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Thursday, Oct. 20, 2011
BBQ Chickens "Crossover and Over"
Special to The Japan Times
Ken Yokoyama must be feeling rather nostalgic these days. One of Japan's more prominent punk figures, in September the guitarist reunited with his 1990s band, Hi-Standard, and this month he's put out new music with his early noughties project BBQ Chickens. Formed shortly after Hi-Standard's demise, BBQ Chickens issued two full-lengths of original numbers (2001's "Indie Rock Strikes Back" and 2002's "Good Bye to Your Punk Rock") and an album of covers (2003's "Fine Songs, Playing Sucks") before going on hiatus.
Their first release in eight years, "Crossover and Over" sticks true to the Tokyo quartet's faster-is-better ideology. Each of the tracks lasts a mere 90 seconds or less, and the entire 18-song effort wraps up in less than 20 minutes.
Although it may be short, "Crossover and Over" is a fantastic ride. While previous discs saw BBQ Chickens flirting with harder-edged sounds, "Crossover and Over" is the heaviest thing they've produced. Standout cut "Raised up in Hell" is a blistering slice of '80s thrash metal complete with awesome, Slayer-styled riffs from Yokoyama. A mix of doom and thrash metal, "God Blast You" is equally headbanger-worthy. Fans of the band's skate punk roots will enjoy the anthemic hardcore number "Let's F#ckin' Go" and "Andrew's Theme," a circle pit-inciting ode to new drummer Andrew Foulds. BBQ Chickens even make time to address a current hot-button issue with the seven-second-long "No Nuclear Power," which sees vocalist Hongolian hollering the track's title four times over rapid-fire rhythms from his bandmates.
BBQ Chickens play Club Junk Box in Sendai on Oct. 24; and Liquidroom in Tokyo on Oct. 27 (¥2,800; 7 p.m.;  3444-6751). For more information, visit www.pizzaofdeath.com.