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The Routes

May 16th 2011
DWC1049, Dirty Water Records
Garage Rock, LP, CD, Download

There’s a huge number of great bands in Japan right now and one of the best is right here, right now on Dirty Water Records. With a sound that’s tough and breakneck yet soulful, there’s also real proper tunes coming from this trio. Yeah, this is freaked-out 100mph fuzz-bucket guitar garage rock’n’roll, and all executed with more than the usual amount of frenziedly primitive zeal, but it’s all delivered by people who actually know what they’re doing, who know how to play their instruments. This is no thrashing around garage-punk-by-numbers.

A review of their debut album (on Irish-based label Motor Sounds) said: “Now, with most garage bands you get the impression that they suffer from a fondness for music equipment porn. Gotta get the right pedals, the right sound, the right mixing desk . . . not these guys. This is clearly a band with some amps, some instruments and a volume control set to loud. There’s bleed all over the place, the vocals are scratchy (in a punching-the-air way) and the drummer is tight’n’loose. This band is fuggin’ ace. Not only that, but they’re clearly skilled musicians . . . not in a prog way of course . . that wouldn’t do. But the solos that leap outta each song could easily come from a vintage Yardbirds LP.”

Their debut single on Dirty Water, “Do What’s Right By You”, is a big crunchy blues punk stomp that got the old garage-rock fans as well as indie kids new to real rock’n’roll foaming at the mouth. A truly raucous romp of frenziedly frazzled greasy rhythm’n’blues wailing racket that cuts through all other current bands like a razor blade through butter.

With the sheer number of great bands coming out the Land of the Rising Sun right now, we could be seeing all things Japanese becoming the next big thing. You’d do well to jump on board now, grab your cool cred points, and be able to say, “We told you about ‘em first!”

  1. Do What's Right By You - 2:28
  2. Be My Jane - 2:30
  3. I Never Learn - 1:54
  4. A Love Like Mine - 2:43
  5. I'm Spent - 2:33
  6. Sinchan's Number - 3:12
  7. Alligator - 3:21
  8. As It Is - 3:06
  9. Now I Don't Know You - 3:31
  10. Brick Wall - 3:41
  11. Go Away - 2:41


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