Shugo Tokumaru is one talented dude. There is no denying it. His albums are consistently solid and I am always taken back by his ability to inject such strong emotion into this work.
His genre of music unfortunately falls under the realm of the artistic and misunderstood. It is easy to dismiss him for his high-pitched voice, strange instrumentals, and mild energy. For this, it is hard to take him seriously at face value. (This is from a western perspective, hes actually achieved commercial success in Japan!)
This is again unfortunate for his songs contain such melodic brilliance. It is hard to imagine how people come up with stuff like that. He is easily one of the most talented music artists in Japan today. This video I’ve linked will have you feeling all sorts of things, so sit back and relax!
Get ready! After almost 4 long years Zazen Boys new album “Stories” 『すとーりーず』 has been announced. The release date is currently TBA, but they have a song list up.
The unpredictability of Mukai is what scares me a bit about this album release. Although I’m very comfortable with his ability of produce quality work regardless of genre and trends, I can’t help but feel nervous.
毛皮のまりーズ - Inu Rock (犬ロック)
If you look at Kegawa no Maries (毛皮のマリーズ) from a completely western perspective, all you would see if a group of goofy Japanese kids copying style, songs, clothing, imagery, from all the biggest musicians to have lived in the western world. Is this right? where is the line between an homage to a style, and completely ripping it off?
do Kegawa no Maries care? Nope!… (maybe a little bit)
Should you care? Nope!
Seriously, this band is probably the most fun I’ve seen from Japan in a long time. Many songs are originals and straight and loud garage rock, but some tracks are blatant rips from the original 60’s and 70’s classics from the Beatles, Elvis Presley, The Rolling Stones, etc.Their range of song styles is quite large as you can listen to the difference between albums like Faust, My Name is Romance, and Tin Pan Alley. Even though their content is borrowed, they are able to inject it with personality and flavor that is appealing. At heart these guys are simply garage rock, but seeing them fit into these alternative roles is strange and cool in some weird way.
The most iconic group member Shima Ryouhei, creative mind and vocalist, is quiet humble and is probably the biggest draw for many people. Performance and style is where it is at for this group, and they delivered. Unfortunately, the band has since broken up after their final tour and album release “The End” in 2011. Sadly, this was at a point where they had moved up from playing in basements, to being backed by Columbia Records, to tearing up the stage at Fuji Rock and Budokan. I greatly enjoyed this band during its lifespan, and wished dearly to catch them live before their breakup…. but I can almost smell a comeback in the next few years.
Heres their Columbia records page. Hopefully something will show up here if there is any movement from its members.
毛皮のまりーズ - Heart of Gold
毛皮のまりーズ - Rebel Song