Thursday, September 17, 2009

INU - Meshi kuu na, 1981 (192kbps)

Kou Machida isn't known as a musician so much as a writer, having penned several novels and books of poetry that have won him all sorts of literary awards since his first efforts in the early 90s. Nonetheless, the sole studio album from his band Inu ("Dog") has quite a reputation, sitting at Number 33 in Rolling Stone Japan's 100 best Japanese rock albums and constantly finding itself the subject of reissues and reappraisals. Once you get past it's initially prickly demeanor, it's not difficult to understand why: while it owes a clear debt to the new wave / no wave that was coming from the West at the time, it's range and dynamics point to something much more than simply jumping in with an existing movement.

Now, the potential reference points are many: "メリーゴーラウンド" (Merry Go Round) takes early Gang Of Four musical deconstructionism (i.e. that band's "Anthrax") and removes the stiff funk, replacing it with a manic, hypnotic repetition that befits the title. "ライトサンダーB (スカッと地獄)" alternates between anthemic, Clash-esque riffage, skittish avant funk and hellish psychedelics. "フェイド・アウト" and "つるつるの壺" are straightforward glory punk, although "つるつるの壺" has a sneaky faux surf guitar solo that breaks down into a quick but dizzyingly complex bridge that most punk bands of the era would never have never attempted, let alone pulled off. It's as if Machida wanted to sample everything, from the uplifting to the broodingly abstract and everything in between.

All of this sounds like it could be an interesting mess, but producer Gaku Torii (Peacock Babies, The Pain, Loaded) keeps a tight rein, relying on a clean, uncomplicated, but somehow dirty sound reminiscent of John Cale's production work on albums like Patti Smith's "Horses," and his own "Fear." Good thing too, as over-production would have positively killed this record: despite the stripped down kick and immediacy of the less abstract tracks, there's way too much detail. The riot of ideas, assorted breakdowns, bizarre vocal tricks (see the end of "つるつるの壺") and almost impossibly complicated structures of tracks like "おっさんとおばはん" could have easily become an impenetrable soup.
- Text from Jrawk.

Named 33rd (Rolling Stone Japan) and 7th (Takarajima) Greatest Japanese Rock Album of All Time

INU - メシ喰うな

  1. フェイド・アウト [Fade Out]
  2. つるつるの壷 [Tsurutsuru no Tsubo]
  3. おっさんとおばはん [Ossan to Obbahan]
  4. ダムダム弾 [Damudamu Tama]
  5. 夢の中へ [Yume no Naka he]
  6. メシ喰うな! [Meshi kuu na!]
  7. ライト・サイダーB(スカッと地獄) [Right Sider B(Skatto Jigoku)]
  8. インロウタキン [Inroutakin]
  9. 305
  10. メリーゴーラウンド [Merry Go Round]
  11. 気い狂て [Kii Kurute]
BUY: CDJapan