2012.10.05 otori @ Shinjuku MOTION and きのこ帝国 @ Shinjuku Wild Side
Before otori I managed to catch half of アンダーボーイズ (Underboys) set. Underboys consists of Sekiguchi Hajime (Gt/Vo) who normally drums and sings for the band Paradise and Sudo Yusuke (Gt/sequencer) of SOLID AFRO. I think these two guys are the core duo of Underboys but they performed as a 3pc with a bassist this night.Sudo Yusuke highly recommended this band to me but I took this advice with a grain of salt... since he's in the band! But other people also recommended them and this was my first time seeing them live (they gave me their demo at the SOLID AFRO show in July).
They're actually pretty good with Sekiguchi's soulful, powerful voice making a strong impact. The instrumentation is purposefully lo-fi with interesting guitar chords and progressions. They use a drum machine for which one song was programmed to play in 5/4 time. Similar to SOLID AFRO they incorporate samples and pre-sets via a sequencer for a jazzy folk meets underground hip hop vibe. Definitely a great 'side-project' band. I wouldn't recommend that you go out of your way to see them but if you do see them by accident you might be pleasantly surprised.
However, my main reason for being at Motion was to watch otori.
From the opening note of otori's set to the ten-car-crash wall of noise at the end otori tore Shinujuku Motion a new asshole complete with colostomy bag. After two years of non-stop gigging they've gotten tighter and more confident since I first saw them play at 20000V. They're still not quite at the the level of their influences and peers: hyacca, the Mornings, Melt Banana and early Yolz in the Sky but they're probably the best young band to carry the torch of the chaotic post-punk sound. Kobara Sae is otori's focal point. Although soft-spoken and shy off-stage Kobara grips the mic and owns the stage with enough swagger and menace to make Henry Rollins blush. The rest of the band isn't as dynamic on stage but their sound is equally fierce. Powerful drumming at lightning speed combined with intricate, slippery basslines and high-pitched effector laden guitars that sound like dinosaurs in heat.
(sorry for the fuzzy sound)
otori kicked ass plain and simple. NMFT Vol 3 had hyacca followed by Praha Deaprt in vol 4. For the next tour I'd like at least one band to have an aggressive, raw, post-punk sound with plenty of originality. otori clearly have their influences but they've cultivated a style of their own that is refreshingly unique. THE★米騒動 are just as loud, aggressive and eccentric but their music takes fewer risks and sounds generic at times. Wheareas, otori don't give a f*ck who likes their music as long as it excites and inspires the members themselves. There are very few bands that sound like otori and that's one of the reasons I'm strongly considering them for NMFT5.
Although I would have liked to have stayed for トリプルファイヤー (triple fire) I left the show at Motion early to head over to Shinjuku Wild Side where きのこ帝国 (Kinoko Teikoku) were playing. Kinoko Teikoku are also very high on my list bands for NMFT5.
It was my first time watching a show at Wild Side. This particular venue normally books heavy metal and visual kei acts. None of my favorite bands ever play at Wild Side and it seemed to be an odd choice for Kinoko Teikoku. It turns out Oct 5 was Kinoko Teikoku's guitarist A-chan's birthday. A-chan works at Shinjuku Wild Side and I'm guessing they let her rent the club for free on her birthday. URBANフェチ, うみのて and 叶蛇 were the bands A-chan invited to play at her birthday bash. I showed up just in time for the final act: Kinoko Teikoku. Here they are playing two of my favorite songs "Whirlpool" followed by "国道スロープ"
Shoegaze sound minus the disinterested attitude with a fondness for rocking the f*ck out with chaotic fury and aplomb. My absolute favorite song by them is "足首" and I'm a little worried that they haven't played it the last three shows I've seen them. One of their new songs also has quite a disturbing title: "あの人を如何やって殺すか？” (How should we murder him?)
After Kinoko Teikoku's set A-chan had a few words to say including thanking the other three bands she had invited to play tonight. Since it was her birthday, her co-workers and members of the other bands appeared on stage with a birthday cake. It was a plain looking cake so A-chan knew that as soon as she blew out the candles the cake would end up in her face. The last band usually gets to play an encore and A-chan was all set to play one more song BUT... to her surprise she was told that the rest of Kinoko Teikoku were content to skip the encore and just celebrate with the audience by singing "Happy Birthday."
She is in a complete state of shock because Kinoko Teikoku are a fairly serious, no nonsense type of band and she could never imagine them cancelling an opportunity to play on stage. Furthermore, A-chan as a birthday gift to herself had picked a favorite song for the encore that they never play live anymore. And Kinoko Teikoku had rehearsed this song quite a few times specifically for this encore. So not only was she shocked at her co-members for waiving the encore but she was bummed that she wouldn't be able to play her song!
Of course after the audience sang Happy Birthday to A-chan and the cake got thrown in her face, A-chan's co-workers inform the audience that it's time for Kinoko Teikoku to play an encore. It was a nice lighthearted practical joke that was executed to perfection. :)
And here's the encore. Don't know the song title.
Kinoko Teikoku are a great band. Parts of their performances can be a little lackluster but when they're inspired they put on a show that is truly meomrable for it's power and beauty. Sato Chiaki has such a ghostly, beautiful voice that songs like "足首" leave you completely mesmerized. Kinoko Teikoku would love to come to Canada but they and especially their manager are taking promotion within Japan very seriously. Hopefully, I can convince them to participate in NMFT5 without much of a hassle because they're a fantastic band that are guaranteed to kill it here in Canada.