Japanese indie, rock, and electronic music

SparkPlugged’s “MOST AWESOME RELEASES of 2008!!” Part 3

Dec 24 2008

Here it is!! Part 3 of SparkPlugged’s “MOST AWESOME RELEASES of 2008”! This is Psycho_Dad’s rockin’ best-of list and it counts down from his fifth favorite release to his number one. Check it out and stick around for our bonus round (Part 4) that’s soon to come.

Psycho_Dad’s MOST AWESOME RELEASES of 2008:

MUCC (ムック) – Shion (志恩)

the telephonesI had to reconsider my list a bit, because MUCC wasn’t on it, but Shay covered Who Are You? from NICO Touches the Walls, so I could stuffed them in to fifth place, yay! I didn’t mean to be mean with placing MUCC on the fifth place, because they are my all-time favourite Japanese band, it’s just their latest album didn’t have the same impact like Homura Uta (葬ラ謳) or Gokusai (極彩) had. Still, they produced some pretty good stuff for this album, like “Anjelier” (アンジャベル) and “Fuzz” (ファズ) which (in my opinion) are the craziest songs from the band since their formation. Their “trademark” style is only present with “Nuritsubusunara Enji” (塗り潰すなら臙脂), but we are supplied with cool melodies like “Chiisana Mado” (小さな窓) which is a beautiful song. To recap, MUCC shifted down some gears and slowed down with this release, but also they showed us different side of themselves, so we have to wait their next release in January to see if this is permanent or not (I think with their latest single “Ageha” (アゲハ) they showed that they will rock on!).

“Chiisana Mado”
[audio:http://www.jimmyly.com/sp/Mucc – 08 – Chiisana Mado.mp3|titles=Chiisana Mado|artists=ムック]

the pillows – Piped Piper

Natural Punch DrunkerI don’t know what the pillows are reserving for us in the future after their sixteenth studio album “Pied Piper”, because they literally released everything, every kind of music from slow to fast, from happy to sorrowful, from dissonant to consonant… the funny thing is that it’s still good, moreover it’s freakin’ amazing that after so many releases they can still produce songs like “Purple Apple”, “New Animal”, etc. I’m eagerly waiting for their next album to see if they can hold up.

“Purple Apple”
[audio:http://www.jimmyly.com/sp/the pillows – 07 – Purple Apple.mp3|titles=Purple Apple|artists=the pillows]

9mm Parabellum Bullet – Vampire

空中ループI love 9mm Parabellum Bullet’s short, fast, aggressive and repetitive riffs, which are charged with some kind of furious-energy one can’t describe… damn, I’m in love with these guys — seriously. When I first heard them and their first release I honestly thought that their fast-come success was just a fluke, but with “Vampire” they showed us the opposite and prepared us for more to come.

悪いクスリ (“Warui Kusuri”)
[audio:http://www.jimmyly.com/sp/9mm Parabellum Bullet – 09 – Warui Kusuri.mp3|titles=悪いクスリ|artists=9mm Parabellum Bullet]

Girugämesh – Music

8ottoGirugämesh won me with “Break Down”, the second song from this album. I heard it way before the album’s release and I was totally sucked in, listened to song for countless times, over and over again. I can’t say why, because it’s simple, dumb, and upbeat thumping, but still, it “has it” (maybe the unusual change between the verse and chorus, but I’m not sure ^_^). Then, after I heard the full album I got sucked in again. The album focuses around this dumb, loud and aggressive thumping-like theme, but it’s sweet, I usually don’t like this kind of stuff too much, but Girugämesh has hooks that will probably catch you off-guard too. The only negative thing I can think of about the album is the two instrumental tracks (with no instruments, because I can pretty much hear the two songs are sampled), but that’s how it goes, producers and publisher love these damn instrumental thingies…


the band apart – Adze of Penguin

NICO Touches the WallsFirst of all, I love the name of the album. After this remarkable note, I want to introduce my new all-time favourite band: the band apart (along with MUCC of course, it’s a tie). I think, they are the sound of Japan. They are so unique that I can’t describe it otherwise. They bring a complex musical style by fusing upbeat rock, funky grooves, jazz elements, electronic thingies (they use an armament of cool, but sophisticated effects) and everything that is caught in their way. The basslines are awesome; I can only compare it to Flea’s style from the Red Hot Chili Peppers (think about the more jazzy, groovy Flea, not the “aggressive” kind, like in “Suck My Kiss”). It’s a joy to listen to the complex and catchy hooks their songs have. The vocalist tops the whole package with his mellow voice. He sings in English, and I didn’t use “engrish” on purpose, because it’s really good and not irritating.

“Moonlight Stepper”
[audio:http://www.jimmyly.com/sp/the band apart – 07 – Moonlight Stepper.mp3|titles=Moonlight Stepper|artists=the band apart]

So, this was my list in order of awesomeness. For your information, the band apart was the most awesome in 2008, don’t listen to Shays and Jimis rambling ^_^, but like Jimi previously did, I also have to mention Bump of Chicken’s “Orbital Period” and “Action” from B’z, which were released on the brink of 2008 and are truly fantastic albums. Check out those also.

Back to PART 1 and PART 2


  • Shay

    9 years ago (#)

    Great list man! I scratched my head a bit at your selection of Girugämesh but I really like your reason and I know what you exactly what you mean =P It’s also great that you counted down to your favorite release — I couldn’t decide a ranking for mine =)

  • Jimi

    9 years ago (#)

    Yea I couldn’t do an order either. Great list! I’ve officially become addicted to band apart thanks to your plug!

  • SparkPlugged’s “MOST AWESOME RELEASES of 2008!!” FINAL! - SparkPlugged - Asian Music Culturetainment & More

    9 years ago (#)

    […] to PART 1, PART 2, and PART 3 Tagged as: best of ’08, indie, […]

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