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Friday, April 23, 2010



9mm Parabellum Bullet: "Revolutionary"

Mixing emo and hardcore punk styles with a distinctly Japanese rock sound, 9mm Parabellum Bullet have carved themselves quite a niche. The Yokohama four-piece are pretty much fixtures on the major festival circuit, thanks to both their mainstream appeal (their last album charted at No. 2) and their electrifying live performances, which see singer-guitarist Takuro Sugawara screaming his way through the set as guitarist Yoshimitsu Taki and bassist Kazuhiko Nakamura throw themselves around the stage.

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Despite the title of their new album (their third), the band's sound hasn't changed much since the "Talking Machine" demos they made shortly after their 2004 inception. Pyrotechnic riffs are the order of the day; layers of razor-sharp guitar that border on metal intertwine tightly over explosive rhythm on tracks such as "3031" and "Black Market Blues." The reverb-sodden staccato guitar lines that pop up on many tracks carry a whiff of surfabilly, and the overall effect suggests off-kilter guitar-pop band GO!GO!7188 mating with speed metallers Dragonforce and producing a twisted little monster.

"Inochi No Zenmai" offers a ponderous melancholy that gives way first to prog-ish noodling and then to powerchords and screams as Sugawara belts, "Koroshi sureba ii!" ("Might as well kill!") Album opener "Lovecall From The World," meanwhile, is a 49-second burst of double-pedal dramatics, raw screams and ballistic guitar lines, demanding your attention before the album proper has even begun. And with its epic sounds and memorable melodies, "Revolutionary" holds that attention till its abrupt and thrilling end.

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