Chance Meeting with an Overzealous Record Store Clerk
So let me guess: You’re into Sonic Youth, but you can’t stand the melodies and pop hooks that get in the way of the good stuff. You think the With the Lights Out box is the standard by which to judge all other Nirvana releases. You spend hours with your electric guitar, sitting in front of your amp and trying to get the single most beautiful squall of feedback you’ve ever heard.
Yeah? Sounds like you? Well, my friend, you are going to love this band.
They’re called My Way My Love, and they’re from Japan. No, no, don’t worry, I’m not giving you another Merzbow here—this isn’t that synthetic, mechanical brand of noise that normally gets pushed out of the Japanese music scene. Believe it or not, there are three guys in this band who actually all play real instruments. Well, they mostly abuse their instruments. But they play them sometimes, too. The album’s called Hypnotic Suggestion: 01. I guarantee you’ll dig it.
Check out this one track—it’s called “Sports”. No, I don’t know why it’s called “Sports”. Stop asking stupid questions and listen. Listen to Dai Hiroe’s bowel-rattling bass. Listen to the way Yukio Murata plays those guitars, just careful enough to avoid making any meaningful harmonies, but repetitive enough to establish a groove. And the words are in English, not that you’ll really notice, anyway. I mean, they just exist for the sake of ornamentation, right? Seriously, lyrics are overrated.
All right, all right, maybe you need something a little more aggressive. Try “Un” on for size—it’s right after “Nu”. Early ‘90s Seattle is all over that intro, but check this out: It totally punks out! If you’re not thrashing around your room getting bruises listening to this one, I don’t know what’s wrong with you. There are even some words in it you might be able to decipher after a few listens, since apparently you’re into that sort of thing. Ignore the production. It’s supposed to sound all thuddy like that. It’s punk. Get over it.
How about “Captain”? OK, OK, it sounds a lot like “Sports”, except with more words. I shoulda seen that coming.
Listen to this, this is one of my favorites, so brace yourself. It’s called “Jinxxxxxxxxxxsix”. Yes, it’s over already! That’s how the album ends! The number of letters in its name are the number of seconds it lasts! And yes, I know it sounds like a bad AM radio signal looped for a few seconds until a dog barks. That’s the genius of it! It’s existentialist!
Look, come back here for a minute, let me talk. These guys have been around the block, you should at least give them a chance. Hypnotic Suggestion: 01 is their fifth CD since 2001. They tour relentlessly. They’ve been all over Japan, and they’re touring the States as we speak. They’ve covered Wire. You like Wire, right? They’ve written some songs for a guy in Buck Tick. You’ve never heard of Buck Tick? They’re huge in Japan!
Fine, just let me play one more tune for you. It’s super fresh. No, the name of the song is “Super Fresh”! I was gonna let you discover it for yourself, but you’re obviously not digging this stuff as much as you should be. Listen to those angular guitars, listen to the expertly played bass underneath them. And here are some words for you: “Potato! Coca Cola! I love it!” It’s an indictment of the shallow social scene that surrounds us every day, the wall of distortion a cruise missile tearing down the oily veneer of crass, commercialized…
Hey, where are you going? I’ll burn you a copy! Come back! Ah, hell. I lose more customers that way.