Some bands I just never make it to. I hear the various critical huzzahs, but far too many records are dubbed humdingers for me to take the 75% horseshit ratio of that sentiment very seriously. I had these guys pegged as second tier, sight unseen, just because it was easier to rationalize not purchasing their record (note: professional writers are never as honest as I). I had some money burning a hole in my oversized slacks, so I took the plunge on the recent Tokyo Electron album on a lark. Let me tell you, I'm glad I did. This one's a real pip, and Tokyo Electron's gotta be one of the better lineups going around right now. It's too bad they didn't go through San Diego on their recent tour, because I may have had to go and attend.
Noisy guitar, howled vocals, tight songs, the parts all add up. It's good stuff, it's aggressive and scary in a legitimate way, not some manufactured 'dangerous sound', or intentional use of horror iconography (which they defiantly don't do), but just scary in how serious and sincere these guys sound. Doesn't sound like they intentionally sat down wanting to write a song for kicks, but they had to write a song because otherwise they'd go crazy. They even got a bluesy ballad of sorts, with little curlicues of poppy synth coming out of left field. In a way, it reminds my of the Sex Pistols - they seem like a much faster band then they are. They don't have breakneck tempos, but it feels like it. It's just all the intensity aurally translates into it sounding faster. Tokyo Electron's the same way, just uglier. Tokyo Electron gets Phil Honolulu's seal of approval.