GO!GO!7188View in iTunes
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With an enviable knack for pop hooks, propulsive tunes, and an energy that recalls the heady days of the British Invasion or early punk, Go! Go! 7188 is a real and happily idiosyncratic rock & roll band, a rare and welcome commodity on the Japanese pop scene. Go! Go! 7188 was formed in 1998 by Yuu (aka Yumi Nakashima) and Akko (Akiko Hamada), two close friends who had attended high school together. While both Yuu and Akko had a passion for rock & roll, neither believed that being in a band was a practical goal, and initially limited their musical activities to singing at karaoke bars and playing covers of songs by the popular Japanese rock band Judy and Mary. However, when Yuu began writing songs, the girls decided to take a stab at playing them in public, with Yuu on guitar and Akko on bass and both gals singing. After a year of playing together, Yuu and Akko added a drummer, Taakii (aka Takayuki Hasokawa), and in 2000 they released their first album, Dasoku Hokou, through Toshiba-EMI. Since then, the band has released five live albums (including 2006's Parade), two live discs, and a "greatest-hits" collection. Both Yuu and Akko have released solo albums, and Yuu has also recorded with her side project Chirinuruwowaka. ~ Mark Deming