Top 20 Releases of 2017: No.19 – WBSBFK – Open Your Eyes

wbsbfk - open your eyes

CD, Provoke Association, 2017

One of the most interesting developments of 2016 (for this site at least, with all its attendant biases) was the Provoke compilation of young, mostly male postpunk-influenced rock bands. While the compilation itself may not have had a massive impact in the grander scheme of things, it offered a reassuring corrective to Japanese indie’s dreary drift into City Pop Hell. One question it left unanswered at the time was where it could go next.

2017 saw a partial answer to that question with the simultaneous release in November of new albums by two of the Provoke bands, both released through the imprint that had begun with the compilation. Of those releases, Nagoya’s WBSBFK continue most closely in the same vein as the compilation, all spindly, atonal postpunk guitars, jittery rhythms and selfconsciously disaffected vocals.

However, where much of Provoke was drenched in distortion, WBSBFK here are confident enough in their own mastery of Wire-like postpunk dynamics that they seem to feel no need to hide within a tornado of effects. The result is a short album of ten songs in just over twenty minutes that trade in visceral energy for sparseness and sophistication, each song a jagged clockwork machine in monochrome. In an era where feelings are frequently taken as the alpha and omega of cultural import, it’s a special kind of pleasure that can be taken from music that is simply interesting.

1 Comment

Filed under Albums, Reviews

One response to “Top 20 Releases of 2017: No.19 – WBSBFK – Open Your Eyes

  1. Jim

    Great to have the C&R point of view again! I agree that “Think” is interesting; in fact it’s …… clear and refreshing, which is as it should be. Looking forward to the run-down/run-up.

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