Tuesday, July 31, 2012

[Bandcamp] LEEWAY - Sick of Nostalgia [2012]

I've probably mentioned it, pop-punk isn't really my thing, especially the Snuffy Smile variant. But occasionally a band will come along that I like from that genre. Minority Blues Band, for instance, or as we can see here, Leeway. Now Leeway isn't 100% Japanese, half of the band are foreigners, but they fit right in with that whole scene. Great, female-fronted pop-punk that has great melodies, is played perfectly, and totally makes you feel young again.

The EP I'm talking about here is their new one, being pressed on vinyl shortly (or already? or CD?). It's a follow-up to their first album, Tin Cans Calling Home, which is also fabulous. Unfortunately this will probably be the last output of the band, since Ingrid (guitar/vocals) is leaving Japan this year. Hopefully they'll keep going, because the band shows so much promise.

Here's a nice vid of their live show:

1. Red Paper Moon
2. Doubts Are Quiet Things
3. Small Town of the Living Dead
4. Losing Sleep
5. A Lie For My Life
6. Remember to Remember

Monday, July 30, 2012

Sense Of Identity - Self-Titled [2002]

Pretty good pop-punk / post-hardcore crossover. They're still more Snuffy Smile than they are Infro, but it's got great melodies. I know virtually nothing about the band and can't even remember how I got this. It was probably just something I randomly picked up at a record store. Anyways, try it out if you like this kind of stuff. Here's a video of them playing:

1. To Valuable Stranger
2. Blame Me Only
3. The Back: The Course
4. Call It A Day
5. Faint Light In Pleasant Night
6. You

Friday, July 27, 2012

Nitro Mega Prayer / Blue Sky Resemble Sorrow split [2002]

I originally picked my copy of this up while I was studying in JP during 2002. Like I said in my previous NMP post, I did carry them for awhile in my distro, before selling out. Now, it's probably super hard to find or something. ANYWAYS, I'm rambling because it's Friday and I'm tired. 

This is the first release that I know of from Nitro Mega Prayer. They're playing some sort of metallic emotional hardcore. I'm not sure where it fits compared to everything else. It's not bad, but it isn't going to be the NMP you expect (if you haven't heard this). I think the lineup between this and their first album is mostly the same, but they definitely had a different direction on this split.

On the other side is Blue Sky Resemble Sorrow, whose website is still up after a super long time. They are the highlight on this split for me. They play this old style of Japanese emotional hardcore/screamo that is so, so good. I know next to nothing about these guys, but it looks like they broke up shortly after, which is really too bad.


^this is why I love the internet^

1. Nitro Mega Prayer - Letter
2. Nitro Mega Prayer - Live There
3. Blue Sky Resemble Sorrow - Senseof Fulfillment
4. Blue Sky Resemble Sorrow - カクリツ

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Nitro Mega Prayer - The Reason Of Hers Smile [2003]

Nitro Mega Prayer started releasing stuff back in the early 2000's (the earliest thing I have is from 2002) and went through several phases. I saw them play at Whoopee's in Kyoto while I was studying, and they were in their "emotional metalcore" phase. I wasn't overly impressed by the live show. The music wasn't horrible, but I remember being pretty unimpressed. Later, once I'd returned to the States, I started corresponding with the singer, Nakano, and did a trade or something. Somehow, I got copies of their split with Blue Sky Resemble Sorrow (I'll post that on Friday), and possibly this full length (it was 9 years ago. please forgive my memory).  Between the split and this album, their sound changed dramatically. Most of the members stayed the same between the two releases, but their sound became far more emotional and "screamo", I guess. What's true is that they came up with their own style, which is a weird amalgam of screamo, a little metal, and some pop-punk (the last track on this album is a cover of a NOFX song, and it still kind of sounds like NMP).

So, this album. It's definitely a classic of Japanese screamo. Nitro Mega Prayer played a huge part in the Kansai scene. Nakano worked at Kobe Club Blue Port for awhile and organized a lot of shows (including one I played with GMN, Dip Leg, Nitro Mega Prayer, Yarmulke, and Gamy). But let me be honest, this album is fricking hard for me to listen to. And there is one simple reason why: the bass is completely out of tune for the entire album. I'm sorry, but as a musician who has recorded a good amount, being out of tune is ABSOLUTELY unforgivable. If you're going to pay a chunk of money to record your music, you want your listeners to be able to hear it and enjoy it. Unless you want to be out of tune, you shouldn't be. NMP doesn't want to be out of tune, they just are. The bassist plays with a fret-less bass, and that's where all the out of tune-ness comes from. It's such a shame, because every time I listen to this album, the music is really great. They do sooooo many interesting, original things on here that no one has done before. But then there is that annoying bass that just ruins my enjoyment. Why, Japanese-God-Of-Screamo, why?

Still, this is a great album and only sets you up for the absolutely amazing things that NMP does after this. I won't be posting their following EP and split with Balboa, because you can buy them right now online (click where I linked you to). But, basically Nakano scrapped the whole band and replaced everyone. No more out of tune bass, no more drummer who wasn't so bad but had a weird style, no more guitarists who had some pretty neat ideas. Instead, he added a bunch of dudes, and most influentially, Ponchi from Gauge Means Nothing on guitar. He became the mastermind for the following songs and created some of the best Japanese screamo ever with the band.

When I was practicing the songs in preparation for playing with Gauge Means Nothing for their Malaysia tour, Ponchi sent me one or two songs that they were in the process of writing. He had recorded them all himself with just a metronome providing the tempo. I was completely floored by these songs. They were nowhere near completed, but the level of quality in the songwriting was amazing. It was different, and in some ways a lot better, than what GMN had done before and I was so excited to hear the finished product. In the end, we didn't play them on the tour, and Ponchi shortly left the band so they were never made into finished songs. But, Ponchi kept creating songs and once he got into NMP, the world got to see how amazing his songwriting was.

Here's the kind of music video for one of their newer songs:

1. オレンジの太陽
2. 探し物
3. 近づけない
4. 窓の外の赤い景色
5. ただそう思うだけ
6. アーチ
7. 繊細すぎる笑顔
8. 運命
9. Lori Myers (NOFX cover)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

[Bandcamp] Off Season - Bookmark of Travel [2012]

With the resurgence of 90's emo in the States, in the form of Algernon Cadwallader and the like, Japan has definitely taken notice. Which is good, because it's given us the blessing of the marvelous Malegoat. But now we can add another infinitely fun 90's emo-esque band to our Japanese list with the new Off Season EP.

Hailing from Okinawa, this 4 piece hangs out with other Okinawan bands like Unripe and The Cops Are Inside Us, but seem much more comfortable in the screamy-singy emo scene. Watching their videos, it seems like they've really picked up the pace with these newer songs and have a much more energetic sound now (which I definitely prefer). Their sound is pretty similar to Malegoat or Algernon Cadwallader, a very upbeat, twinkly emo that makes you want to jump up and down and sing along. It's really great, and probably one of the funnest bands out of Japan at the moment.

They've put up their three song EP for a free download (!) so get it and send them a like. Here's a video from last year which is quite a bit more mellow than their new stuff.

1. Bowling Kids
2. Bookmark Of Travel
3. The World is Indeed Comic, But the Joke is On Mankind

Monday, July 23, 2012

Arrastrandose - 陽の色褪せた場所から [2004]

There's a weird divide in the Japanese underground scene. I guess I can get a little more specific and say "Japanese screamo" scene, at least in the instance I'm talking about. Each band has their group of friends that they play with, and there's usually a network stretching across Japan that enables these bands to play around a lot. Back in the early 2000's, I was most familiar with the scene that Gauge Means Nothing was a part of, which included other bands like Dip Leg, Nitro Mega Prayer, Yarmulke, Tiala, and some others. What's odd, though, is that there were other bands that were not a part of that group. I'm not sure where the disconnect was, or how bands were invited or uninvited to take part in the group, but it has always stuck out to me. I know I'm talking in abstracts, so let me get into an example.

Anchor, who I posted about earlier, has been around for probably around 12 years now. They don't seem to play that often and haven't put out a ton of releases, but they are definitely an important band in the scene. But, even though their styles definitely meld with a lot of the other bands in Japan, they are usually found at the outskirts of that scene. In fact, they kind of have their own scene with bands like Stubborn Father, Anode, and R3-N7. There is some overlap. Satire Records' amazing Light Your Own Way compilation included Stubborn Father and Anchor on it, but that seemed to be the exception instead of the rule. I don't really know if it's a negative thing or not, and I'm not trying to cast judgement. It's just something I've noticed that seems curious to me.

With that, I can now introduce Arrastrandose, who is in a similar position. I would almost think that they would play in the same circle as Anchor and Stubborn Father. Their music owes a lot to envy, but has a very unique bend to it. But in truth, Arrastrandose seems to play with more tough-guy hardcore and metalcore bands. They do have some of that in their music, but it would make an odd mix to have them couched in between two bands with gang vocals, for instance.

But that's not to say anything bad about their music, which is pretty exceptional. It's really a testament to the treasures you can find in Japan, because only there would you see this mash-up of post-rock, metalcore, screamo, and a little bit of grind. Arrastrandose can't really be compared to any other bands, but will probably appeal to anyone with an open mind. It's weird to think this album (only 7 songs, but I guess it's an album) was released 8 years ago now, but the band is still going strong. I watched a video of a show from last December, and it seems like they've fallen into the post rock void, leaving behind their old aggression. Here's a video which is more similar to this album (although I can't quite place the song):

1. 記憶の扉
2. 暗い脚並
3. 残酷な優しさの洗礼
4. 琥珀の破片
5. 錆付いた鎖
6. 陽の色褪せた場所から
7. 遥か彼方へ

Friday, July 20, 2012

Dig A Hole - The Cost of Digging EP [1998]

I've had this sitting on my computer for awhile, just been procrastinating. Here is the earliest recording I have from Dig A Hole. It's pretty much what you would expect from them, noisy post-hardcore/post-punk from the late 90's. They were one of the few bands around at the time doing this sort of stuff. Their contemporaries in Tokyo (Wall, Swipe) and Sapporo (Next Style, Dignity For All) were pursuing a similar sound, but in totally different places. The scene in Japan was not so closely knit back then, so I'm not sure how much those bands played together despite having similar sounds.

When I scanned this art in, I saw that they have actually released another album. This means my "Dig a Hole" collection isn't complete (sadface). Tag Rag released it, but I don't know of a really good way of finding old shit in Japan other than being over there and scouring used CD places. Well, I prefer Dig a Hole's later stuff anyways, so maybe it's not a total loss. Apologies to Arthur for it taking so long for me to post this!

1. My Habit of Saying
2. Words Eye
3. Instant Life
4. Recirc
5. One (Live)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

[Bandcamp] A Soulless Pain / Sunday Document / ちくわしなちくちくわ grab bag

First, an explanation. I didn't really want to write a separate post for each one of these, because there's only one song on each bandcamp. However, they're all pretty cool so I did want to write about them. So this is sort of like a grab bag thing with three unrelated bands. Anyways, let's just dive in.

Chikuwashinachikuchikuwa (I'll call them Chiku for short) seems to play shows with all sorts of different bands: Loyal To the Grave, Arbus, even A Soulless Pain (who I will get to shortly). From that, I would expect breakdowns, melodic riffage, and some guy yelling his head off. Instead, they play a long-form of post-metal mixed with post-rock. I guess the easiest description is Pelican mixed with Envy, but there's something else. Their melodies don't immediately remind me of anyone, which is pretty cool. On their bandcamp they've presented the second of two tracks from their demo. I'm really interested to hear the first song, because the second is really unique. 

A Soulless Pain is supposed to be on Last Fort Records, at least that's what their bandcamp looks like, but I can't find any releases by them. Anyways, Last Fort is responsible for bands like To Overflow Evidence and Arbus, so their stuff usually straddles the line between metalcore and screamo. Melodic hardcore? Who knows. A Soulless Pain fits perfectly in there, reminding me of Naiad a lot, with those beautiful melodies stuck into metalcore songs. A Soulless Pain does it really well with good melodies and a great song overall. Only one track here, unfortunately, but hopefully they'll put up more later.

Sunday Document is probably my favorite of these three, but also don't really fit with the other two stylistically. Hmm... I'm listening and trying to think of how to describe this band. Maybe a mix between Bluebeard, Atata, and Malegoat? There's another band that this really reminds me of, but I can't remember them for the life of me. They've got equal parts poppy emo rock and really solid guitar rock. God, it just meshes so perfectly. Inspirational emo rock sounds horribly stupid, but that's what this makes me feel like. It's really bright and optimistic. The songs are a perfect length at around 3 minutes and keep it really interesting the whole way through. Unfortunately the two songs here are not downloadable, but they do have an EP of 6 songs that's only 500yen. Now where can I find that?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Strange Over The Sun - This City Is Changing For Better Or Worse [2003]

Strange Over The Sun (SOTS) is a weird nut to crack. This album came out in 2003 on Imomushi Records, probably most popular for releasing 1000travels of Jawaharlal but usually follows the more aggressive types of band that might be on Snuffy Smile. SOTS is a little different. Sometimes you can imagine them playing that type of pop-punk, but other times their music is so hectic and wild that they sound closer to Tiala or something from Less Than TV Records. Add to it these insanely desperate vocals, and you've ended up with this weird band thing that won't fit into any genre smoothly.

That's not to say SOTS isn't good. Quite the contrary, they're super unique and have so much energy that its infectious. This album is 13 songs of fun songs to get your blood pumping. The band didn't last past this album, but members are still playing in SNARE KILLS and Shyboy.

You can still buy this right here: Imomushi Records.

And here's a video from 2003, nostalgically ripped from VHS:

1. Kill Your Thoughts
2. はなれた!
3. Teeth
4. インスト
5. Unity Ground
6. Middle Days Won't Be Passed By Us
7. ねこ
8. 手と手
9. 歯科医
10. Trapped
11. Instruments
12. カレヘ
13. Takayuki Goes On

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

[Bandcamp] MOMA - MOMA [2009]

I found this months ago, and just now listening to it again. Maaaaaaaan, this is so good. It's like the best of instrumental rock with a very... metropolitan feel. I'm not sure how to describe it, but it reminds me of when I was a kid and we would go to the really hip part of town where there were old stone houses and lots of trees. The parks would have the coolest things to play on, like a dragon that was made out of little ceramic tile pieces. The music just makes it feel like everything is alright and it's a beautiful day outside (it's not).

This is a four track EP, and MOMA has had the foresight to let you buy it on bandcamp (it's only 3 bucks, you cheapskate). The song Lyrics really hits me, especially when the cello comes in. Each song is just really well put together and great fun to listen to.

The band seems to still be together and even has a live set on the bandcamp as well from last year. They've added another member to fill out their live sets. Most of the recordings have two guitar tracks, so I'm sure it helps them when they play out.

Seriously, get this now:

Monday, July 16, 2012

Toe - Re:Designed [2003]

After Toe's amazing debut, Songs, Ideas We Forgot, they followed it up with a remix album which, in my opinion, is the best thing they ever did. Something about the clinical precision of their music lends itself so much to electronic remixes. Of course, the EP isn't all remixes. You also get 3 fresh new tracks which continue to amaze as only Toe can.

I can't write anything else about Toe, sorry... So tired. Get this now.

1. I Dance Alone (Light on Light mix)
2. Yoru Wa Akeru (re:dsgn.d)
3. Leave Word (Cigarette Papers mix)
4. Path
5. Past And Language (re:dsgn.d)
6. Velvet Blanc
7. Past And Language

Friday, July 13, 2012

Nice View - Thirteen Views With... [2005]

Nice View is a long running Japanese thrash/hardcore band. I don't know many details about them, but they've got plenty of releases before this one. This is their first album on Sonzai Records, though (Tetsu from envy's label). 13 tracks of hi-octane Japanese thrash. I'm not sure who to compare this to, it's awesome though.

1. scene #1
2. 崖っぷち
3. 泥の誘惑
4. ラジオの向こう
5. scene #2
6. タ焼けとモンスター
7. ロースハム(for empty head)
8. deaf ear
9. scene #3
10. 残像
11. sense of doubt
12. フールの誕生 (karaoke mix)
13. ready to accept

Thursday, July 12, 2012

[Bandcamp] Teratocarcinoma - Coma [2011]

I thought this would fit perfectly in this week. I don't really cover much metal on the blog. Part of that is because I don't know too much about it, but the other part is because there isn't that much underground metal in Japan. I'm sure I'm wrong in saying that, and some Japanese metal know-it-all is going to post on here and tell me how wrong I am (actually, please do). But from where I'm sitting, it sure seems that way. Japan has its share of power metal, but post-metal? Black shoegaze (as I like to call it)? It's pretty slim pickings.

So imagine my surprise when I found teratocarcinoma, who play a pretty depressing form of post-rock infused with black metal. This stuff is really good too. Only one guy is responsible for all the instruments, but it sounds really cohesive and just totally works. It was just the thing to bring dark clouds into my sunny morning. Highly recommended for fans of Deafheaven, Alcest, or Les Discrets.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

[Soundcloud] Cocoon - Various [2012]

Not the best picture, but it was all I could find.
Just like I discovered Cofun, I discovered Cocoon a few days ago. Ironically, I discovered them through Cofun, via youtube videos of a show they played together. Through the distorted sound of the video camera, I could hear the melancholy melodies coming through over the roar of guitar and bass. The video description had a link to their soundcloud with over 6 songs on there. From those songs, I could really hear how good this band is. All the tracks are just live recordings, but it's not that bad and you can definitely get the spirit of the songs. Cocoon is going to be a band to watch out for. Their sound is reminiscent of older Japanese screamo bands, but has really smart arrangements and amazing melodies. There's not much out there yet, but here are some internet fragments of an awesome up and coming band:

They have a full live set on their soundcloud as well.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

[Soundcloud] Birth remixes [2012]

I guess this especially fitting after last week's Birth postings, but I just found these tracks and am totally into them. Birth has put up two remix tracks from an old song (off their Iro EP) and a new song (off their newest ep). One remix is from MOL9000, who you may know from their split release on Bear Records, and is pretty minimal. The other, from LAMAZE(?), is hectic and very IDM-esque (I'm just guessing here, I don't know much about those electronic sub-genres). Either way, both tracks are very cool and definitely fun for any Birth fans.

Monday, July 9, 2012

24 page - Kotonakarehibi [2003]

When I was studying in Japan, I would spend hours every night in the computer lab, following link pages, finding new bands. I would usually find 2-3 bands a night, and catalogue them somewhere to remember them. Not many had audio samples, usually just those mobile sites with almost no information other than a band name. One band did have sound samples, and a show coming up soon in Osaka. That band was 24ページ, who we'll just call 24 page hereafter (technically it would be "page 24", cause when they're in a classroom and say "Turn to page 24" they would use the term 24ページ. But, that changes the flow of the name, so 24 page works better for me).

I attended the show at the smallest club I'd ever been to (I can't remember the name, but I have a ticket at home). At the door they asked which band I'd come to see. I said 24 page, and the doorman marked a single tick in the blank area under the band's name. I'd heard of this practice before, but it never happened at any of the other shows I went to. Descending into the basement, I came into a room that was about double my bedroom. Seriously, the place was about 1500 sq. ft. with even a little bar and sound engineer corner. I stood in a corner and tried to make myself inconspicuous, which was hard being the only white guy there.

24 page finally played, 2 guys and a girl on keyboards and guitars with a drum machine providing the rhythm. It was heavenly and amazing, a complete contrast to the grimy neighborhood I'd passed through. For about 20 minutes I experienced their set. In some ways it was raw, but not like I usually use that word. It was raw like early Beatles would be raw, like an unrestrained pop genius. These simple but deep electro-pop songs totally hit the spot with me.

I stayed for the other bands, and then left. On the street outside the club, one of the guitarists from 24 page motioned to me. He asked if I had come to see them (I guess since I was the only one, the doorman told him it was me), and we talked for a bit. I bought their demo (will post that later) and we traded some contact information. They seemed really excited. I wasn't really sure if it was because someone that they didn't know had come to see them, or because I was a foreigner.

We kept in contact and after I returned to the States and started my distro, I carried some copies of this release, which was their first EP. Here are seven tracks of laid back electro-pop with soothing melodies. This is perfect music to chill to, sleep to, drink to, whatever.

Surprisingly (I had a WTF moment), their new album is available on Amazon, and probably iTunes. If you dig these tracks you could do more wrong than to buy their album and support these guys:

1. はじめに
2. 事勿れ主義
3. 午前四時に
4. 解決しない
5. メトロノーム
6. Flashback
7. 大いなる遺産

Friday, July 6, 2012

Yarmulke - Self-Titled [2005]

Ah, Yarmulke. It's odd how Japanese bands will be together for so long, but have such a small output. Yarmulke sort of bucked the trend, but kind of not really. I first saw them in Kyoto at a show that I was attending to see Some It Air. I was up front (there were maybe 30 people there), and as soon as they started playing I hastily pulled my video camera out. Right off, their envy-influenced screamo was right up my alley.

It took them 3 more years to actually release their first EP. In that time, they'd released some demos, but this was really their first release. They funded it themselves, and I contacted them to get some copies for the distro. These 6 songs are the best that Yarmulke released, in my opinion. They worked on them for years and honed them to a fine perfection.

Here's one of the vid's from that show:

Yarmulke - Self-Titled
1. サチ
2. シータ
3. カラス
4. 字宙
5. 断絶
6. マワル

Thursday, July 5, 2012

New Stuff in the Distro!

I don't mention my distro as much as I think maybe I should, but this past week or so has been really good with new stuff and I thought it would be cool to bring up some of the new releases in there that you can get your hands on RIGHT NOW. So without further ado, here are some of the highlights of the new Japanese stuff I've got:
Two of the best epic screamo bands in Japan today. Madpress has a very strong Forget me not vibe, but are a little more aggressive with it. In the Unknown plays similar, but have a different feel to their melodies. Overall, this has really been one of my favorite releases of 2012 (even though it came out in 2011). When I was able to get this in the distro, I literally girl-screamed with joy. Do yourself a huge favor and get this now.
You may remember Midnight Parade from when I wrote about them a few weeks ago. This is their newest release and offers up two more of their post-rock influenced emo songs. Kitten shares members with Document Not Found and Stereo Type, and play some very angular and frenetic screamo. This CD just comes together so well with both bands contributing stellar songs and blowing away my expectations.
I don't think I hide my love of Tetola93, but if I didn't mention it yet today: I love Tetola93. They're just so extreme, playing with so much passion and originality, it's everything that is right about music. This is their newest output and arguably their best songs to date. I usually call them a mashup of Killie and Louise Cyphre, but I feel like there's more to it (there is). Regardless, if you like loudish music, Tetola93 could be your next favorite band. They split the disc with Visyaaa, who play some wild thrash done really well.
5 amazing bands playing in 5 distinct styles. This disc is great not only because of the quality of each band, but because it totally mixes it up. Sort of like a compilation, but more tracks from each band so they really sink in. FLEX play have a sort of DC-style emotional hardcore, but updated to 2011 (when this was release). Nothing, nothing, nothing have former members of Next Style & Dignity For All and play a more Ebullition influenced late-90's emotional hardcore style. Blue Ray Dance play that San Diego wild screamo sound, ala Swing Kids. TG.Atlas play angular post-hardcore, influenced by The Jesus Lizard. And finally, Threadyarn remind me of that Sapporo screamo sound, ala The Carnival of Dark-Split. Overall, really good stuff here for everybody.
And that's not all the new stuff, I just didn't want to make this post too long. Here are some more things I've stocked recently:

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Birth - Mistake Of Pain And Three Pieces Of Compulsory Education [2008]

Man, having a day off work in the middle of the week totally messed me up. I completely forgot about this. Well, I've got some stuff in the wings so I'm not completely unprepared. Let's revisit Birth again!

Monday I posted Birth's first EP, today we'll look at their second. Only 3 songs here, but they are more fully realized than the first EP. Each one of these songs are pretty finely crafted and rip the whole way through. They still have that 3cm tour influence, but you finally start really seeing what Birth is all about and what makes them special.

The next logical point is for you to get their newest EP. I'm hoping to get some copies in the distro very soon, so keep an eye on it.

Here's another recent live set. So, so good:

1. 自作演
2. 実験者とクローン
3. キスウ

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

[Bandcamp] Capture of the Sky - Pre-production EP 2 [2011]

Time to X up, boys and girls, and get your dancing shoes on. It's moshing time! Today we're listening to Capture the Sky, who have so graciously put a bunch of their music up on bandcamp for us (including free downloads!). I won't pretend to know a ton about this stuff. Usually I only listen to Japanese metalcore, because it sounds different from American or European metalcore. Capture the Sky is definitely more American influenced, but I can hear some of my Japanese favorites as well.

The first point of departure for Capture the Sky's melodic metalcore is definitely Hopesfall. Their melodies are very progressive and even their breakdowns have a strong melodic overtone to them. There's no singing, just lots of gang vocals and growling. It also really reminds me of Naiad, and I actually think that's probably the biggest influence, especially on their Demo EP. So, if either of those bands sound good to you, definitely check these guys out. There are three demo/eps up on bandcamp and two have free downloads. That's a nice chunk!

Here's a pretty rad video of them at Shinjuku Anti-Knock:

1. Small Steps
2. Serene

Monday, July 2, 2012

Birth - Iro.EP [2007]

This debut EP from Birth pretty firmly cemented them in the hearts of all the 3cm tour fans out there as a band to watch out for. They definitely take a cue from 3cm tour, but then they kind of go off on their own direction. Their music is abrasive and explosive, but there's also this killer ghetto-beat rhythm in most of their songs that just make me want to dance.

This EP went through two sold out pressings in a few years, which is amazing. Birth released a new EP this year that is pretty fabulous, and seem to be doing really well. Recently I got a free magazine that had an interview with them, which seemed like a big deal. Their live shows seem really raw and emotional, just the way they should be.

1. 悲鳴と喘ぎ声の相違点
2. カショクギミ
3. 少女の結末
4. Y.P足らず
5. Singer
6. キョショクギミ
7. 愛と優と音についての考察と提案