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[Good Charamel; 04/18/2012]
The '60s Meet The '90s for a Rumble in the Dystopic Future
Moddish Tokyo rockers Molice say they drew inspiration from the android-centric cult film Blade Runner for their third album Neugravity. Luckily, the music doesn’t sound like it was made by robots. Fronted by rhythm guitarist and versatile vocalist Rinko, the trio is rooted as ever in Japan’s hard-driving garage rock tradition, and they sound wonderfully human.
Aside from the dystopic lyrics, the sci-fi inspiration is expressed though new wave vibes and a touch of shoegaze haze. The single “Please, Please, Pris” gets down on some dreamy ’90s grunge revival à la Yuck. But there’s a hint of rockabilly adding another layer to the science fiction reverie, evoking visions of platform creepers that levitate and shoot lasers. Throughout the album, an odd X or Brian Setzer-esque rockabilly riff will surface like the flash of a switchblade or a punky streak of bleached hair. It’s always a treat because Molice never overdoes it. They throw in just enough twang to give things that extra kick.
Overall, it’s an interesting mix of influences and the band comes up with a lot of different takes on the general idea. “Pleasure Song” is a fuzzed-out dirge, warm but dimly lit, that would fit in on a playlist in between a couple of the more summery cuts from Sonic Youth and Xray Eyeballs. Then “Soldiers” is a loud, blowsy garage-punk mess, driven by rumbling drums. Later, Molice goes all surf noir with “Control Control.” They definitely keep things interesting, so much so that the album might work really well as the soundtrack to an animated film. Rock ‘n’ roll android romantic comedy, anyone?
Rather than try to tap into any particular trend or genre, Molice is really following their own compass and the end result is pretty close to primitive rock’s true north. However, because they are kind of doing their own thing here, this album is not going to change the world in any way. But it is a really good, endearingly quirky rock album ready to be thoroughly enjoyed by anyone who doesn’t care too much about having the latest and most hyped thing on their iPod. It’s especially recommended for fans of Guitar Wolf or any fan of the balls-out way they do loud rock music in Japan’s undergound.