It’s fair to say that I am something of a newbie to the vast genre of J-rock. The name Bo Ningen means nothing to me at all. I haven’t a clue what the song is about. Nor can I contextualise it for you without a frame of reference.

But, despite my relative ignorance, I think it’s great. It’s pin-sharp, catchy, futuristic, indeed, everything you could ask for from a modern rock song. At barely three minutes long it’s not quite the showstopper it could have been, but its brevity simply encourages repeated listens. And without labouring the point too much, its foreignness is a complete breath of fresh air into my collection. Not having any idea what vocalist Taigen is on about detaches the listener from the track somewhat, yet inexplicably draws them in at the same time. It’s a disarming but not unpleasant effect.

It starts with crashing cymbals counting it in (as surely all songs should) before a car alarm guitar line wails over Taigen’s barked vocals. It’s a bit like Blood Red Shoes if there was twice as many of them, making twice as much noise, but only half as much sense. But when it’s this earnestly delivered, making sense doesn’t seem to matter.

The band are enjoying a growing reputation as one of the best live bands in London at the moment but there have been questions over how their sound transmits to a recorded setting. Surely the gloriously rampant, sugar-rush experimental noise-rock of Koroshitai Kimochi will allay those fears with its boundless energy and wealth of ideas.

Koroshitai Kimochi sounds very much like I would expect the number one track on the pop charts from Mars to sound like. And that’s a very good thing. Now, where to explore next?

This review was written for Muso’s Guide.

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