Majutsu no Niwa – At the End of Summer
Those who were disappointed to hear about the dissolution of the great Overhang Party will be happy to see that leader Rinji Fukuoka is back. His new trio, Majutsu no Niwa (Magical Garden), is almost like Overhang Party part 2, with perhaps a slightly calmer feel but much the same dark psych style. Together with bassist Hiroyuki Kageyama and drummer Shigeki Morohashi, Fukuoka lays down eight long tracks on At the End of Summer, passing through gently strummed songs as well as moments of heavy fuzz overload.
The opening “Majutsu no Niwa” is one of the hardest rockers here, and given the title might be the band’s theme song. The 13-minute “Beyond the Steel Rails” covers it all, with the first few minutes in calm ballad mode before they kick into churning rock gear and Fukuoka offers searing leads over a suddenly very heavy rhythm section. The tracks were all recorded live (at Mission’s, Earthdom, and Silver Elephant) in the fall of 2008, but the sound quality is very high. It’s got the airy live feel you might expect, but everything is clear and present.