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Geinoh Yamashirogumi - Osorezan / Dou no Kenbai CD (album) cover


Geinoh Yamashirogumi



3.42 | 14 ratings

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4 stars Japanese spirit warriors

If you want an album that takes you far beyond the edge of conformity - one that pushes you over the edge - one that tells tales of the deepest darkest pit found in the human psyche, then this Japanese outing just might be the thing for you.

Just by reading the somewhat daunting intro you could be led into thinking that this one perhaps is too far out and weird for your tastes, and though you might be right and probably are, I do feel this album is in the right. It doesn't act out and imitate strangeness and sonic bewilderment like a lot of others do, when they try to pull this kind of music off, - it is never a caricature - no this one feels like it's got a story to tell with these wild musical narratives. Like an old man on ecstasy mumbling away in his shredded pyjamas - trying to express the feeling of riding with the Samurai, fishing for killer whales with the emperor and eating lotus blossoms at the top of mount Fuji.

The first track is by far my favourite out of the two (yep it's one of those 2 sided epic albums). Incorporating a terrifying form of intrinsic musical rage and fear into the very soul of the piece - we start off with a scream. The track jolts and trembles under its own weight - oozing all kinds of differentiating moods and tempers varying between tribal chantings and soulfully played chiming sections that mellow things out - to woeful sonic depictions of every Japanese sorrow filled event coming from the ghastly vocals that shudder like a wet cat coming in from the rains. I hear emanations from great big samurai battles, the atomic bomb and nuclear waste transforming into black rain - all of these fears and frights shine through with radiant warmth in this remarkable track.

After a series of horrifyingly sung bonfire vocals, this caterpillar unanticipatedly transforms into a basking series of high powered pseudo disco butterflies - changing the feel of the track completely. It grows huge in scope, it gets psychedelic and we get a warm deep perspiring bass line leading this monster into new territories. Jagged gelatinous psych guitar raps its way into things - riding on the backbone of some foggy synth percolations that soak everything around them in this spacey expression. Oh yes we are indeed a very long way from were we started out. The music is now funky, strange, soothing - and almost symphonic in nature when finally a giant childrens choir starts singing. Welcome to goosebumps city.

Finishing this album off - the band flies around the world and attempts something that Jackie Chan never really managed to do, which is successfully pairing the sensible and pensive Asian culture together with the olden ways of the west. Starting out with a regular vocal hoedown for the drunk medicine men and sumo wrestlers - the ceremony begins. As things progress the track takes on the shape of a dizzying hybrid of Navaho n Samurai men - coming together to form a shelter for the mistreated and misguided souls. They chant and sing like their lives depended on it - howl at everything in sight - eliciting their forebears out of the burning embers.

The music itself is like a bizarre doo-wop. The voices and choral emanations seep in and out of each other - making up a totally unique listening experience that takes the listener through a series of wonderfully strange staccato melodic territories, reminding this listener of chit chatting animals with a mild form of Tourette's syndrome spurting Japanese - whilst sounding like an utterly insane rendition of the American Indian spirit induction accentuated through a tranced folk-like musical state.

In other words: this album sounds like nothing else. Absolutely nothing! Are you on the look out for something unique - something rare and precious like a turquoise gazelle jumping through hoops, then this album should be right up your alley.

Guldbamsen | 4/5 |


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