Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Yura Yura Teikoku - 3x3x3

Yura Yura Teikoku are a recent discovery for me. The band began as a 4-piece in 1989 (one guitar-player left early in their career), earning a cult following in the KĊenji music scene (the supposed birth-place of punk in Japan) with their spastic performances. Spearheaded by singer/guitarist Sakamoto Shintaro, who would shave off his eyebrows and wear his waist-length hair parted down the center like traditional Japanese ghost-caricatures, the band earned a name in the underground as a bombastic psych-freakout with essential live performances.

The band continued to gain popularity in Japan, so much so that word of the band has remained almost none-existent outside Japan; Yura Yura Teikoku played their first gig-abroad in 2005, in New York.

I've been on a mad hunt for their material, specifically their indie releases prior to this post, or before their first "official" and acclaimed debut in 1998, '
3x3x3'. The band has retained their spastic qualities, only more integrated into a surf-sounding dynamic, constantly pushing the boundries on later releases of experimental pop...which to be honest, in the few others I've heard, has been hit-or-miss.

Yura Yura Teikoku (translated as "Unbalanced/Floating Empire") started from scratch with their live show, which still seems their most revered quality. If anyone has/can find their work like '
Are You Ra?', which (apparently) is more representitive of their live sound, I'd def appreciate it.

All that said, their major-label debut, '
3x3x3' is good stuff. Sakamoto Shintaro seems skilled enough on guitar to switch styles at will, and the songs reflect it. The bass-player finds some tight grooves, and the drummer, while not technically amazing, is a large part of the band's eclectic sound.

If you're interested in hunting down more of their recent work, their album '
Sweet Spot' is pretty interesting, too. And I couldn't talk-up their live show without a vid, so here's a badass show around just imagine ten years prior with undoubtedly more freak-out.

mind the graves


Anonymous said...

thanks very much for this. x

Anonymous said...

Thank You!! I've been looking for this a long time. Salute, M

lessMTVmoreTMV said...

No problem ;D

I'm fairly sure they disbanded this year which is kind of a bummer, but their discog is already so intense

Search around on here for some others if you haven't heard.