You’ve done it again, Discover Weekly.
I get a lot of joy out of seeing kids pick up instruments and make a bunch of noise. The world can be pretty crappy, and it makes me feel a little bit better to see the youths getting on a stage, playing songs they wrote, and have fun doing it. Good, scrappy, DIY fun.
kurayamisaka is a relatively new five-piece alternative rock band out of Japan. kimi wo omotte iru (I’m thinking of you) is their first release, a 20-minute mini-concept album about two best friends reckoning with the separation brought on by going away to school.1 It seemed like there would always be time, that this moment was always far away, and yet here it is. It’s interesting to think about that, because the music is a noisy, distorted affair; with few exceptions, these songs are built with walls of guitar, making this parting of ways feel more tense than tender.
Opening track “theme” is only 58 seconds long, but what a way to start an album. The music is dramatic, heavy, and varied, planting its feet as firmly in 90s alternative rock as that classic, jangly J-rock sound. I’m partial to “cinema paradiso” and “curtain call”, both soaked in shoegaze pedals and walloping drums.
Based on what I could dig up, kurayamisaka may be a kind of side project for members of other bands. But, you know, side projects sometimes turn into the main event. This band has something special, and I hope they make more noise together.