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Ningen-Isu Ningen-Isu album cover
3.00 | 4 ratings | 1 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1989

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Ninmensoh (4:54)
2. Inju (3:29)
3. Ringo No Namida (3:52)
4. Ryohki Ga Machi Ni Yattekuru (4:17)
5. Shinkeishoh I Love You (3:59)
6. Ningen Shikkaku (5:09)
7. Sakura No Mori No Mankai No Shita (6:08)

Total Time 31:48

Line-up / Musicians

- Shinji Wajima / guitars, vocals
- Kenichi Suzuki / bass, vocals
- Noriyoshi Kamidate / drums

Releases information

Title translates as "The Human Chair"

CD Ika-Ten ‎- IKA-010 (1989, Japan)

Thanks to DamoXt7942 for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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NINGEN-ISU Ningen-Isu ratings distribution

(4 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(0%)
Good, but non-essential (100%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

NINGEN-ISU Ningen-Isu reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by FragileKings
3 stars There are two reasons why this album is a collectors/fans only. The first is because it's out of print, and to get one is going to be expensive unless you can track one down in Japan. Even then, it's not cheap to get a used ep in decent condition. The second reason is that all the songs have been re-released either in their original form on a compilation album or re-recorded and included on a compilation album. So, if you really want to hear this album and these recordings, you'll probably need to resort to listening to it on YouTube.

Forgetting those points, however, this album is probably going to be most attractive to fans because this album shows Ningen Isu at their earliest stages. Before the album "Ningen Shikkaku" and the song "Hari no Yama" came this seven-song ep, released on Band Stock by Ika Ten. Ningen Isu had wowed judges on the TV program, "Ikasu!! Band no Tengoku" (a program showcasing new bands) and earned themselves a recording session for their impressive style of seventies heavy rock as well as their performance. The band didn't have to pay anything for this recording.

The first track, "Jinmensou" - Facial Pustules (that appear on Yokai and look like human faces) is here in its original form with a clean electric guitar intro. In 1991, a re-recorded version of the song appeared as a B-side to a single. That version began with an acoustic guitar intro. I personally prefer this version because I think it has more swagger to the groove. The song sets the tone not only for the rest of the album but for Ningen Issue's career. Guitarist Shinji Wajima has stated that he and bassist Ken'ichi Suzuki try to find the groove in the riff. They certainly bring that out here.

"Inju" - Strange Beast is inspired from a story by Edogawa Ranpo of the same title. It's a very heavy, wah-wah pedal-using tune. Ken'ichi Suzuki's vocals have that very decided and exaggerated Japanese accent. Though I prefer the version that was recorded for the 20th anniversary in 2009, this version still sounds very good. It was this song that impressed judges so on the TV show.

Next is one of the band's legendary songs, "Ringo no Namida" - Tears of the Apple. This was re-recorded more strongly for the debut album the following year. Still, this original version captures the fun and groove pretty well. Most notably different is Wajima's spoken part before the riff change. He lacks the "cool" tough vibe he affects on the debut album. Nevertheless, this is a fun song with good use of accents and syllabic stress on the Japanese language with the music.

"Ryoki ga Machi ni Yattekuru" is another fun track, this one rollicking and grooving with some great lead guitar by Wajima and some amusing vocalizations by Suzuki. Once again, the 2009 version is much better, I think, but it's fun to hear this original version when the band was still so young.

"Shinkeishou I LOVE YOU!" translates as "Neurosis I Love You". This is the most rock and roll song on the album and even one of the most rock and roll songs in their catalogue. It really has a young seventies band spirit to it. This is the only song from the debut never to have been re-recorded. It appears on the 25th anniversary album along with "Inju" in its original form.

Up to here, the album has been mostly hard rock and hard rock and roll numbers. The final two tracks reflect the band's early seventies heavy rock and heavy prog side. "Ningen Shikkaku" is a really heavy rocker with a slow breakdown in the middle. Clean electric guitar is played over spacey effects and a steady bass pulse. This gradually builds until reaching a climax and a riff close to the New Wave of British Heavy Metal comes in before the song takes a different twist to it. The version recorded for the debut the following year is better in my opinion but once again, it's fun to hear this original version.

"Sakura no Mori no Mankai no Shita" was not only re-recorded for the debut but it also became the title of the second album. It has become for me a monster track, a real favourite. This song begins with a slow and heavy riff and wah-wah pedal but then speeds up for the guitar solo, slows back down to that heavy riff with the wah-wah, and then charges into another riff for a dramatic two- minute finale with some great bass playing and great drumming by Noriyoshi Kamidate as well as a ripping solo by Wajima. The song approaches the end with dual lead guitars playing a melody that it easily reminiscent of Iron Maiden. The version on the debut is magical for me. But although this version is less fine tuned, it still cooks. Whatever feelings we enjoyed listening to this album up to here, this track really steals the cake.

This album doesn't really get close to heavy prog until near the end. The band would pursue the progressive aspect of their music more over the next three albums, culminating at their third album, "Ougon no Yoake". For the casual listener and the curious, there's more to be thrilled about on the later albums (the singing is better too). This album stands more as a curio than a must have. It's a bit like hearing the early De Lane Lea demos recorded by Queen in 1971 prior to the recording session that would become Queen's self-titled debut: you can hear the magic of the band coming together but it's in the final recording that history remembers the songs. The same goes for here. As for me, I have nearly acquired every album this band has released, so when I found this ep available in very good condition for not too absurd a price, I had to bring it home. For me, it was worth it. For anyone else, I would say that if you are really curious, listen on YouTube. Otherwise you'll likely much prefer the 1990 album, "Ningen Shikkaku".

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