i am speaking, of course, about the amazing japanese band that goes by the name of GO!GO!7188.
for those who don’t know, GO!GO!7188 is a band that takes no prisoners as they juxtapose relentless punk, melancholy enka, and saccharine pop in a way no one would imagine.
some songs have a chaotic, borderline-schizophrenic arrangement that is constantly surprising you with new melodies and quirks, while still being a strong, solid anthem. quieter songs change the pace with a more methodical, thoughtful pace but still share the same language in that they are all uniquely composed, thoughtfully written, and will wander in your head for a long while after you hear it. more awesome songs and some thoughts after the jump. you won’t want to miss it.
there is an added layer of depth and feeling that just resonates with me when i listen to their songs that i often don’t get with other bands. there is intent behind every note, every stroke, every fluctuation of voice that is impressive every time i listen. many bands create songs that aim to illicit one emotion from the listener, but what GO!GO!7188 provides is far more substantial and satisfying.
rather than delivering just one dimension, their songs imply many different meanings not only through lyrics, but in the melody as well. you don’t even have to listen for subtleties to know that there is something special in an engaging piece of music, and that’s what they do so well. it’s become somewhat of a staple of GO!GO!7188 to have their songs start out deceptively simple or cliché, only to turn it around completely when the song kicks off, and manipulating the cliché into a totally different beast.
how the band came to be is the classic storybook tale of friends who made a highschool band and afterwards pursued the lofty dream of becoming professional musicians. Yuu/Yumi is the lead singer, guitarist and song writer. one would imagine her as the outspoken leader of the band but she is the most introverted and soft-spoken of the group, rarely smiling for the media. Akko/Akiko is the fierce bassist and backup singer, who is an energy powerhouse during performances, and is more press and interview-friendly than Yuu; she usually acts as the spokesman for the band. Turkey is the drummer that was recruited early in the band development process, and has a cool and humorous charm that levels out Yuu and Akko’s extremes.
even as very different people, it’s obvious that they share the same devotion and love for their craft which is evident in the way they can create and perform wildly creative, complex songs without a hitch. they are technical masters of their instruments, and have the passion and intuition to make use of their talents to create something more than just a technically sound song.
i also want to point out that i think this band is one that should be heard live to be fully appreciated. the way the songs are fitted, they’re almost tailor-made to be performed in concerts, not to be recorded in a pristine recording studio and pressed to a disc. loud sloppy speakers, grimy mics and an enormous crowd is a choice stage.
you need to hear the vocals echo and reverberate out into the night, hear the instruments hammer down and shake the air between every person in a room. i would argue that more so than most other bands, GO!GO!7188 was made first and foremost for a live audience.
i suppose that’s all i have to say for now. if you haven’t heard of them before, i recommend you check these guys out. they scratch the itch you didn’t even know you had, and that’s pretty awesome.
i’ll leave with one more video; this is a cover they did of ‘Hyokkori Hyoutan Jima’, a television theme song from the 60’s that was made popular by Morning Musume a couple years ago.