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Friday, Oct. 20, 2006


GO!GO!7188 "Parade"

Like many of the best things in life -- love, drunkenness, ice cream, fireworks -- GO!GO!7188 are tricky to explain but a joy to experience. Formed in 1998, the band blend rockabilly rhythms, surf guitar and J-pop hooks, and the end result is enough to elicit giddiness, goose bumps and gasps from just about anybody.

Originally an alternative pop band, GO!GO!7188 took an experimental turn on the career-defining "Tategami" in 2003. However, this creative period seemed to leave them drained: Solo albums and side projects followed, along with the patchy "Ryuuzetsuran" in 2004. "Parade" echoes back to their earlier albums, offering an edgy pop record that shines. Grounded by creative, heavy rhythms from drummer Turkey, and dirty bass lines from Akiko Hamada, "Parade" carries nods to Radiohead, Muse and Shiina Ringo. Yu Nakashima's acrobatic vibrato vocals twist and turn around unexpected chord changes and charged guitar lines, through a soaring title track, the pensive lead single "Kinkyori Renai" and the subtle groove of "Lullaby Count Down." If we were to recommend this album any more highly, we'd have to glue it to the ceiling.

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