Important New Music: 番長 Style’s “I Dipped My Comb In Shochu And Ran It By The Hair Of The Evening”

Let’s begin with the album title. It appears luxuriant sufficient to use to a Jon Hassell LP with an accompanying, tastefully unique video. Nevertheless, since shochu is a Japanese liquor of comparatively stingy booziness, that is principally the Tokyo approach of confessing to grooming with Malört. Flip that sleeve round and have a look at the recording date: 2009. Why did it take 15 years for this music to make it to LP? (Elements of it have been beforehand launched on seven-inch and CD in 2022 and 2023.)

Put it on, and also you’ll know a pair issues. One is that, given the spare and inexact diction of whichever members of 番長 Style (pronounced “Bansho Anchi” or “Bancho Style”) get close to the microphone, nobody’s going to let you know something. And the opposite is that factual information is irrelevant, as a result of these sounds inform the reality. The multinational combo—Mark Anderson, Anthony Guerra and Mariyo hail, respectively, from New Zealand, Australia and Japan—has tapped into no matter it’s that makes some people swear that Sonic Youth’s greatest work was completed earlier than its first album.

It’s not sufficient to play uncooked and discordant guitar, brute and bludgeoning bass and drums that get misplaced on the way in which to essentially the most primary time signatures. No, you may have to have the ability to make all of it sound prefer it’s not simply falling aside, but additionally coming again collectively on the identical time, in order that catchy hooks tumble out of the trebly noise like a three-alarm incident within the fishing-lure aisle. Go on, slick your hair with these items. I dare you. [Carbon]

—Invoice Meyer

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