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Friday, Sept. 5, 2008
SpecialThanks "Seven Colors"
Everyone knows that Japan's single greatest skill is spawning female- fronted punk bands that sound like they've swallowed a bucketload of Green Day and Blink 182 CDs and belched them back out again. Hailing from Aichi Prefecture, SpecialThanks are one such band, and the problem is that they are impossible to dislike.
Yes, 18-year-old frontlass Misaki sounds like she's singing with a mouthful of marbles. Yes, you'd need to look at the lyric sheet to realize that all the lyrics are in fact in English, so mangled are her pronunciations of words such as "scared" and "donut." Yes, her vocal delivery sounds a little forced and over-emotional, like Avril Lavigne having a particularly angsty time of the month. And yes, OK, it's all quite formulaic.
But the charming pop melodies win out. They stick in your head, and they make you smile, and if you were at the front at one of their gigs, they would probably make you mosh your socks off, as the excellent photo of the band onstage inside the sleeve suggests. The lyrics, presented in the booklet with Japanese translations, are cute, with Misaki singing of spending her school holidays playing guitar and not doing homework and getting told off by her mum. It all sounds just the right side of under-produced, bursting with enthusiasm that will doubtless stand SpecialThanks in good stead for the future. Sorry, but this minialbum is adorable.