MOJO's Mark Paytress goes off in search of the spirit of Japanese Rock, 2009-style, and gets more than he bargained for.
In 1996, a strange-looking 2-CD collection entitled Tokyo Invasion Volume One: Cosmic Kurushi Monsters landed on my desk. Britpop was still hot, though its reheated Carnaby Street melodies and Quo rockaboogie left me decidedly cold. But these 22 tracks, combed from the Japanese underground, seemed to derive from a sonic otherworld where the Beatles and the Clash were invisible and Captain Beefheart, Big Black, even This Heat were the key sources of inspiration. I wanted to pack my Guild guitar, get over there and join in the fun. Instead, at 37, I felt I was already too old and stayed. It was, I now believe, a terrible mistake.
Since then, I've had my ears torn off regularly by the blistering psychedelia of the visiting Acid Mothers Temple and manic Melt-Banana, the awesome virtuosity of guitar hero Keiji Haino and the avant-pop theatrics of eX-Girl. But was thisRead More »from Toyko, Rock ‘N’ Roll Capital Of The World!