Kaja Kaja Brilliant!
As mentioned previously, both BBO correspondents went to Tokyo before Xmas. Unfortunately, music was not a central part of our trip – although we did find ourselves falling in love with a band called Bump of Chicken…well we fell in love with the name rather than the music as, on our return, I found them to be a somewhat insipid McFly-esque outfit (their album Orbital Period, which was touted everywhere we went, I insisted on saying in a Vic and Bob doing Melvyn Bragg announcing Mulligan and O’Hare’s Pancake Day style of way – much to my amusement if no-one else).
However, we did make a trip to Tower Records in Shibuya. As my co-conspirator went off to find a Japenese only Andrew W.K. release, I hunted in vain for a Japanese only Manics live CD (I still don’t know if I just imagined this or it actually exists). Moving from the Westerner-friendly floor to the J-pop/punk/rock floor and faced with a series of aisles, shelves and artist dividers that meant nothing, I employed my best language skills to say “Polysics” to a friendly member of staff and was taken to the appropriate section.
This bunch of new wave electro punk terrorists are something else. I was lucky enough to catch them at the Roadhouse in Manchester a couple of years ago and I can say without too much hesitation it was one of the best gigs I’ve been to: their totally infectious enthusiasm for what they do, combined with a few judicious Manchester references between songs (delivered in an equally infectious broken English) had us cynical old gits jumping around like idiots after a few tracks. We all rushed to merchandise and bought as much of the back catalogue as we could.
Their latest album, Karate House, shows them on fine form again: from bubble-gum N64 styled pop to dark bleeping angled guitar ditties. However, Polysics are an acquired taste. And if I was being totally honest I have to be in the right mood for their shouty vocodered up-beatness (I do, as is becoming painfully clear here, tend towards the darker side musically). And I also worry that I like them because they have that oh-so-wacky and weird Japaneseness about them that draws upon some hidden and unacknowledged stereotyping on my part.
Possibly I’m being too bleeding heart and Liberally naval with such concerns: at the end of the day they make a bloody good racket. And I’m bloody gutted they played both over and up here recently and I only found out post-event. Grrrrr.
From Karate House:
And two classic Polysics outings: