Mahiruno & Okamehachimoku
Mahiruno’s self-titled EP spreads four songs across 22 minutes, laying down some strong, intense rock that’s not afraid to throw in clever rhythmic interplay along with heavy riffing and well-done guitar leads. They’ll even take a song through a sudden breakdown from all-out rocking into slow solo piano. At times the band definitely remind me of Mars Volta, which isn’t a bad thing at all. “Yuuyami-e” (Towards Twilight) begins as a calmer, prettier piece of vaguely psych-tinged rock that dives into faster, fuzzier territory in its second half. Very nicely done. They can also play some prettier, perhaps more predictable pop-rock as well, evidenced on the third song, “Hashi” (Bridge). The last track, oddly-titled “Chechin ni Noboru Tsuki” (Chechnya Rising Moon), gets pretty epic and powerful, with some great hard-rock guitar leads over its seven and a half-minute length. Good stuff. Visit the band at http://sound.jp/mahiruno.
This mysterious CD from Okamehachimoku doesn’t contain much information aside from track titles, so there’s no contact info or anything to share. The fifteen songs here are mostly around the 2-minute mark, just a woman with a guitar, playing simple tunes with vaguely childlike singing. There’s a charming sort of awkwardness that some will enjoy, while others may find it irritating. The lyrics seem to be mostly mysterious but simple, but of course those who don’t know Japanese may find this CD to be lost on them; though the sound will still be pretty enough for some to enjoy nonetheless.