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Thursday, Feb. 16, 2012
Special to The Japan Times
Now a dozen years into their career, female rockers TsuShiMaMiRe have established a considerable international cult following. Since 2004, the Tokyo trio have completed several American tours, playing in excess of 150 gigs there. One of their higher profile stateside stints was a string of opening slots for the Suicide Girls, a traveling burlesque show featuring titillating tattooed and pierced ladies from the softcore website of the same name. TsuShiMaMiRe have also released a collaborative EP, 2008's "Six Mix Girls," with popular cartoon characters The Powerpuff Girls adding even more variety to their global fanbase.
"Shocking" is the fourth full-length album from TsuShiMaMiRe. While the electro-tinged alt-pop opener "Hungry and Empty" plods along, it is full steam ahead for "Shocking" from second cut "Darwin." The excellent track begins with vocalist Mari coolly cooing over xylophone-accented postpunk rhythms that build into a cacophony of chaotic distorted noise. "Theme of Sara" starts with only Mari's soft singing and sparse bass notes. Guitar and drums are gradually introduced turning the slow, almost balladlike track into a full-blown punk number with an anthemic "We need rock 'n' roll" chorus that should easily incite mass singalongs from local and overseas audiences.
TsuShiMaMiRe channel U.S. group Rage Against the Machine on the standout song "Memoirs of Cabbage Wild" as Mari raps over minimal instrumentation and then hard, groove-heavy rock. Paying tribute to another musical great, the nearly 10-minute long experimental art-rock track "Messiah — The God of Food" sees the group offering up a pretty awesome Queen impression toward the tail end of the song.
TsuShiMaMiRe will embark on a nationwide tour in March. The band plays Look in Chiba on March 3 ( 225-8828); graf in Fukuoka on March 10 ( 714-0159); Paperland in Okayama on March 11 ( 253-9758); vanvanV4 in Kanazawa on March 17 ( 232-2424); Spiritual Garage in Sapporo on March 24 ( 211-5600); Park Square in Sendai on ( 222-9999); Fandango in Osaka on March 31 ( 7732-8888); and Club Upset in Nagoya on April 1 ( 936-6041). Tickets cost ¥2,300 in advance for all shows (¥2,800 at the door). Doors open at 6 p.m., and the show starts at 6:30 p.m. TsuShiMaMiRe also play Shimokitazawa Garden in Tokyo on April 7 (Doors open at 6 p.m.,show starts at 6:30 p.m.) Tickets cost ¥2,800 in advance (¥3,300 at the door) and go on sale Feb. 25 ( 3410-3431). For more information, visit www.tsushimamire.com.