Tag Archives: the piqnic

The Piqnic: I Can’t Breathing

I Can't Breathing

CD, self-released, 2014

Hailing from Hamamatsu on the western edge of Shizuoka prefecture, The Piqnic have picked up a bit of buzz in 2014 initially through the nearby Nagoya scene, which often seems to be a friendly home-away-from-home for any UK-influenced Japanese indie rock. Trading in a sort of gothic, vaguely psychedelic, 80s-styled, postpunk-influenced epic rock (think The Chameleons), the band are caught in a curious place betweens their music’s aspirations on one hand and their actual reach on the other.

It’s live that it shows up most strongly, and songs like Lololo and Nicht arrive fully-formed for festival and arena stages, but are also loud and pummelling enough to impress on a small stage. Where the music slows down ands opens up into mid-paced rock balladry, it becomes a little stranger, as if the band are singing for an audience they don’t yet have, their voices and tunes flying over the heads of the crowd that is actually there. The Piqnic’s onstage persona is dark, distant and reserved, projecting an image of epic rock at you from afar even when they are just a few feet away, but the recorded versions of songs like ♂♀♀ allow a different, more intimate kind of listening, with some of early Radiohead’s fragility showing through, while the eerie, psychedelic interlude Unheard shows an off-kilter musical imagination that it would be interesting to see taken further.

It’s all frightfully emotional, which is as a rule something thoroughly discouraged on these pages, but on CD we can at least say it works, and some tracks in particular have an undeniable power, made all the more impressive by the casual ease with which they seem able to deploy it. If the buzz around The Piqnic continues to pick up, they may soon start to see their epic ambitions matched by the forum in which they can present it.

Leave a comment

Filed under Albums, Reviews

Guardian Song of the Week: The Piqnic, “Saoirse”

This week’s pickup for The Guardian’s music from around the world guest blogging series is a song from a “dark shoegaze” band hailing from Shizuoka.

With all the action happening in Tokyo, it’s some times easy to overlook other regions in Japan for quality music, especially if it’s not that far away.

Hailing from Shizuoka prefecture (which is only about an hour away from Tokyo by bullet train), The Piqnic perhaps have benefited from their isolation, melding traditional shoegaze sounds with a more gothic approach, creating a sound that’s unique from other bands in Tokyo.

“Saoirse” is the lead track off of their debut EP. Clocking in at seven minutes, the track goes from a quiet guitar drenched intro to a steady eight-beat, while vocalist Shuya’s androgynous vocals float throughout. The track may remind people of fellow countrymen Boris’s quieter moments (think “Rainbow” or “Präparat”)

Leave a comment

Filed under Guardian new music blog, Reviews, Track