Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Blog revival! New song from the Novembers!
Love the sound of it, though it's undeniable that the melody is quite streamlined and poppy. It reminds me a lot of "philia", first track off their last release. Beautiful layers of sound~ The video fits the song perfectly. I love this band.

New album "Misstopia" will be released March 10th.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

SEBASTIAN X - Wonderful World

1. ツアー・スターピープル
2. 新世界によろしく
3. ワンダフルワールド
4. 世界のガッシャーン
5. ASO
6. エイリアンズ
7. 若き日々よ
8. 食卓の賛歌

I was surprised to see SEBASTIAN X's name on the elbo.ws Hot Tracks list today. Apparently there's this thing called Music Alliance Pact which is this project of blogs which share tracks from bands from all over the world. For the November edition SEBASTIAN X's "Tour Star People" from their new album "Wonderful World" was elected as the Japanese contribution.

To be perfectly honest though, I think "Tour Star People" is probably my least favorite song on the album. It's just way too frantic and all over the place for my liking. Still, I like this band a lot. I don't have the record though, so I shouldn't be writing about it, but what the hell. I've heard the tracks on their myspace site. For some reason, "Wonderful World" is entitled as "their first mini album", but I'd say that the brilliant "Life vs Life" which was released last year is their debut? Anyways, I love their quirky indiepop which also has some rough, punk-ish moments. The lack of guitar which is substituted by playful piano works great. Manatsu Nagahara's vocal's might be a bit much to handle at times though, especially in the high-pitched parts. A more mellow tone would better suit the down-beat songs. Her intense voice works great on the more punky songs though.
SEBASTIAN X seems like a band with a really playful imagination and this creativeness which has no restrictions. Sometimes it would've been nice if they had toned down a notch, but at the same time it's that intensity which makes them the band they are.

The new album includes studio versions of long time live favorites "Aliens" and "shokutaku no sanka" which I've been impatiently waiting to hear the studio version of. Especially the last one is truly an amazing song (I posted the video in my previous post about SEBASTIAN X). The new album also features a new recording of "wakaki hibi yo", although I think the original version is perfectly fine. It is my favorite from their first album, so I can see why they would want to put it on this album too.

SEBASTIAN X - tour star people

from Life vs Life:
SEBASTIAN X - wakaki hibi yo
SBEASTIAN X - yuigon


Wonderful World:

tour star people:

Sunday, November 1, 2009

sleepy.ab - メロウ

New music video for the track "mellow" from sleepy.ab's upcoming album "paratroop". The album will be released November 25th, and it's the band's major debut. Personally I don't think this song is as exciting as the previously released song "Aquarium", but it's still fairly good.

【MyX 09.11】sleepy.ab / メロウ

MyX | MySpace Video


The band has also been selected as MyX's band of the month for november. An interview and a live clip will be added to the site later this month.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

sokabe keiichi band - present

New single from sokabe keiichi band. I tell you, Keiichi Sokabe is one productive man. The band released their second album earlier this year, before that the single "hoshi", then the EP "minna no uta" then a live dvd. Plus various releases and remixes as a solo artist, playing solo, playing festivals with the Rendevouz Band, long touring with the band, reuniting with Sunny Day Service and doing some live shows with them, releasing a book (although only containing previously released song lyrics). He also runs a café in Shimokitazawa called City Country City, and the label Rose records etc etc. Plus he has a wife and at least 3 kids. I have to wonder how he finds the time to do it all?

Anyways, enough of my babble (rant continues below), here's the video for "present". The single was also released on a limited edition 7" vinyl. 500 copies personally decorated by Sokabe himself.

It's a cute and catchy song, but not unlike the latest album "happiness!" I'm starting to think that the songs have become a bit too soft. They don't make as much of a strong impression on me as the earlier songs have. I think it might be because it's become a bit too sunny and rosy red in the sokabe universe. By all means should the man be allowed his happiness, but I'm just saying... Not saying that the self-proclaimed "king of mellow rock" should be miserable, I love that feel good-atmosphere that sokabe keiichi band has, but if you compare to the first album of theirs "kira kira!" it simply has better songs, like the title track, "umi to autobai" or my favourite track "yume miru youni nemuritai". There's a stronger nerve in these songs, I think. Either that, or the problem is that I'm miserable.

"hoshi" got my hopes up for the second album, but it did not turn out to be representative of the rest of the album. "Pure & True" and "nagai yoru" are quite good though. I read in an interview that Sokabe wanted to focus more on the live aspect of the music for the second album, so that could definitely have something to do with the outcome. Their live shows are always incredibly fun. Also, he might be saving up some songs for the Sunny Day Service comeback. Who knows. At his rate there'll probably be at least 50 more albums released before he retires.

Speaking of releases, the cover album "Sokabe Sings" that was previously only available for sale at his solo tour around new years will be released on Dec. 4th, containing covers of the Beatles, the Pixies, the Velvet Underground and Madonna(!) among others.

This post got a bit longer than intended, so if you made it this far here's the video for "nagai yoru".

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

about tess + LITE

I discovered this band called about tess through mixi. Twin drums, twin bass and twin guitars. Pretty cool.


Kind of reminds me of LITE, although LITE seem to have shifted direction a bit since last time. From their new EP "Turns Red":


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Psysalia Psysalis Psyche - Titan Arum

Music video from their first album "Matin Brun" which will be released Oct. 21st, but which has already been released on iTunes. The single "midunburi", previously posted here, is also on the album.

View video here: http://psysaliapsysalispsyche.com/
(it might take a while to load)

To be honest, I have no idea what to make of this. That goes for both track and video. Their sound has changed. A lot.
I've listened to the samples of the album tracks on iTunes too, and except for a few tracks it sounds a lot different from their previous EP. In "Take Me Out" they seem to have kept that raw sound from before though. The album also features a new version of "Butch & Sundance Kid". I'm not going to make a judgement on the album based on 30 second samples, but I've become a bit sceptic...


Wednesday, September 30, 2009

plenty - 「ボクのために歌う吟」

New up and coming band called plenty. Apparently they're quite young (20y) and are just about to release their first album, but they've been invited to play as opening act, along with the Novembers, for Art-School on their "14 Souls Tour". Not bad at all. Art-School are pretty big on the indie scene in Japan. At least among the indie kids. Personally I'm not a big fan, but I think it's safe to say that a lot of people (read: everyone) who likes the Novembers also likes Art-School, and I think plenty will appeal to the same group. Indierock mixed with a good portion of melancholy. I quite like this song (called "boku no tame ni utau gin"). The album 「拝啓。皆さま」(haikei. mina-sama) is released on Oct. 21st.