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Thursday, Feb. 2, 2012

LISTENING POST

Sekaitekina Band "Sekaitekina Band"


By DAISUKE KIKUCHI

Sekaitekina Band are pretty optimistic. Their name basically translates as "global band," and while it may sound a bit lame at first, you can't fault them for aiming high.

News photo

Debut albums run the risk of being messy affairs, especially in Japan, where young acts are keen to pay tribute to (or imitate) every act they've ever looked up to. Sekaitekina Band steer clear of this sincerest form of flattery by sticking with raw minimal production. The eponymous debut from the Nagoya trio gives us a straightforward dose of postpunk; in fact comparisons to Britain's Gang of Four have already been made. But unlike peers who've received similar comparisons (Lillies and Remains, Psysalia Psysalis Psyche), Sekaitekina Band don't bring in influences from other genres. It could also come down to the simple setup they have — Junpei Itokawa on guitar, Ryo Murata on bass and Kentaro Mori on drums.

In addition to drums, Mori also provides vocals on the album. This could be why the drums don't just set the pace — they dominate. This is probably also why Mori's lyrics generally consist of one word repeated over and over, but it works with such short songs (all the tracks are less than three minutes long). The pronunciation might not be perfect on "Hello" or "London," but Mori doesn't seem to care — and that's pretty punk.

Itokawa on the other hand struggles somewhat to get his guitars heard. His riffs are sharp and aggressive — and they come through on the track "Ghostdance," but on the other tracks it's still a bit hard to hear them over the drum set. Mori should've held back a little at points on some of the songs to let the guitar have its moment. Murata's bass seems content just to let his two bandmates battle it out for center stage.

Despite there being 10 tracks on the album, "Sekaitekina Band" wraps up in less than 20 minutes. However, the listener is left with a strong debut from a bunch of kids who were probably born in the 1990s playing tunes that harken back to a Western-music scene from the early '80s. In fact, this could show just how worldly they really are.



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