One Hundred Mosquitoes & No New Namba
This self-released CD by One Hundred Mosquitoes, Sashitai (literally “I Want to Stab”) contains 33 minutes, seven songs, opening with the 7-minute long “Angel Fish”, which travels through several ghostly minutes of spacey guitar notes before the fuzz kicks in and things get heavier. At a bit past four minutes in, the bass and drums start a martial beat and the dual guitars kick into a thick wall of riffing and corruscating notes. Nice stuff. “Riot” is a shorter, more straight-ahead rocker, but they still toss in some unusual changes and tricky guitar sounds. The songs alternate between the male and female vocals, with the former being a bit more ordinary in flavor, but even when a song seems deceptively straight-forward, as in the title track, they’ll pull a fast one and suddenly the song veers into creepy atmospheres, then hardcore pummel, then back again. The best moments here are those where the two guitars attack the song in differing, complementary ways while the rhythm section pounds out a fast, intricate rhythm — and the band do a fine job balancing rock-steady songwriting with tricks tossed in to spice things up.
A bargain-priced compilation from a relatively unidentified label, this contains nine tracks by five bands, two from each except the first band, Squimaoto, whose single song is eight minutes long. Since this is simply labeled SICD-9001 and there’s no contact info for the label, I can’t tell who released it, but presumably it’s intended to be a showcase for bands from Osaka’s Namba neighborhood (home of the infamous Bears live house) — the CD’s obi does mention an event at Bears on 8/29/2004, which is when this was released. So yes, I’m a little late on it, but that’s okay.
The songs include the slow-building, krautrockish “Hets” by the aforementioned Squimaoto (the only band on here I’ve heard of before, and whom I mentioned in this post) and the sorta post-punk Hushpash, whose “Tightrope” reminds me a bit of a slower Melt-Banana. Amikake Sweaters (I think I have that name right!) are poppier, upbeat clean guitar strum and peppy vocals over straight-up drums. Back to harsher territory, Cudda-chiku-lelo erupt with scraping guitar, distortion, and shouted vocals on their two songs, including the aptly-named “Maximum Gore Pop”. Very good stuff. Finally, there are two songs by Passion, skeletal rock with No Wave-ish guitar and minimalist bass-drum pulse propping up vocal invocations — pretty cool.
Check out the bands at their sites: Squimaoto, Hushposh (who seem to be broken up), Cudda-chiku-lelo. The sites listed in the CD for Amikake Sweaters and Passion no longer work (if anyone has info, please comment with it!).