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Monday, August 04, 2008

Euphoria @ Zher the Zoo, Yoyogi

My Bloody Valentine brought out only two albums.

Two records whose aural impact lies somewhere just past the point of defenestration, in the infinite moment spent assessing the drop onto concrete far below.

In 1988, Isn't Anything came out. I have only just downloaded this album today, curiously inversely-inspired by yesterday's bands. It is, clearly, quite brilliant.

In 1991 came the album Loveless with which I am more familiar. This record is a pure case of cover matches the sound - it's red and blurry and tastes of cherries. And it only sounds like My Bloody Valentine.

Yesterday evening at Zher the Zoo in Yoyogi, I avoided being thrown out of any windows, although my efforts at buying cigarettes from the machine surely annoyed the staff. However the shadow, or perhaps the cherry ghost, of MBV hung large in the air amongst the dry ice and the red strobe lights.

Zher the Zoo

First up Kamiyui came at us with the velvet sledgehammer approach - a wall of noise, conflicting, twisting and burning, vocals drowning an inch under the surface of the murk.

There is something here with this band although I sense a bit of subtlety still needs to be found, a little more melody perhaps needs to be coaxed out of proceedings.

Kamiyui website

Texas Pandaa took a different approach, being the slow-burn build-up and ghostly-voice method of shoegazing rock. This band were singing in English, with two female vocalists invoking a Sundays vibe whilst flanking a shoeless and animated lead guitarist. And they were rather good indeed - I would say there is more than a deal of potential in this band as they have written some nice songs and are clearly a marketable proposition.

The devil will be there at night, suggesting they toss "Loveless" to one side and become pop-rock superstars. The bank manager might also think it a good idea. But for now, Texas Pandaa are crafting a beautiful noise and that is the way we like it.

You will note that I chose to video the one where they had the lights turned off for the first half of the song but happily they come on half-way through!

Texas Pandaa website

I stood behind the big pillar that graces one corner of this (very nice) venue for a beer and cigarette and returned to my position at the bar as Silent Three Trees came on. All were wearing hats, and then they proceeded to be absolutely brilliant. And then, having been absolutely brilliant for two songs, the singer says "This is our first gig." Well, my jaw damn near hit the ground. It's not particularly easy to compare them to anyone (and they were the least shoe-gazy of the four), so maybe it's best to let the music do the talking:

Now Euphoria are a band I have been acquainted with through MySpace for a few years, and I keep going back to listen to the majestic "Silent Roar" which you can hear here:

Euphoria MySpace

It has just as visceral effect I think as say, oohhhh, "Feed Me With Your Kiss". Or "Like a Daydream" by Ride who must also be mentioned.

The vocals are kept to a minimum with Euphoria and the focus is on musicianship. In many ways they remind me of the mighty Longview less the vocal melodies. Euphoria do soundscapes, you know? Pictures in sound. I thought they were brilliant.

There is a bit of singing on this one:

A new album "Silence in Everywhere" is out now and the band will tour as follows:

5/9 Rock 'n' Roll Nagoya; 6/9 Club Jungle Osaka; 7/9 Urbanguild Kyoto; 18/9 O-Nest Tokyo; 20/9 Hook Sendai; 21/9 Sandanista Yamagata; 27/9 Colony Sapporo

Euphoria website

I picked up a couple of Cds, the double EP release by Kamiyui and one of Texas Pandaa's albums. I'm panning to review all these CDs at some point soon. But for now, just take a look and tell me if you notice anything:

kawaii desu ne ;)