The annual Next Music from Tokyo tour of Canada is celebrating its 10th run in 2017. The weeklong tour showcases up-and-coming rock bands from Japan, and this year’s lineup is stronger than ever. Listen for the noise of Hyacca, the genre-bending guitars of Yubisaki Nohaku, and more on May 19-24 in Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver.
With their first full-length album, Coelenterazine, released this past January, rock quartet The Taupe leans toward dream pop in tracks like “Kaigan Enjou” (“Coastal Blaze”), where Kawamoto Yuki’s soft vocals overlay Shouhei’s reverberating drums. “GORILLA GORILLA GORILLA” is relentless, burning steadily through Onodera Emi’s bassline before she interjects “In this city,” and the guitar noise of Kawamoto and Neil Patti Patti Patti layer on top of each other with Kawamoto shouting, “Gorilla, gorilla, gorilla.” “The Taupe is not a band,” clarifies their website. “It is a monster.”
As a part of Codomomental Inc’s metal idol groups, Yukushirezursurezure released their first single in 2015 and have been performing ever since. From the punch-jump of guitar in “Ware Ware” (“Ourselves”) to the gentle bells and dance beat of “Shinjuku Cinema Connection,” the four women of Not Secured, Loose Ends combine pop sensibility with hardcore vocals, resulting in a new idol music.
Guitar-driven rock quartet Yubisaki Nohaku has been playing music since 2008, operating under the name Raditz until a moniker change in 2011. The versatile musicians are adept in styles from the fast-paced ballad “Sou,” the harsh funk noise of “Motageru,” and the danceable “Nanigashi” (above), which is grounded in a keyboard riff and a verse of “Hey, hey, listen for a second.” As they have yet to release a full-length album despite their experience and skill, Yubisaki Nohaku is a band to watch.
Backed by a rotating cast of drummers and bassists, guitarists and vocalists Nanamure Nobumi and Ino Yuji are the main members of Bakyun the everyday, but their commitment to collaboration is all to support a hard-rocking joy of playing music. In “SEIKATSU ♡ YOU,” Nanamure and Ino trade off vocals in an anti-love song, pop-punk in its roots but more mature in its execution. The riff and gang vocals of “BASEBALL PLAYER SONG” are based in punk, but Nanamure’s delivery is light and tongue-in-cheek. Bakyun the everyday perform with such delight that it’s easy to miss the sophistication of the harsh distortion and crashing cymbals that might belong in the post-rock section.
The experimental noise rock quartet Hyacca (who had also been a part of NMfT’s third tour) might be the heaviest of the lineup. Their tracks range from the staccato off-beat of “Stress” to the full seven minutes of “Angel Fish,” in which the sludge of distorted, repeated guitar lines hidden underneath angelically apathetic vocals from Kajiwara is awakened halfway through by the march of Harajira Seiji’s bass and Sasaki Kimihiro’s drums. Goshima Masaru and Kajiwara finally scream through their guitars and abandon vocals in search of a post-shoegaze, post-math-rock world.