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If you have found this blog, it probably means you were searching for something that isn’t in the public eye. My intention is to promote awareness of artists that you would otherwise likely never know existed. If you like what you hear, support the artist by purchasing their music so that they can continue to create, and enjoy the release in the quality they intended.

Over the years this has grown into my own personal project, reviewing the artists that I discover and interest me. If you wish to see more of my work, particularly my more metal-orientated material, you can find me as a regular contributor for the online magazine
Axis of Metal.

Mell – Mellscope

Posted by T. Bawden Friday, 26 March 2010 0 comments


Mell – Mellscope – 3.5/5
Link

I remember first listening to this and thinking that I couldn’t review something like this for the blog; not J-pop with an odd electro-rock vibe to it, no matter how impressive a vocalist she may be, or how unusual the release is from what else I’ve discovered. Yet gradually my tastes have come further towards this direction and by comparison to many of the other artists already reviewed, this one feels far more suited to this location. A veteran member of “I’ve Sound,” which is from what I gather a music production group that utilises multiple vocalists to a composer in order to create music (usually for animé); it is the soundtrack for ‘Black Lagoon’ that brought her long overdue debut release to my attention.

In many ways it seems like a black sheep amongst the scene; trading in the ‘cute’ lines for altogether more hard edged – almost reminiscent of Klepacki’s work at times – tone, ultimately rooted in techno but with grinding guitars and fast-paced drum work to provide a boisterous backing when required. This contrast is matched by her vocal prowess, honed over the past decade to the point that it too feels uncharacteristic of Japanese artists; as capable of screaming her lines aggressively as she is whispering them and all the time with the same pitch precision that defies the need for autotuning almost entirely. In fact, in many regards she’s probably the strongest J-pop vocalist I’ve yet to hear, capable of performing with electronic filtering but able to stand on her own abilities too.

Sadly this is far from a release without issues. Despite the variety in backing, it quickly dawns on you that it’s largely superficial; the tone set by the pace of the mechanical drums and unoriginal electronic notes – with exceptions – soon drops out of focus, with most of the clever lines emerging early on. For previous fans of “I’ve Sound,” the majority of the tracks are actually previously made tracks she’s sung for other releases leaving minimal original content (though admittedly it’s all new to me). A large amount of the release just feels like throwaway filler; as though she had already done most of the album in her career already so threw together a few new things that took her five minutes and presto, disjointed solo debut. Sadly, I can't help but be left with a bitter taste by the closing moments, that this release was a mere shadow of what it could have been.

Highlights: Scope, Red Fraction, Virgins High, Permit, Under Superstition

Dead End – Metamorphosis

Posted by T. Bawden Sunday, 21 March 2010 0 comments


Dead End – Metamorphosis – 4/5
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This being my 300th review (wow, that one sprung up on me) I felt I should take a break from my normal listening, if only temporarily, to bring something more appropriate for a blog intended to have rock and metal as a focus but for the past few months really hasn’t. For those unaware of this artists illustrious past, they were once mentioned in the same breath as X-Japan; pioneers of the Visual Kei scene and clearly influential on the rapidly emerging J-Rock scene, they were in the grand scheme of things very much the “KISS” of the east. Not quite Glam yet not quite Goth; filled with theatricality, catchy chorus lines, epic passages, groove-laden riffs at times encroaching on a Heavy Metal sound that all ended too soon, the band disbanding after only a few years of activity. Until now.

Yes, twenty long years have passed since this quartet got together and their name forgotten to all but a minority but they feel as strong now as they ever did before. In fact if anything they’ve improved with age, the benefits of modern production allowing for a thicker and broader tone to take full advantage of their competency at their instruments. Like X-Japan they too have mellowed a little in their old age, replacing their raw hard edge with an altogether more fluid style of performing but the difference is that here it actually works. It doesn’t just feel like they are incapable of blasting out metal with the best, it feels like they genuinely aren’t trying to, and the music is easily addictive enough to face up to the best in modern rock.

A large part of what impresses me is the sheer diversity they are capable of; in no small part to the vocalist who has added to his raw slightly snarling bark with a perfectly contrasting baritone semi-operatic style, one side slightly dark and demonic whilst the other so much more refined and mournful. The guitars double this up superbly as well, combining any number of slow guitar lines with catchy hooks and dissonant solos that remain melodic yet technical and far from predictable. Creativity not limited here, the constantly shifting drum beats and boisterous bass complement what has already been created, adding further flavourings to the meat of their sound.

The production has been performed to perfection, each instrument with their own independent lines made apparent throughout the tracks composition, which even more impressively seems to differ constantly throughout the album with any number of gothic-tinged, aggressive, catchy, bombastic, epic and melodic styles placed intermittently throughout. With a swagger this release comes out of my speakers, letting me groove along to the riffs with no shortage of sweet and simple solos amidst soaring vocals. There’s nothing revolutionary to be found here, simply proof of one artist still with some unfinished business to take care of, and I for one welcome the return.

Highlights: Dress Burning, Devil Sleep, Princess

Perfume – GAME

Posted by T. Bawden Friday, 19 March 2010 0 comments


Perfume – GAME – 4/5
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I have already alluded to the fact I probably should have listened to this before the ‘Aira Mitsuki,’ last reviewed, but in truth I entered this with fairly low expectations; an album by a big name artist chosen only because the only track of theirs I knew and liked happened to be on it. If this trio of pop singers could get together, bounce around a bit and give me something cute and catchy then I would consider myself pretty satisfied with their offering, but not only have they delivered this by the bundle, they’ve exceeded it.

In its opening with the previously mentioned ‘Polyrhythm,’ combining gentle melodies with the catchiest polyrhythmic chorus line known to man; it is this sense of forward thinking and ability to challenge themselves and think outside the box that sets the pace for the rest of the album. The vocals feel at least as much of an instrument as the electronic backing, combining smooth lines with semi-rapped tones, bouncy and frenetic or slow and melodic, creating a variety of styles and yes, it may be artificially produced and lacking in emotional depth, but they aren’t overproduced to the extent of unlistenable artificiality.

I didn’t go into this release hoping for something heartfelt, I can’t understand the lyrics either way, and with everything pitch-perfect it results in another instrument to be harnessed in the composition of a catchy track; which should be the intention of the release. And yes, everything manages to come together in a curiously addictive manner, the bouncy and boisterous backing and ultimately danceable rhythms that never fail to get you moving, but all the cuteness in the world couldn’t convince me that this was anything special.

The cherry on this delightfully adorable cake is the actual compositions themselves; simple and yet at no point feeling repetitive, doing more than simply repeating themselves for an entire track or – god forbid – an entire album. In fact, the startling variety in tone, style and pace between tracks is both a blessing and a curse as whilst it keeps things feeling fresh and interesting, leaves the release feeling disjointed; as though a mere collection of singles that sadly loses strength towards the end. And yet even with this issue, there are artists that would love to have a ‘greatest hits’ release of this this high a standard. It’s electropop Jim, but not as we know it.

Highlights: Polyrhythm, GAME, チョコレイト・ディスコ, Twinkle Snow Powdery Snow

Aira Mitsuki – Plastic

Posted by T. Bawden Monday, 15 March 2010 0 comments


Aira Mitsuki – Plastic – 2.5/5
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I don’t know why I’ve been listening to this album so much lately. I know there’s the Japanese interest of mine, and perhaps another factor is my necessity to stretch out from my interest in the Shibuya-Kei scene, which is already beginning to feel as though I’ve exhausted most of what it has to offer. The result is a foray into Electro/J-pop and a small addiction to Perfume’s “Polyrhythm.” Why I haven’t listened to more of Perfume is something that on reflection seems to demonstrate a lapse in my logic for which I have no explanation. I’m gonna blame that basic drum beat that with each repeated thump is slowly causing more and more brain cells to try and escape.

Perhaps even more mind-boggling than all this is the fact that a good portion of the release – if you hadn’t already guessed – really isn’t very good. It mostly meanders aimlessly, the combination of a basic synthetic backing over electronic vocals often fails to even create a base amount of catchiness to sucker you in, everything just feels instantly forgettable. It’s difficult to really discuss quality of musicianship in releases such as this as the vocals are intentionally produced to create such an electronic tone that her genuine abilities are disguised behind layers of vocoders, and with such a simplistic backing all artificially produced the talent all relies on composition.

In terms of the entire entity, it’s unbelievably inconsistent; her second release to date and it doesn’t sound as though she really has a clue what she wants to perform, skipping between bland dance tracks, cute pop tracks and upbeat techno. There’s no common link between them, no signature or even a similarity in how the vocals sound (thanks no doubt to the artificial modifications) and so it all feels disjointed. This problem isn’t really helped by the rather inconsistent quality of the tracks either; some tracks feel as though they were thrown together at the last minute thoughtlessly, and then suddenly a chaotic yet catchy groove will kick in that somehow feels like Pendulum-gone-J-pop. Ultimately there is a major divide here between the tracks that have a single beat and the most basic of vocal lines and those that actually have had thought gone into their creation. I know which side I hope she’ll sway to, but ultimately I’d be surprised if I made a return to find out.

Highlights: Bad Trip, Re:†

Seventh Gear – Origen

Posted by T. Bawden Sunday, 14 March 2010 0 comments


Seventh Gear – Origen – 2.5/5
Myspace - Download

It was with some reservation that I took on this review, as the bands members are all long standing members of the Lifer forum, lead guitarist and frontman Nathan Snelgrove even holding the position of administrator at one point. Reviewing the work of friends has its inherent problems, namely running the risk of offending said friend if the review is less than kind, or conversely heaping unwarranted praise upon said release out of some sense of loyalty. Due to this, I had considered giving up the duty to Mr.Bawden, as he is heartless and cruel enough to avoid such folly (I of course jest…., a little). Upon listening to it however, I had a change of heart as there are aspects of this debut e.p. in which I want my opinion known.

They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and I will have to say that Seventh Gear is very obvious in where theirs come from. While the band state on their MySpace page that artists as diverse as Shadows Fall, Alice in Chains, Pink Floyd, Carcass, and Arch Enemy are influences, it is two other bands listed that come through most blatantly in their music, that being Metallica and Megadeth. This is especially true of Metallica for many reasons, but on a macro level, SG’s desire to emulate the “Black Album” era is undeniable. From the overall tone of the e.p., the arrangements, and especially Nathan’s vocal, the Gear are clearly big fans. This is not entirely problematic, although there are times in which I think the similarities are a touch too close, and verge on apery. This is most conspicuously heard in Nathan’s vocal which is very similar to James Hetfield’s in delivery, the mans lower register growl and phrasing constantly on display but Nathan not having the same dynamic or range. Whether this is a natural similarity or a conscious attempt at the style is something we would have to ask Mr. Snelgrove, but there is no doubt that the gentlemen sound very much alike. There are song choices that are quite revealing of these influences as well. The opening riff of “Dead Space” is highly derivative of Megadeth (Hanger 18?), “Deliverance” quotes Metallica’s “Battery” in the vocal delivery, and “Wasteland” is practically Hetfield and crews “The Unforgiven” version 1.5. While not debilitating, I would have liked to see a little more individuality and originality in Seventh Gear’s style.

Well, enough on the critical side, as this mini has much to recommend it as well. Out of the gate, this is a professional production and it shows. The album sounds great. The mix is balanced, each instrument finding its niche and sounding off forcefully and discernibly. This is a great surprise as most bands first outings tend to suffer from woeful production. Not the case here. Another major plus is the musicianship. Snelgrove’s growth as a guitarist is stunning, and it is a particular point of pride for me to have witnessed this development first hand. His riffs are fiery, and his solos sizzle. Bassist Daniel Manary is his own man, counterpointing Snelgrove beautifully. Not one to sit around and double the riffs or simply hold time with the drums, he makes a fine account for himself, delivering many fine runs and staying generally busy(though never “too busy”). Sticksman Aaron Calenda(the only member of the band I am not familiar with) is also quite impressive. Delivering the goods, this guy shows definite “pocket” groove, and appears to have all of the chops needed for a successful metal drummer. His fills are quite tasteful, and he uses double bass in skillful proportion instead of clobbering the listener with an unvaried barrage. Finally, lead off track “Against Leviathan” is killer. A rhythmic storm, the track is propelled by some truly awesome guitar work, leaving the listener breathless and hopeful. This bodes well for the guys, as it is a good calling card, and a building block for the bands future endeavors.

This is clearly a band still in its developmental stage, clearly in search of its own identity. But they must be commended for attempting to be a creative force out of the gate rather than going the route of a covers band, a route too often traveled. While far from a perfect endeavor, and as I said, a tad derivative throughout, this is one youthful outfit that is worth keeping an eye on. As they mature as song writers, and find a directive, I am confident that these guys could be quite successful as a recording entity. Seventh Gear reeks of potential. I for one am eager to see how it plays out.

Highlights: Against Leviathan, Dead Space

Sidsel Endresen & Bugge Wesseltoft – Out Here, In There

Posted by T. Bawden Wednesday, 10 March 2010 0 comments


Sidsel Endresen & Bugge Wesseltoft – Out Here, In There – 3.5/5
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When people talk about jazz it’s often the classics that come to mind; Pascorius and McLaughlin, Hancock, Davis, Rich and so on, but all the legends mentioned here are from the past. The genre for many seems to have almost entirely ended in the 70s with only the slightest of influences remaining in a minority of metal bands and the last remaining bastion of creativity within the genre lying with the despised genre of nu-jazz, and its not difficult to see why. Taking strong influences from electronica, it would seem to be seen many as though the result would be a bastardisation of the values the genre held, the requirement of musicianship and its improvisational nature in particular, but this simply isn’t the case.

In fact, in some senses it can be considered a revivification of the genre, taking it back to its roots before it became entangled with a set sound, with the necessity for musical ability and meandering over the actual musical composition, and with such an unlikely combination of influences it gives a creative freedom for experimentation, which these two Swedes take full advantage of. Whilst much of their sound is beautiful in its simplicity, fragile vocals over a smooth piano backing more reminiscent of early ‘Portishead’ than anything else, comprising a good half the release, it is the other side that shows their tendency to prove themselves further, from the intensely chaotic and dissonant ‘Survival Techniques Part II’ or the unusual tone to ‘Heartbeat.’

Sadly, it doesn’t always work; some of the slower trip-hop influenced tracks fail to hit the mark and the more complex and dissonant tracks descend too far into chaos, losing what drew my attention to begin with; the elegance. The smooth sounds of the mellotron, gentle synths or carefully constructed piano lines providing more than a simple backing for the versatile vocalist, caressing the lyrics as they dance from her mouth; this is where their strength lies. Even if there are points that don’t work, there is still a genuine freedom to their music, a sense that there is no length they are not willing to go to provided it’s at their own slow pace. Jazz hasn’t died, it’s simply evolved.

Highlights: Truth, Heartbeat, Try


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DAT Politics – Wow Twist

Posted by T. Bawden Monday, 8 March 2010 0 comments


DAT Politics – Wow Twist – 4/5
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I’ve demonstrated once that it’s not only the Japanese who can do quirky, and whilst the style may be somewhat reminiscent of their picopop, DAT Politics are entirely French. Fitting somewhere between boisterous pop and frenetically cut electrical signals in place of actual musical instruments, to call this unusual would be an understatement. It’s whacky, bizarre, nonsensical, overtly electronic, and yet for the duration of this album I’m transported to some form of party where all the guests are characters from ‘Super Mario’ or one of the ‘Pokemon’ games, jumping over the flying turtles in ‘Cerulean City’ and eating flowers whilst ‘Misty’ and ‘Donkey Kong’ sing into the mic (well, Misty sings at least. Kong just kinda yells and beats his chest a bit).

If it still needs to be pointed out, don’t go into this expecting the same tired charade of music dominating electropop; they aren’t just a pop band making up for their unoriginality by using more keyboard synths than should be legal, these Frenchies sound as though through a helping hand of cocaine and meth they haven’t slept for the year this took to write and record (as well as the ‘research’ phase involving LSD and a SNES), the tracks only ending when their ‘ADD’ kicks in and they get bored and move onto something else. This is the only real explanation that I can come up with for their eclectic use of drum samples, distorted signals, Hip-Hop scratching and 8-bit chiptune melodies that proves unexpectedly effective.

Even the vocals aren’t free from the electrical tyranny; both the male and female vocalists who alternate between tracks have had their voice heavily digitised, and the signal manipulated to deep bellowing lows and chipmunk-like high levels of absurdity. I won’t pretend any of this music makes sense but in all its frantic nonsensical glory that never becomes an issue. Through all the insanity the music is more than simply addictive; it’s fun and boisterous and varied enough throughout its short length that it never feels stale. This falls into that very rare category of pop that you want to get stuck in your head.

Highlights: Turn My Brain Off, Gravity, My Toshiba is Alive, Video Tape

Sound Horizon – Moira

Posted by T. Bawden 0 comments


Sound Horizon – Moira – 4.5/5
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With this I move onto the second part of albums that I’ve been privately obsessing with struggling to find the time to write my thoughts on them, and another foray into modern Japanese composers. Far from the electronic influence of ‘Kashiwa Daisuke,’ instead it is ‘Revo’ leading the composition here with perhaps more humbling origins. Starting out writing compositions based on Doujin music, he soon moved into writing his own material to complement the diverse world he has fabricated for his creations, gradually accruing interest from other singers and musicians until this: his most recent release and sixth exploring his fantasy world. No longer with need for electronic instruments, his cast more than capable of performing the multi-layered orchestral harmonies and – most notably – an all star cast of vocalists, many of which with their own moderately successful solo careers.

The concept itself shows no slack either, the songs weaving their own integrated plot lines filled with of fun-loving Russian billionaires, noble princes, animal overseers, elemental rulers, devious destiny weavers and secretive keepers of times; ancient curses, prophecies and legends of forbidden lust and war. I may have difficulty following much of it but the variety of tones presented within the music shows few boundaries, making heavy use of the voice to create the atmosphere. Anyone familiar with Japanese music may well be anxious at this point, as it’s hardly a country renowned for its vocalists, which just serves to make this discovery all the more unexpected. More than just capable, the frequent soprano and mezzo-soprano ranges utilised to great effect with careful use of harmonisation for the choral passages, and more solo performances than you’d think possible to fit into a single release.

Then there are the backing musicians; with no shortage of delicate piano lines, epic violin melodies and mournful acoustic guitars forming much of the song’s structure and additional work from jazzy saxophones, accordions, flutes and hard hitting electric guitars. Never worked into the composition so as to be the focus (outside of the solos) but always producing something interesting, whether that be grandiose classical lines, boisterous folk, or a more hard hitting orchestral rock style, fluidly shifting between tracks. Many of the lines performed are simplistic in their nature, but composed in a specific style and seamlessly integrated into the performance to provide its strength.

I initially intended to review the entire performance until not only did I realise its more than four hour run time, but the fact some was missing from my collection. Despite that, on my continued listening I noticed the marked improvement with each coming release; the quality of the compositions and the performances improving with the new musicians becoming involved, new ideas slowly becoming integrated to his current abilities which only asks of what the next release will bring. This is epic beyond the normal usage of the term, a number of contributing musicians to compete with ‘Ayreon,’ and even he never succeeded in getting them to perform it in a live musical setting. Shocked at how poorly known this artist is, this should be required listening for anyone who enjoys the sound of the human voice as rarely have a gathering of so many capable vocalists performed together.

Highlights: Track 1, Track 2, Track 7, Track 11


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Translated lyrics can be found here

Kashiwa Daisuke – Program Music I

Posted by T. Bawden Saturday, 6 March 2010 0 comments


Kashiwa Daisuke – Program Music I – 5/5
Link

An album of ambient electronica with a touch of experimentalism thrown in all delivered by an unknown Japanese artist, so why not? And so on whim I began to listen to the opening epic track ‘Stella,’ and it didn’t take me until the end of the track to realise that this was quickly shaping up to be my greatest discovery of the year. As forward thinking as Eno was when he wrote ‘Music for Airports,’ this doesn’t feel like a mere ambient album striving for a single emotion; this is a rollercoaster journey filled with natural chaos, beauty, and turmoil, and despite the fact it consists of only two epic tracks, holds your attention throughout. There is beauty evident in imperfect simplicity, and here he never fails to make this fact known.

The album title feels only partly true, perfectly open with the fact that he has composed this entire release by computer but the level of detail that has gone into each line; the delicate vibrations of the slowly changing pitch of the violin; the manner the acoustic guitars resonate and the gentle piano lines, its all been composed to have an all too natural feel to it, far from the mechanical sterility of most modern electronic music. It’s far more readily likened to a modern classical composition than anything else, cutting out the limitations of funding for an orchestra and allowing for a precision that can only come from your own mind. This becomes of particular importance during the changes in tempo; often assisted by drum beats performing unconventional and dissonant lines filled with erratic and abrupt cuts, gradually increasing in intensity and chaos until its climax.

There are other glitch elements thrown in as well – particularly of note in the second track, frequently finding itself wrestling to break free from the overwhelming anarchic surroundings – to create further chaotic dissonance; glorious imperfections representing the all too human mistakes and errors found in the world around us, throwing things out of balance and giving things an all the more realistic level of beauty. The sound clips at first glance seem thrown in a haphazard and yet on subsequent listens fit perfectly, demonstrating meticulous planning out. And they aren’t your standard list of random dissonant clicks and noises either, feeling specifically chosen to suit the purpose of the track; the drops, splashes and flow of running water, the harsh overtones of bells in the distance, or the gasping of breath all going into this modern masterpiece.

Both tracks are formed in the same manner and yet are played for the opposite effect; ‘Stella’ a tragic work of elegance that remains powerful and moving for its entire duration, bombastic tension inducing drums slowly building to the climax only to release wave upon wave of beautifully dissonant and natural classical orchestration, or twist in another unexpected direction; ‘Write Once, Run Melos,’ then taking this dissonance a step further to travel in the opposite direction, jagged disharmonious violins creating a scene of chaos and spiralling darkness and despair. This isn’t just ambient music creating an atmosphere or setting a mood, this is going a step beyond, creating more of an ambient concept album with a defined story that through its glorious instrumental ambiguity leaves the plot details to your own mind. This is a release that will stun you for the entirety of its hour long run time, and then still present something new each time.

Highlight: Stella

Mind of Asian

Posted by T. Bawden Monday, 1 March 2010 0 comments


Chinmoku No Kiri No Naka (2006) – 4/5
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A Small Elephant in a Large Forest (2008) – 4/5
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This is "Mind of Asian." They’re Japanese, and if you clicked the link provided you’ll probably have noticed they’re all female as well. Ordinarily you’d think this would be enough to get them noticed, after all we have the all-female Gallhammer on a major label, the all-female ‘Oreskaband’ that made it big despite really doing anything special, so here we have yet another up and coming band that whilst have yet to garner widespread attention, look set to follow suit. Much like the artists already mentioned, they aren’t the most proficient at their instruments, but whilst others compensate by playing slow and simple music, Mind of Asian have decided to make up for their shortcomings by playing as loudly and quickly as they possibly can.

There are the obvious powerviolence and grindcore comparisons, but it’s without the doom-laden tone of the former and the serious nature of the latter. Everything feels more rooted to the old-school hardcore punk way of thinking, the fun and chaotic attitude running through their frantic minds as they chaotically blast away at a blistering pace that causes what should have been a full-length release to finish in a quarter of the time. In fact, if the track exceeds a minute long then its only because it has a slow intro to give the audience something to listen to whilst the vocalist finally breathes some much needed air, and for the guitarist to find a guitar that still has some strings attached.

There is little more that really needs to be said; this music was never intended to do anything new or mix things up (or indeed ever really has time to, both releases combined still coming it at under half an hour long) but this simply constructed crossover thrash will come out kicking and clawing and wont relent until its all over. Raw, chaotic, anarchic, destructive; this delivers oestrogen-fuelled domination by the bucket load, and with the odd bassy grooves thrown in for good measure all that’s left to say is bring on the blitzkrieg! I think I’m in love…


Bubblegum Octopus – The Album Formerly Known as “8-Legged Dance Moves” – 3.5/5
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What would you get if you combined the most sugary, adorable, fun-loving and cutesy electropop music known to man (picopop) with Grindcore? No, this isn’t a trick question, and thanks to this solo project by Bubblegum Octopus, it’s not rhetorical either. And before you start with the ‘only the Japanese…’ line, they may be the masters of all things whacky and weird, but this artist being a New Jersey local is a little bit closer to home. With an 8-bit backing, grindcore song structures and silly soprano vocals, this may well be the birthing of the new chaotic electronic genre of ‘PicoGrind.’

Getting across precisely what this sounds like is not an easy task as it has been blended surprisingly well; the 8-bit soundtrack sounding like cybergrind might if it didn’t conjure images of a childhood spent playing the SNES, Game Boy or some other such console in an asinine and yet all too danceable manner; the humorous grindcore lyrics that are usually disguised by the growled vocals instead on display with the male soprano voice mocking a child yet to have hit puberty. In fact, the whole thing at times takes me back to the simpler times where I’d get angry at my parents for trying to drag me away from my gaming session; the banter between my pre-pubescent self and the snarling parents evident in both sides.

Perhaps most impressive about this combination is just how much common ground he has managed to find between the two, both genres frequently sharing a frantic pace but more interestingly is the lyrical themes. Preying heavily on silly and ridiculous stories, it is this thin thread that ties together the story within the tracks in manner almost reminiscent of ‘Carnival in Coal,’ playing out a short scene and rapidly transitioning between styles. With the tracks kept short they don’t become repetitive, and many of the tracks will initially provide a chuckle, even if it loses its impact on subsequent listens.

The basic beat used for much the albums 40 minute duration, despite often being rather addictive is simplistic enough that this too suffers on repeated listens. The 8-bit synthesised effects help to disguise the amateur production somewhat, but it also has the dual problem of often leaving the vocals feeling very raw, which whilst often works in the favour of music such as this, here only demonstrates his lack of vocal ability. This album feels more than just a novelty act even if the unlikely premise seems too absurd to take him seriously as a musician, resulting in a release of bizarre proportions that sadly loses its interest just a little too soon.

Highlights: God’s Pink Laser, Great Beard; Happy Moustache, You’re a Bad Cat Man

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Guide

Guide to the Ratings
0/5 - This caused me physical pain
1/5 - This is really bloody awful
2/5 - This was below average
3/5 - This was above average
4/5 - This was pretty darn good.
5/5 - I cannot fault this epitome of perfection.

I cant guarantee all reviewers adhere to these guidelines, but work as a general guide.

Author's credit is given on all posts.