yanno? Really, what’s it like to write and perform a song like this? I’m so curious. Gargoyle never tell you who wrote what…it’s always a group effort. I do appreciate their socialist ideals but whoever wrote this deserves a medal!!

10. 極楽フルスロットル
Gokuraku Full Throttle
More shifting of the tectonic plates. This one goes right off the Richter scale. It feels like a coda in a way, to everything they’ve ever done. Appropriate really, for their 20th anniversary album. Beautiful song! Love that chorus! Incredible band, incredible career. I wonder if the global pinheads will ever figure it out. Frankly I don’t facking care if they never do. Gargoyle don’t need them, and nor do I. They are already in Paradise. This must be Paradise to be able to make music like this.

11. Last Heaven
The obligatory “ballad”. There’s always one. And Kiba gets to wear his lovely heart on his sleeve. God! His singing is so special. Must be nice to know you are one of a kind. Past or future, never to be repeated. There is comfort in that.

And so on a heart felt note ends an album whose only flaw is that it is TOO FUCKING SHORT!

8:19 am - Wed, Oct 12, 2011
3 notes

The Cro-Magnons - The Cro-Magnons

The Cro-Magnons self titled first album Special Edition!

A nice new fresh review hot off the press to celebrate the Summer Solstice (yeah and Christmas too…anything that gets the white picket side of the street festooning their houses in trippy lights has to be good).
Middle of summer here and the weather is…pleasant? Eh? That’s something to really celebrate around here XD
And so I write because celebrating makes me garrulous and no-one in the immediate vicinity knows wtf I am talking about. Or rather they do because I’ve played it obsessively for months and driven them all hatstand.
Yes, I’m talking about the Cro-Magnons debut album.

Early in the year some time, a good friend of mine sent me a link to a Blue Hearts video she had uploaded to Youtube, a song called Jounetsu no Bara. It was an instant beginning to a very wonderful love affair with all things Hiroto Koumoto and Masatoshi Mashima, and The Cro-Magnons are the latest incarnation of a very long standing musical partnership.

Imagine my glee on discovering that The Cro-Magnons, had Katsuji from Gargoyle and Masaru from Sads (& lately Nil) and that they were releasing an album. How could such an inspired gathering of musicians be anything other than divinely brilliant? Absolutely impossible.

甲本ヒロト Hiroto Kohmoto (Vo.)
真島昌利 Masatoshi Majima (G.)
小林勝 Masaru Kobayashi (B.)
桐田勝治 Katsuji Kirita (Dr.)

I ordered the special CD/DVD edition and it made me very happy, as they included a five song live on the cd. The only complaint I can think of to make is about the booklet. Hiroto and Marcy should have been the ones getting their anatomy closely examined instead of that gorilla suit thing though no doubt they are VERY sick of all that kind of thing after more than 20 years of stardom. Well Marcy is anyway…Hiroto specializes in indecent exposure! :D  And we get to see plenty of Hirotos’ anatomy in the live. I have to warn you, they do pixelate the naughty bits, but nonetheless, clothes on or off Hiroto is one of the most spell binding live performers you will ever see.

1.Killer Bee
(by Marcy)
They take this Cro-Magnon stuff very seriously XD Opens with alot of funny prehistoric noises courtesy of the certifiably insane Hiroto and Marcy.
And then the song, which is …guh!…fucking hell this album is going to be hard work to review. It’s a gorgeous, melodic, energetic punk song. Intricate and hard. Brilliantly constructed and divinely simple. And short.

2. Electric Guitar
(by Marcy)
Then, a song I didn’t like as much at first but soon came to love. It’s the wind up song. The pump em up to action song. In the context of the whole album, it’s perfectly situated to ramp up the band and the audiences energy for what is to come. Marcy is such a brilliant guitarist. So incredible.

Renke Tsuki Yo Eien Ni
(by Hiroto)
Hiroto and Marcy create something together magically, that no one person could ever create alone, however gifted they were.
And the stunningly talented Katsuji and Masaru back them up so solidly. They are playing very much true to their own personalities too and adding their own special flavour to proceedings. It’s all really exciting to hear and I hope this band will live on to produce many more albums. Though of course Katsuji must always stay loyal to Kiba, because Kiba is Kiba is Kiba…

(by Hiroto)
Oh God! Talk about making life difficult. How to explain the Greatness? XD He feels so great because he’s riding on a tsunami of creative inspiration. It’s empowering just to listen to it.

(by Marcy)
They both are. This song is case in point.
Marcy is the greatest guitarist/songwriter of them all.

Asakura Sansho
(by Marcy)
Too good. I fucking resign.
There is so much love in their music. So much healing. So much wit and compassion. I am floored. They are living proof that if you want the highest creative gifts you need to have a good honest heart and kind intentions. An unpurified vessel will crack under the pressure of divine inspiration.

Sougen no Kagayaki
(by Marcy)
Oh Marcy man, you mad old hippy you, these songs are unbelievable! I wish I could have written such a thing. I wish I could do what you do but at least you inspire me to what I do, and do it with love.
Masarus’ bass in this one is particularly crucial.

Aruku Chibu
(by Hiroto)
Cock Walk! LOL! I knew this one had to be about penises. A translation of this would be…most appreciated :D
More apeman noises from the peanut gallery, and then straight into the best of the best, the most brilliant song of all. The best song I have heard in a long long time. XDD
And the LIVE! O.O;; Hiroto is insane, and a genius. What more could you want?
This song makes my soul dance joyfully. And I think that is what I love to hear most . A band that forces you to move, whether its internally or externally. They have to make all your atoms dance.

Kujira Nawa
(by Marcy)
A nice bouncy little ditty of a song, with some great “OI!”s from our friends in the bottom end. They are such a relentless fighting force of a band, and yet all rather gentle and shy individuals. It’s a perfect paradox, like all the best things in life.

Yume no Rock’n’Roll Dream
(by Hiroto)
Speaking of gentle men, here is the “ballad” or soppy song if you hate that word like me. It’s very pretty and sweet of course. These two have always done the slower, emotional stuff just as brilliantly as their more high energy masterpieces. I love the way Hiroto sings in this. It’s so fresh and innocent.

(by Hiroto)
Awesome song! Brilliant guitar work! To die for really. Again very innocent and simple but not really if you know what I mean. I can only think of it in terms of art, in which the fewer lines you can capture something in, the greater master you are. To reduce everything to it’s most perfect form, that is the game. Divine simplicity.

12.Tally Ho
(by Hiroto)
And speaking of perfect forms, here is the fantastic debut single.
This single was the moment we knew the Kuromaniyons had arrived. And it made me so happy! It’s also much more than just an instantly addictive single. It’s a perfect shining gem from a songwriter who has made my jaw drop more times than I can count this year as I worked my way through his endless back catalog.

13.Ma Ma Ma
(by Marcy)
I love this! I’m not going to even ask what its about. But the baby BVs are so cute :D

Dosei ni Yasashiku
(by Hiroto)
Love that drumming! And the bells. It’s all so festive.
And such a great song, a triumphant, ecstatic finale.
Life time honours award for Hiroto and Marcy.
And they are all singing together again now :)
The band that sings together stays together.

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