Saturday, March 7, 2009

   When my old band toured Japan back in 2002, we were told that one of the bands opening up for us was this really great group called 54-71 (in Japanese, Goju Yon Nanaju Ichi) and that we should be very happy with their live performance. Well, the singer came out with old school  boxing headgear on and their drummer had a 3 piece drum set and was sporting a nice Hawaiian shirt so already they were great. Their sound is all rhythm; everything is wound tight. The bass and drums are fine-tuned in their precision and the guitar lines are skeletal...clean and clear. Now here comes their singer...what is this? He is rapping...I think he's rapping. He's kind of wheezing...is he okay? This is great, this is sad, this is even greater. A head-scratchingly excellent group that has apparently garnered some stateside recognition due to their opening slot for a Deerhoof tour (among others). This is a really interesting album (entitled UNTITLED) and showcases 54-71 as the minimalist adventurers that they are.

   By the way, anyone who knows me knows that I am completely inept when it comes to video games (my old roomates laughed in delight as I could not jump over some kind of magic mushroom things in a Mario Brothers game years ago), but at the time of hearing this record, I was introduced to Parapa The Rapper and I could not help but draw some kind of comparison between 54-71 and that animated hip-hop dog. Of course, you'd have to add in a little bit of Chicago post rock circa 1997 to seal the deal. Think June Of 44 or Slint....now consider both Parapa and those bands intertwined. Perplexed?

This should be heard and discussed. Don't leave the comments box all dusty on this one.

4 comments:

Brother Nature said...

It's funny you should post this because I was just listening to this record and watching videos of them on youtube.
It's weird the youtube videos aren't anything like what I remember (more rap, less Slint)...
some of it's still really good though

Dojo Casino, It's all in the mind

Scribbles and Shits said...

This is awesome, thanks so much for posting it. I've been searching for more of this but it seems they have only released one album in the US,availible on i-tunes. If you have more please post it, gotta have it!

Rocketboy said...

I just cannot get enough of this album. Right now, my heavy rotation is this, Ken Nordine (Colors) and The Mountain Goats. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

i'm looking for "I'm Not Fine, Thank You. And You?" album. can't find it :/