Monthly Archives: November 2018

Towel: Haru Natsu Aki Fuyu

towel - haru natsu aki fuyu

CD, self-released, 2018

From the city of Hamamatsu near the western edge of Shizuoka Prefecture, Towel’s Haru Natsu Aki Fuyu EP is a charming riot of lo-fi indie rock. There’s a bit of Pavement to it, but it’s in a distinctly Japanese alternative tradition with its raucous, school festival energy and smartly weaponised off-key vocals. It’s a short EP, all four tracks getting in and out in six and a half minutes total, clattering and stumbling from bum note to scratchy postpunk non-chord and back in a way that resolves itself into a strangely appealing melodic sensibility of its own.

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Odd Eyes: Self Portrait

odd eyes - self portrait

CD, KILIKILIVILLA, 2018

Self-Portrait by Odd Eyes is 25-minutes of breakneck hardcore punk, enlivened by skronky guitar deviations and rhythmical hiccups that make this Kyoto-based band one of the most interesting acts in the always lively Kansai scene right now. Odd Eyes are careful not to get stuck into a single groove for the duration of the the album though, and after a furious opening barrage that includes the albums two shortest songs, the sub-one-minute Just a Soul and Fictional Pause, they slow things down and draw things out long enough to unleash their inner Fugazi with the instrumental Microphone Justice and the emotionally fraught A One and a Two. Meanwhile, solo guitar instrumental, 0-do, throws in a curveball of a different sort, with its reverberating, icy textures, before the album veers back into its hardcore groove. It’s music that values energy over precision, but that’s also bubbling with ideas and invention. The copy I picked up from Jet Set Records in Kyoto also included a bonus CD-R featuring a 15-minute radio chat show with band members followed by a 50-minute DJ mix that throws Odd Eyes’ own music into some relief in how it leans so heavily towards folk, indiepop and lo-fi psychedelia rather than the punk influences you might expect.

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