Haizara & The Deadstock
Having just gotten back from a 10-day tour in Japan, I have a very large pile of new CDs to write about now. Hence, I’ll be making an effort to post more frequently for a while until I get all of this new stuff written about. So stay tuned and check back often!
First up are a couple of CDs that I bought at Enban, a great store in Koenji, Tokyo. When we stopped by there was an acoustic show going on and it was packed (it’s a very small space), so I couldn’t browse as much as I would have liked, but then again I was running low on money so… Anyway, I found a number of interesting self-released CDs and CDRs. The first was by Haizara (which translates to “ashtray”), a 37-minute EP with 7 songs on it. The title seems to be “Honosabi” but I’m not sure about the translation: possibly “flaming voice”? Tricky one. Anyway, this is a trio of piano/synth, guitar, and drums, and their sound is unusual. Technically they’re terrific players, and the songs jump around from delicate little flickerings to full-on blazing guitar noise, rocket-powered drums, and anarchic keyboards. It’s sort of jazzy, for sure, but on the take-no-prisoners side without getting into annoying territory. “I Think A Private Body Electric” begins with doodly synths and tapping drums, moves through chiming guitars and heavier drums, and slowly grows progressively denser through its 7-minute length. Sometimes the band does get a little bit too far into slick-jazz stylings, but never for too long. The closing track, “AND”, does a nice job of blending space-age synths with fast-moving chug-chug rhythms. Nice work; visit the band at http://sound.jp/ashtray/.
On a totally different trip, we have The Deadstock, another trio whose name is rather misleading. You might understandably figure it’s a combination of the Dead and Woodstock, and decide the band must be a hippy-dippy psych derivative. Nope, far from it. The eleven songs here are mostly in the 2-minute range, excepting the closing 13-minute epic, and bear a closer resemblance to Melt-Banana noise-punk with a lead shouter-guitarist who blasts it out pretty fiercely. M. Ishiduka screams, shouts, and breaks strings in a frenzy while bassist Spaceman and drummer T. Kashiwagi lay down some really strong and interesting rhythms. The band show a good feel for breaking up the intensity, and even drop into pleasant little spacey pretty moments in “L Tarthar”. This is some great stuff, and I hope someone finds this self-released CD (on their own Gigantic Originator label) and helps the band reach a wider audience. Visit the band at http://thedeadstock.com/.