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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Hiro Yanagida - Nanasai No Rohjin Tengoku (1971 Japan)

Mutant Sounds Album Of The Week

1. The Butcher (2:57)
2. The Murder In The Midnight (8:06)
3. Fantasia (4:56)
4. Good Morning People (3:03)
5. Always (2:43)
6. The Skyscraper 42nd Floor (3:57)
7. My Dear Mary (2:10)
8. Melancholy (4:26)

I initially thought I had a real Japanese Psych Monster on my hands with is rare and obscure set from the keyboardist Hiro Yanagida. The first track hits hard with some incendiary Japanese psyched guitaring and free-form organ from Yanagida  that knocks my socks off. Think Deep Purple on acid. The Monster " The Murder In The Midnight" gives us 8 minutes of the same intensity and I'm going Far out Man. "Fantasia" starts off a bit slower before the guitar psyches out again as only the Japanese can do and I'm in heaven. this is fantastic. Then things start to go astray a bit, the fourth track is quite catchy and funky and still with that psyched guitar, but comes across as a bit of a novelty dittie, something off a TV show perhaps. Yanagida tries to mix things up a bit but fails to pull it off with a pretty awful vocal pop track in "Always". "The Skyscraper.." has quite an infectious little melody happening with some John Cage like piano happening in the background and keeps this album from totally losing the plot, so far. Trying too hard to be eclectic spoils the show somewhat with the terrible 50s Doo-Wop of My Dear Mary", thank god it is the shortest track here. Things appear to pick up a little with the Blood. Sweat and Tears sounding intro to the final track but it turns into a bit of a tuneless dirge with terrible sounding vocals way back in the mix. So a bit of a mixed bag then with the initial few blistering tracks getting us all excited only to be let down by the inconsistencies of the rest of the set. rating 3/5.

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