Happy Family — Minimal Gods
(Cuneiform Rune 393, 2014, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2014-10-28Years ago in the early 90s there were a bunch of cassette demos by these Japanese cats that just blew me away (and just about everybody else I knew, including the folks at Cuneiform, who signed them promptly), then two albums came and went in the blink of an eye, and then came the sad news some time after their second album Tossco that the band was calling it a day. I guess it makes more sense to quit while you’re at the top, leaving fans wanting more, than to ride that long road down the hill. The good news is that now, after a 16 year hiatus, they’ve decided to regroup and give it another go. Regroup in this case means three of the original members – guitarist Takahiro Izutani, keyboardist Kenichi Morimoto, and drummer Keiichi Nagase with new bassist Hidemi Ichikawa. 16 years away hasn’t lessened the ferocity of the band’s attack; it’s like they haven’t missed a beat, picking right up where they left off all those years ago, and upping the ante. Indeed, after a few listens one has to concede that the work on Minimal Gods tops both of their previous albums, and anyone familiar with those knows that is no small achievement. One might suspect that the band has been sneaking into their rehearsal space regularly over all the interim years and not telling anyone, preparing for this grand comeback. There’s not a whole lot more to say, the ten cuts here speak for themselves. Happy Family has returned!
Related artist(s): Happy Family
Glenn Branca RIP – Experimental guitarist and composer Glenn Branca has died at the age of 69. He was known for compositions featuring large ensembles of guitars, and for the use of feedback. He founded his band Theoretical Girls in the mid-70s as an art-punk answer to what he saw as the increasing commercialization of punk music. His compositions were highly influential, with such figures as David Bowie, Thurston Moore, and John Lurie among his fans. » Read more
OBEY Convention XI Set for May 24-28 in Halifax – As the 2018 festival season rapidly approaches, we’d like you to be aware of a real treasure of diverse and creative music that’s going to take place in Halifax, Nova Scotia, next month. The OBEY Convention is on its 11th outing, and features a wide range of artists from around the world. From avant-industrial noise to experimental takes on Classical Chinese music, from chamber jazz to doom metal, from ambient soundscapes to Canadian First Nations drumming, you’d be hard pressed to find a festival with more variety in sound anywhere in the world. » Read more
Close to the Rain Festival in Bergen Announces Lineup – Now in its second year, the Close to the Rain Festival of progressive music is scheduled to take place in Bergen, Norway, on June 7 - 9. They've got an amazing slate of bands lined up, including such powerhouses as Anekdoten, Major Parkinson, Arabs in Aspic, Tusmørke, and many more. » Read more
Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington and Oregon. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more