DISTORTION by THIS IS JAPAN (Mini-Album Review)
Are you looking for an unpolished rock gem? Something that just tickles your fancy in all the right spots with quirky guitar riffs, harsh raw vocals, and an edgy spark? Look no further, my friends, as I introduce to you Jrock band This is Japan’s mini-album, distortion. Duly noted, this work is going to distort your world.
I may have been out of it in the underground Jrock world but this four-member band pulled me right back into the rabbit hole. There’s a reason why I listen to Japanese music. There’s just so much variety. It sounds different and it sounds good.
This is Japan presents a twist to traditional Jrock. They’re definitely influenced by Western culture and it shows in a bit in their music through punk rock elements. Heck, even lead vocalist, Jack Sugimori seems to be a big fan of Hollywood movies with many stickers plastered on his guitar, including one from Star Wars.
I’m really digging the catchy melodies. Galaxy can be considered as the most pop-like song out of the album but the distorted guitar playing takes it to another level. The distinctive guitar continues with SuperEnough,HyperYoung. It’s full of energy and when the chorus hits, you know it’s on.
My absolute favourite track is Supermarket, an innocent song about being indecisive and buying all the things! Yet the thing you want the most, you can’t buy. Real deep. The song builds and builds until it bursts over the edge. Vocals turn to screams. Riffs into frenzy. It’s brilliant and glorious and chaotic.
Kantan na Beat ni Shinakya Odorenai no ka really gets your heart pumping! Every time I listen to this song in the car, I’m seriously trying to drive safe while head banging to this insanely catchy beat.
The energy never seems to rest, even with Television. The bridge is repetitive and the chorus just leaks emotion: frustration and angst. How lovely. Especially so when the song turns a complete 180 with a slow reggae-like beat right smack in the middle. Then shifting gears back to craziness and the rock and roll party continues.
WhiteCity is where you get to hear koyabin shine. A clear, slightly squeaky voice suited for toned down instrumentals, a voice perfect for indie pop. His clashes well against Jack’s deeper, raspier and harsher voice. Again, the guitar chords are great in this song. Clearly, guitar chords are this band’s selling point.
Things don't slow down with the last track, D.I.Y. either. A pretty solid album through and through. If you ever have the chance to hear the studio cut of distortion, please give it a listen. Youtube audio really doesn’t give the mini-album justice.
- Jack Sugimori (Guitar, Vocal)
- koyabin (Guitar, Vocal)
- Mizumoto (Bass)
- this is Kawamura (Drum)