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Friday, July 31, 2009

LISTENING POST

CD REVIEW

Bugy Craxone "Cheeseburgers Diary"


Bugy Craxone, whose name is a twisted mash-up of the English words blue, easy and klaxon, formed in Sapporo in 1997, relocating a year later to Tokyo. Their pop-infused, female-fronted hardcore sound won them a deal with Victor Entertainment within a year; but whereas many Japanese rock bands start out on an indie before joining a major to make progressively bland and commercial albums, Bugy Craxone did the opposite, parting with Victor in 2003 after four releases, ditching the studio sheen and bashing out four far more aggressive albums on an indie.

News photo

As such, the quality of the songs on this best-of varies massively, depending from which album they're culled. The band, who don't even play their older songs on stage anymore, have accordingly taken just one track from each of their first two albums, focusing mainly on the middle four and then strangely omitting their last two altogether (2008's "Good Morning, Punk Lovers" and "Hello, Punk Lovers").

Most of the standouts come from the indie albums. 2004's "Sorry, I Will Scream Here" LP delivers the urgent "Why Not," the gutsy "Lucky," and "I Scream," on which the kinetic, beefy guitar lines and violent vocals sound like something off Nirvana's tantrum-fueled "Hoarmoaning" EP; and 2005's Pixies-esque self-titled album bears the tortured guitar and depth-charge vocals of "Watch Your Step" and "Job!," a celebratory number about the joys of making music for a living.

The compilation opens with two brand new, exclusive tracks: "Cheeseburgers Diary" is a moody, upbeat tune led by delay-soaked guitar and a singalong chorus, while "Aha" is a fierce three-minute rock-out. These tracks, and not to mention their untapped 2008 albums, prove that Bugy Craxone are a band who get better with age.



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