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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Plutonium E.P., tokyo pinsalocks, JapanFiles download or Maxi Single

When reviewing Pygmy With Bitter Ends I mused about the origins of some Japanese band names. Tokyo Pinsalocks is another one that would probably have got the grey matter wondering off in a similar direction, but thankfully this time I have a definite answer. According to the press release, 'pinsalocks' is a combination of 'pinsalo' (pink salon – a Japanese euphemism for a blowjob bar), and 'rocks' (do you really need an explanation?). To quote the band themselves: “There's a pinsalo in the same building as our rehearsal studio and our university was in the middle of a red light district, we named ourselves Tokyo Pinsalocks."

So, now that we've got the question of the name out the way, how does the music stand up? Pretty well. The five tracks on this unashamedly poppy EP are well worth seeking out. 'Plutonium 07' is shiny 21st century pop as imagined by a 50's sci-fi writer. It's a brutally simple affair, powered by synths that have the unmistakable air of two-fingered plonking. Hell, it worked for New Order and it works for Tokyo Pinsalocks.

'Quiet' is probably the weakest song here. It's darker in tone than 'Plutonium 07' and sounds a bit too similar to Guitar Vadar. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but TP have got a sound of their own and definitely don't need to resort to copying others. It's only a brief dip in form though, as 'so far so fine' kicks the E.P back into shape. It's a blast of futuristic rockabilly thrash that comes and goes in less than two minutes and leaves you feeling like you've just been caught in a summer shower.

Going by the pronunciation of the title during the song, I'm guessing that 'Nioi-Mania' references krautrock pioneers Neu! The song itself doesn't sound particularly krautrocky, rather it's quite a placid number that could have appeared on an album by The Aloof 10 years ago. The calm is shattered in the final minute of the song though when the vocalist Naoko leads the band on a chant of the title.

If the previous song was meant as some kind of homage to Neu! without actually sounding like them, then the instrumental final track, 'SAUCE OF LUNCH' makes up for this (well, a little anyway). Here, the band take the shininess of 'Plutonium 07' and an updated version of krautrock, chuck them in a blender and end up with a song that Orbital would gladly claim as their own.

The name makes sense. The music makes sense. What the hell are you waiting for?

Tokyo Pinsalocks Homepage (Japanese)
Tokyo Pinsalocks on JapanFiles