Sometimes you can stumble across gems really randomly online and uchunekoko certainly fall under that category. The Japanese shoegaze artists simply have a cute anime drawing as their own online picture. Is it of themselves or of characters they play? I’ve no idea but the shoegaze rock is superb.
Kimi No Youni Ikiretara, as an entire EP, has a lazy but blissed-out vibe. The vocals feel saddened and disconnected like they are slightly separated from the music itself. The rock music itself feels uplifting on one hand but also like its having to slug its way to the forefront to be heard. The title track is a perfect example of this as the chorus feels anthemic, the verse whimsical and the song feels bitter-sweet. Other tracks such as ‘Like A Raspberry’ and ‘Timeless’ also fit this vibe perfectly. It’s not quite cutesy rock, but it borrows from it and adds the reverb pedal to it.
‘Suicide Virgins’ and ‘I’m waiting for the Sun’ are more gritty and darker. The electric guitar is backed up with more bass than the other tracks, dialling down the whimsy and upping the angry ghost vibe. In many ways, uchunekoko has a lot in common with sweet girl Americana and these tracks show it best. At half time and at closing, two piano-based ballads are included but they are short and offer more of a palette cleanser than hooks for anthems. They are nice enough but the real treat is the rock songs they divide.
So my thanks to uchunekoko – whomever you are. Thanks for some awesome J-shoegaze and hopefully we’ll get to know much more about you for a future LP to come.
Recommended track: Kimi No Youni Ikiretara
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