10 Drummers vs. Earth
Review by David Cirone
The idea of 10 drummers slamming away at once is impressive and scary. I expected a “wall of sound” type of experience, and 10 Drummers vs. Earth could have been a mess, or worse yet, boring — but there’s a lot of variety here. DQS emerges as a jazz-rock-punk fusion that puts percussion in the spotlight, and the solid lineup of musicians (see below) yields a clean, tight ensemble.
“RESCUE” is the lone studio track on the CD, and it’s the most mainstream, led by a great vocal performance by Tomohiro Kondo. This track gets cranked up to 10 every time I hear it.
The remaining 3 tracks are live recordings, and the CD comes with a cool DVD that lets you in on the performances at Club Que in Shimokitazawa. “Next 9″ has a deceptively simple beginning that builds layers of sound on top of Teppei Noguchi (Hi-5)’s smooth, wandering guitar riffs. “Stroke” doesn’t hold back, and it’s a synchronized assault of aggressive drums accompanied by Hironobu Hirata (Swinging Popsicle)’s deep bass groove that builds into jam-band bliss. In fact, “Stroke” is probably the best place on the EP to feel like you’re hearing 10 drummers at once.
About the 10 drummer effect — with the varied layers and distinct syncopation, it’s easy to hear multiple drummers on these tracks, but how do you know if it’s 4 drummers, or 6, or 8? I have the feeling that the only way to get the full effect is to see this performance live. The DVD does a great job of showing you the collective fun they’re having on stage.
Track 4 “Understand” (produced by Hirata) is a mellow, pop-style contrast that comes in short and sweet. The drums take a more equal role as part of the band, and the keyboards (reminiscent of early Moody Blues and Genesis) steal this track away.
DQS members are:
(the castanets / KGSS ON THE PEAKS)
(HARISS , The Everything Breaks)
(about tess .dario)
(TSUBAKI / THE GIRL)
(UNUS , ex.PICK2HAND)
(ex.School Food Punishment)
(your gold, my pink)
Guitar: TEPPEI NOGUCHI
Bass: HIRONOBU HIRATA
(GOMES THE HITMAN)
Vocal (“on “RESCUE”): Tomohiro Kondo