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Live

Miminokoto

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Album Review

This is a strong proposition from one of the lesser-known Japanese underground rock bands. Miminokoto's brand of garage psychedelic rock relies on a stripped-down instrumentation, slightly askew riffs, and an overall good-rockin' vibe. Recorded live at the Penguin House in Tokyo on various occasions in 2002, this third effort by the trio is raw-sounding but shows an outfit very much in control. The album begins with "Tottemo," a head-banging anthem that will remain the disc's highlight. Bassist Takuya Nishimura, against the code of conduct of garage bands, sides with singer/guitarist Masami Kawaguchi instead of drummer Koji Shimura — which means that he ditches the "rhythm section" duties to add melodic counterpoint to Kawaguchi's riff chugging. But this quirk aside, the group stays true to the garage rock format (particularly in terms of sticking to the song form). "Subeteha" and "Kikasete" are the two obligatory slow songs. Slightly overlong, they lack a little bit of substance for the Japanese-deaf listener (Kawaguchi's wails are too much on the pathetic side to really touch). Luckily, these are framed by feverish rockers, especially the closing "2330," which almost sounds like a Southern stomper at first, that is before the trio starts to move out of the tune itself, threatening to launch into an Acid Mothers Temple-like jam, yet staying just close enough to the song not to do so. Miminokoto is not as wild as Makoto Kawabata's bunch, nor does it rock as overtly loud as High Rise or Mainliner, but the group plays a convincing no-nonsense psych rock with cross-cultural appeal. ~ François Couture, Rovi

Live, Miminokoto
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