Thursday, October 18, 2007

One Weekend Under A Groove: I Must Cleanse Myself, Send In The Japanese Ladies!

I realize that title has ... inappropiate conotations. That is entirely on purpose. :)

The sheer amount of pop I listened to last weekend left me feeling in need of a good cleaning. Get the sugar off. Not that I don't like pop - I do. Very much. And I'm not talking Brittany Spears or American Idol junk. A lot of nods to the early 60s in what I was listening to - no big surprise, given that is pretty much my favorite musical time period I didn't actually experience first hand.

Love it though I do, it can leave me feeling like I need to roll around in the dirt a bit (picture a bird taking a dust bath). And what would be more suitable for rolling around in than a style called crust?


Official site

'Crust' or 'doom metal' - whatever you wanna call it, I'm a little outside my comfort zone here (not too far - I have other doom metal but pretty much avoid it) [originally I said 'crust' here, but that is more a statement about cleanliness vis-a-vis my underwear, so 'doom metal' it is.] Reviewing this album as part of One Weekend Under A Groove is a bit of a cheat. I've actually had this album for a few weeks, but just got around to listening to it this weekend.
On the whole, I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. The standard 'doom metal' plodding is replaced by more sonically varied plodding. This makes it a little hard to review. I'd like to say "this is the sort of thing you'll like if you like this sort of thing", but it might actually be TOO musically interesting for some folks who ... enjoy ... the ... plod.
One really enjoyable track on this release the drummer trades vocals with the band's usual vocalist. The primary vocalist uses an 'extreme metal' gargle-with-draino style (which sounds interesting coming from a Japanese female), while the drummer's style is more of the high-pitched squeek you are used to from Japanese female vocalists. So the track alternates between a low rumbling 'uhhuhhuhh' and a just-sucked-helium 'eeep eeep eeep'. (There are actual lyrics, but 1: they are in Japanese, and 2: this style isn't known for clarity of diction anyway.)

Gallhammer left me feeling a need for something a little lighter. How about blending pop songwriting with a grungier style? But I would hate to abandon the theme of all-female Japanese bands ...

So I won't.


Official Site

So, you may wonder, why am I reviewing a single song? I knew I wanted to talk about this band, but neither I nor anyone I know have any Gito Gito Hustler material. So I did the obvious and trolled the net for some. At some point, by the looks of it quite recently, somebody made the rounds and asked everyone who had GGH mp3s posted to remove them. Discussing the music industry's apparent desire to slit its own throat really is the topic for another day.

So, I'd like to provide useful information about this band, but it is difficult given that I've only actually heard the one song. But the song I listened to ("Maybe Love") was good. GGH is often described as pop-punk, but they are more punk (or garagey) than pop. Even though I feel somewhat stymied in my efforts to hear the band, I think I've heard and read enough to put Gito Gito Hustler on my "buy it but don't necessarily spend too much energy finding it" list.

As long as I'm talking all-female Japanese pop-punk, I MUST mention Shonen Knife. This post is already getting longer than I like, though, so just hold that thought.

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