Broken Doll – Dance at my Party (PV)

Broken Doll – Dance at my Party (PV):

_
Blondie would be so proud of their lil’ Japanese babies.

Broken Doll – New Year 2012 Message

New Year 2012 message from Japanese punk band Broken Doll:

It’s a fun message, teasing their new song “Reach for the Sky”. Personally, I can’t take my eyes off Ken’s rad earring!

They posted a demo version of “Reach for the Sky” a few weeks ago.
Check it out:

Tommy heavenly6 – I’m Your Devil (Halloween Remix) (PV)

Tommy February6 / Tommy Heavenly6 – FEBRUARY & HEAVENLY (pic)

The brilliant green’s vocalist Tomoko Kawase can’t seem to make up her mind(s) — so next month (yes, in February) we’re getting a double release from alter-egos Tommy February6 and Tommy Heavenly6 titled FEBRUARY & HEAVENLY

The teaser pic above is from Tommy’s Twitter (or it’s from her cat, if the surrounding environment tells the… tail tale.) Double-disc + bonus packaging to celebrate her 10th anniversary.

TsuShiMaMiRe – SHOCKING (PV)

TsuShiMaMiRe – SHOCKING (PV)

TsuShiMaMiRe (undercover as faux band THE SHOCKINGS) in this PV for their upcoming release SHOCKING (Feb. 28, 2012).

SHOCKING

TsuShiMaMiRe hit their peak when they were constantly touring the USA back in the 2000’s, with regular check-ins at SXSW and the Japan Nite tour. Check out the video below to see why everyone fell in love with them.

Brain (no miso) Shortcake:

101A – flood floor -Lost Way- (Review)

101A
flood floor -Lost Way- (DVD)

Review by David Cirone

JRock247-101A-flood-floor-Lost-Way-200

One of the best Japanese indie-band live DVDs in recent memory, 101A’s flood floor -Lost Way- was mixed and edited in-house by the band members Sally (video editing) and the k (sound mix). The DVD packs 24 songs into the 1-hour 45 minute show, and if you check the liner notes there’s even a few left out, like their cool cover of “Heart-Shaped Box.”

flood floor -Lost Way- has a calculated, tidal ebb-and-flow. It gets hard and heavy when noah’s ripping guitar lets loose in “Migration,” and the k taunts the crowd before launching into the dragon-crawl bass of “Serpent.”

Some of the quieter moments stand out, too. noah’s seated performance of “ghost” brings a warmth to the song significantly different than the recorded version on their latest release 4, and drummer Sally gets some nice (and rare) spotlight time on “Aerial.”

Noah’s delicate voice and small frame don’t hold her back from roughing up “moon” and “Miranda Lethal Weapon” a little bit near the end of the set, and the near-chaotic, fan-favorite “sex slave” gets two versions to finish it out.

Compilation video of tracks from flood floor -Lost Way-:

101A – 4 (Review)

101A
4

Review by David Cirone

JRock247-101A-4-300

101A’s coiled-snake style is an acquired taste, but their new release 4 shows off the Japanese alternative noise-rock band’s ability to hold you locked in their stare until the inevitable lethal strike.

As with 2008’s lethe, this isn’t a single-driven album with choruses to belt out at karaoke — it’s a solitary, atmospheric experience designed to slither into your mind when the lights go out.

With opening track “Luminous,” noah’s will-o’-the-wisp vocals lure you in with the repeated (and suspiciously innocent) chant of “goodbye” layered on top of 101A’s signature deep-chord guitar work. While “Luminous” displays 101A’s polished and familiar climactic structure, things get a bit rougher and less predictable in “Otogi” with some terrific fuzz-filter guitar and bass at the song’s mid-point.

“ghost” benefits from the longer track length (7 minutes+) and creates an eerie world with an exceptional amount of variety in its dark tones. “iron” has a similar length, but its steady drone and methodical progression will prove to be the endurance test for new listeners.

“moon” is where the album finally gets loud (courtesy of the k’s three-string bass guitar groove), and he takes over the album for a solid 8 minutes in “5334” with his hypnotic, spoken-word lyrics.

4 isn’t a starter album for new fans (go back to lethe‘s “Miranda Lethal Weapon” and “migration” for that), but it’s the best album to put in your head if you prefer your dreams a little darker.

Recommended tracks: ghost, moon, Luminous

TAIA – Magnolia (PV)

UPLIFT SPICE – Minority Parade (PV)

UPLIFT SPICE – Minority Parade
from PARADIGM SHIFT

Amped. Juiced. Ferocious.

マイノリティパレード / パラダイムシフト

RAMPANT – Interview (2011)

RAMPANT
Interview by David Cirone
April 12, 2011

JRock247-RAMPANT-Tekkoshocon_9348-600

Osaka-based hard-rock band RAMPANT made their American debut at Tekkoshocon IX in Pittsburgh, PA. Playing for an audience of over 900 (the highest in the event’s history), the band delivered a 11-song set from their two latest releases, Choice of Life and BLOSSOM.

A regular performance partner of exist†trace and Dazzle Vision in Japan, RAMPANT’s vocalist Hiroko uses her equally-effective scream in just a handful of tracks, holding it back for just the right moment like a knock-out punch. Hiroko is both feminine and tough, a necessary combination to fit in with a band of male musicians who, though outwardly playful, are very serious about kicking everyone’s ass and making their own sound.

During performance, it’s Atsushi (lead guitar) and Tomoya (rhythm guitar) who make a point of regularly stepping over the stage monitors to connect with the audience. Kei (bass) is the most relaxed presence on stage, sticking close to drummer KA+U (a stylized version of “Katsu”), whose regular hobby of weight-training helps him punish the drum kit mercilessly during the hour-long show.

For this interview, we gathered in the Wyndham Grand Hotel early in the following morning. Though physically tired from the show and the solid hour of autograph signings, there’s still a glow on each member’s face. It’s a mixture of relief and amazement, and everyone’s ready to talk about music.

Looking at the titles of your three CD releases — Chain, Choice of Life, and BLOSSOM — it seems that the English words form a theme of forward progression: captivity transitioning into freedom. Is that correct?

Atsushi: (immediately) No connection.

Hiroko: (laughs) That was so fast!

KA+U: There’s a specific meaning for each title, a specific way it connects to the songs on the album. But we didn’t try to link them.

Tomoya: The first mini-album Chain — “chain” means like a bond, not like a prisoner.

So I got that totally wrong.

Atsushi: You could see it that way… it’s sort of creative, that viewpoint, but that’s not what we meant. Initially, we didn’t think these were going to be the final members of the band, We had planned to do auditions, but things just came together naturally without all that. So before we realized it, we had the mini-album.

Tomoya: “Chain” means all of us, together.

Atsushi: I came up with the Choice of Life title. I really believe life is choice. We decided to be here. At any moment, at any place, wherever we are is connected to our decisions.

Hiroko: But I like your interpretation. It’s fun. You can see it different that we intended and it’s still cool.

What’s your favorite track on your latest album BLOSSOM?

Hiroko: Each song has its own personality. I really like all of the songs.

KA+U: Right now it’s “Naked,” but when we were still working on the album, “Still Growing Flower” was the song I liked best. It really became a part of me during performance.

Kei: “My Winding Road to Unknown” — we didn’t play it this time at Tekkoshocon, but the audience reaction in Japan has made it one of my favorites. I like the rhythm changes, and the chorus has a Japanese style. Maybe I’m the only one who thinks that.

Atsushi: I agree with Kei… we both like to find sounds that are specific to Japanese rock. “If I Ain’t Got You” is heavy, like American rock, but we tried to mix in some sounds that you wouldn’t normally find in an American rock song. And Choice of Life was so heavy, we wanted find some lighter elements this time.

Tomoya: My favorite from the beginning was “Naked.” I’m different from them, I don’t have the specific idea that I want to do something Japanese. When we were in the studio, the members were pushing toward Japanese sound, but I was rebelling — I didn’t want to throw away the work we did before. That’s how we came up with “Naked.” That’s the song that shows what RAMPANT is — that mix of styles.

continued…