Exposé Online banner

Happy Family — Minimal Gods
(Cuneiform Rune 393, 2014, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2014-10-28

Minimal Gods Cover artYears 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!

Filed under: New releases, 2014 releases

Related artist(s): Happy Family

Latest news

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more

2017-09-06
Holger Czukay RIP – Holger Czukay, a musical experimentalist without boundaries who has been involved with expanding the sound palette of rock music since the late 60s, has died at the age of 79. After studying with Karlheinz Stockhausen in the early 60s, he became fascinated with the possibilities of rock music, and was a co-founder of the pioneering group Can. He leaves behind an impressive body of work both as musician and producer. » Read more

2017-08-22
John Abercrombie RIP – Another of the greats of jazz guitar has left us. John Abercrombie plied his way through a beautiful series of albums on the ECM label as well as bringing his talent to bear on albums by many of jazz's greatest artists. From his early work in the group Dreams to Gateway and outstanding work with Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnette, Kenny Wheeler, and many more to his own trios and quartets, he brought a unique instrumental voice to the world. » Read more

2017-07-27
Yestival Dates Beef up the Beat – Word reaches us that Dylan Howe (son of guitarist Steve Howe) will be joining Yes on their "Yestival" tour, drumming alongside longtime band member Alan White. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

The Muffins - Chronometers – A strange release at first glance. One CD, 70 plus minutes, 21 tracks, one track is 23 minutes long. Hmmm. This is a compilation of out-takes and general weirdness from 1975. The Muffins are often...  (1993) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues