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Thursday, April 12, 2012

LISTENING POST

The Cigavettes "We Rolled Again"


Special to The Japan Times

The Cigavettes have opened for the likes of British rock act 22-20s and Asian Kung-Fu Generation's Masafumi Goto and have appeared at Osaka's Minami Wheel festival. Originally from Fukuoka, two years ago the quintet decided to make Tokyo their home base. "We Rolled Again" is their sophomore offering.

News photo

Like their 2011 eponymous debut, "We Rolled Again" is brimming with radio-friendly, pop-rock melodies and singalong choruses. Throughout the disc, The Cigavettes unabashedly flaunt their love of 1960s rock and pop. Short opening number "Presley Song" has a definite Fab Four feel to it, while "She's So Fine (She's Not Fair)," sees the band borrowing liberally from the famed chorus for the chart-topping hit "The Loco-Motion." Mixing elements of surf and jangly garage rock, "My Old Car" gives a nod to The Beach Boys. The following track, "My Girl," opens with some great vocal harmonies that also bring Brian Wilson and friends to mind.

When The Cigavettes stick with their '60s influences, they turn out well-crafted sunny anthems with ease. But when they leave their comfort zone, they stumble. Trying their hand at something new, the instrumental Celtic-folk track "Flux Fiddlers on the Roof" feels awkward and out-of-place on "We Rolled Again." "Can't Find Memories" sees them delving into disco and doesn't fare much better.

The group rebound with two of the album's strongest songs, The Who-inspired "Sweet Memories into Nightmare" and the rousing "Maybe It Goes On," which features a playful organ-and-handclaps solo. "We Rolled Again" closes with the rootsy rocker "Keep the Customer Satisfied." And despite a few small missteps, the album should do just that.

The Cigavettes will play Sound Lab Mole in Sapporo as part of Oto Fes with Irurime and Kuroneko Chelsea on April 21 (6:30 p.m.; ¥3,000 in advance; [011] 207-5101); Macana in Sendai on May 12 (7 p.m.; ¥2,500 in advance; [022] 262-5454); Muse in Osaka on May 16 (7 p.m.; ¥2,500 in advance; [06] 6245-5389); and Muse in Kyoto on May 19 (7 p.m.; ¥2,500 in advance; [075] 223-0389). For more information, visit www.cigavettes.com.

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