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Album Review

Toscco is yet another miraculous progression on the frantic rock and prog Happy Family is so adept at constructing — the album backs down from the straightforward energy of records like their self-titled release, and manages to add an epic melodic sense that could even suggest vague comparisons to Godspeed You! Black Emperor. The rock is still there, of course — Toscco returns to the tight, intense riffing of previous records just often enough — but there's a definite rise in the level of sophistication, making for slightly more atmospheric and slanted compositions. The fact that this stands as a large improvement over the already brilliant albums which preceded Toscco is nothing short of amazing.


Formed: 1987 in Tokyo, Japan

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '10s

Formed in 1987 at Tokyo's University of Meiji, instrumental quartet Happy Family describe their music as chamber jazz-rock driven by the fast and heavy rhythms of hard rock. Reference points include Magma, Univers Zero, and Henry Cow, but Happy Family stake out their own turf with their stunning, sometimes furious, intensity. Founding members Kenichi Morimoto (keyboards), Shigeru Makino (guitar), and Tatsuya Miyano (electric fretless bass)...
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Toscco, Happy Family
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