Polyvinyl Records Nearly every story written about Asobi Seksu contains the…
- Posted on Feb 18th 2011 11:00AM by Kenneth Partridge
Tell All Your Friends
She could have said anything, and for once, in the absence of Hanna's tsunami fuzz and her own waves of crystal-blue synth, fans might have understood her.
"I don't have anything prepared," Chikudate said, visibly nervous, until Hanna skronked back in, wearing a new guitar. "Saved!"
Once Asobi gets going, Chikudate's shyness melts away, and she's less reliant on that which is "prepared." Singing and playing keyboard, she'll throw her head back, sending strands of hair across her face. More than Hanna, bassist Billy Pavone or drummer Larry Gorman, she avoids simply staring at the floor and giving literal justification to that "shoegazer" tag eternally pinned on the band.
Officially, Chikudate sings in two languages, English and Japanese, but throughout Thursday's set, as the locally based foursome played through much of 'Fluorescence,' released Tuesday on Polyvinyl, Chikudate invented a third -- one based more on feeling than meaning.
Hers is a high, yearning, seemingly wordless songbird's chirp, and even amid harsh guitars and melodramatic synths, her melodies tell the stories. On the bright 'Fluorescence' noise-pop burners 'Trails' and 'Sighs,' those stories may well have been recycled John Hughes plots, as the band channeled 'The Breakfast Club' through rabbit-eared TV static.
Asobi's song titles don't offer much insight into the lyrics or the emotions behind them, but they reveal a band very much aware, in a rock-critic sort of way, of its own sound. 'Perfectly Crystal,' 'Trance Out' and 'Pink Light,' all from 'Fluorescence,' sounded Thursday night as one might expect: crystalline, dreamy and luminescent.
On 'Thursday,' from Asobi's excellent 2006 sophomore album, 'Citrus,' the band worked up from a swooning opening verse to a strobe-lit freak-out of a final chorus. It's anyone's guess what Chikudate was on about, but in 'Breakfast Club' terms, this was the point where Molly Ringwald spills her guts and stops being such a priss.
In the movie, Judd Nelson gets a smooch and a diamond earring out of the deal. Asobi fans had to settle for the sonic equivalent.
Download Asobi Seksu's 'Trails' for Free
Download Asobi Seksu Songs | Buy Asobi Seksu Albums