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Monday, May 23, 2016

Jonder with fab Japanese rock

(Scott)-As I have pointed out so many times, I am a sucker for non-english language rock, not sure why, I just happen to love it, the music really MUST do the talking when the vocals and lyrics make no sense to me, I guess.....anyway, I was not previously familiar with this EP from High Rise, presented by longtime blog friend Jonder......this will probably be first on my playlist Tuesday morning, but I trust his judgement, and , as I said, the genre is right up my here ya go, enjoy, and don't be scared off by the Japanese vocals....expand your horizons!


I'm no expert on Japanese rock, but I have a few records that I dearly love.  As Scott wrote, don't let a language barrier prevent you from enjoying great music.   Gruff Rhys of the Super Furry Animals was once asked if SFA's Welsh language songs could appeal to listeners who don't speak the language, and he replied,  "If I listen to a Nirvana record I don't understand most of their lyrics... I just understand the frustration and the passion in his voice."  

Do words mean much in Japanese songs like "Pinhead Cranberry Dance" (by Thee Michelle Gun Elephant), the Boredoms' "JB Dick and Tin Turner Pussy Badsmell" or "The Head That Controls Both Right and Left Sides Eats Meats and Slobbers Even Today" by Bleach?  No -- let the music do the talking!  Boredoms, Bleach, and TMGE are on the way, but we begin with the universal language of rock:  the almighty guitar riff.

The group High Rise formed in Tokyo in 1982.  They were first called Psychedelic Speed Freaks, which describes their music well.  They took the name High Rise from a J.G. Ballard novel, and they pared down to a power trio for their second album.  The band is most frequently compared to Blue Cheer.  Guitarist Munehiro Narita works that wah-wah pedal!  Bassist Ahahito Nanjo's vocals are kept low in the mix. Hot and tasty riffs are the main course, so grab this platter and dig in.

Disallow is a 1996 EP (reissued in the US in 1999).  Some folks hear a free jazz influence, and High Rise improvised the EP's last track.  They toured America in 2000 and broke up not long afterward.  Look up "Psychedelic Speed Freaks" for some High Rise live videos. 


  1. High Rise - DISALLOW:

  2. Thank you. Love High Rise....