Catsuomaticdeath – The Age of Exploration - 4/5
The states has made its musical mark over the years with a large variety of influences and styles, but none is perhaps so localised as the grunge sound; dirty and laden with despair, it became nicknamed the sound of Seattle and it would seem that outside of this city, people couldn't quite get the sound right. So what would happen if you didn't just form a grunge band outside of Seattle but on the other side of the world? This is one band that certainly can be said to have a style of their own, matching kimono's with top hats for their live shows and infusing various other influences to the drawling melodies.
Between the slow, grinding, sludge-esque monotony of their epic twelve minute opening track and their noisy southern rock and roll inspiration, despite their Japanese origins this trio wear their influences on their sleeves. With their no frills approach to the production everything is left gloriously raw but apparent in the final composition of the track. Each instrument is given their place; the rhythm carried by the bass is hit home by the show-stopping drumwork, constantly flying at an unpredictable pace and never fearing to mix things up with a fill; the guitars adding a new sense of flavour to the proceedings whether by going into Sonic Youth's' brand of overdriven distortion or a clean twang, leaving the vocals to be little more than the icing on the cake.
Content to perform without, when the vocalist steps up to the plate it again sounds altogether more 'Western' than you'd expect, whether using that drawl typified by the grunge genre or bellowing out with a punk intensity. There's little here that feels particularly original in style, and whilst it does come off as something of an 80s throwback one can hardly find flaw with the performance. For a genre that seems to have died more than a decade ago, these guys don't half sound energetic.
Highlights: Heyday, Wheres my Enemy, Charlie VS Sammy