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Kinzokuebisu — Hako-Otoko (Box-Man)
(Vital Records VR-005, 2003, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2004-04-01

Hako-Otoko (Box-Man) Cover artBack in the late 80s bands like Kinzokueisu were everywhere in Japan, playing a heavy symphonic prog with stylistic nods to a few great british bands of the 70s, accented by 80s stadium rock stylings. Over the course of the 90s most of these bands disappeared, but it seems that of late there's some kind of undercurrent in progress, with younger bands attempting to follow in the style of Novela, Outer Limits, and others. This band is a four-piece of g/k/b/d, heavy on the Mellotron and bass pedals, with guitarist and bandleader Daichi Tagaki and keyboardist Makiko Kusonoki doing double duty as vocalists (lyrics in Japanese). My first reaction to Hako-otoko is "I've heard this all before"; the Genesis almost-rips, the Crimsoid touches, the Asia bits, and so forth. In fact the band does what they do well, the musicianship is top notch and they are faithful to their influences. On a few tracks (most notably "Kyouli-eno-bolero," "Yami-ni-ugomeku," and "Jujitsu-suru-koushin") the band does manage to come up with some seriously original sounding pieces, so in time, with more material under their collective belt, they might well have a bright future ahead of them.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 29, 2003 releases

Related artist(s): Kinzokuebisu

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