Wednesday, December 13, 2006

#3 Zazen Boys - Zazen Boys III


Some people like repetition, some people don't. It's kind of irrelevant really. Mukai Shutoku repeats himself constantly, but, would you look at a priest, who has read the litany over and over and over for years because it's his job and say, "that guy's repeating himself?" Perhaps you would, and maybe it would be funny, but that's only because it's a relatively meaningless comparison.

Shutoku says relatively nonsequetirial things about the opening of society's doors, sexual feeling, the general craziness of life like they're the only things he knows how to say. He communicates his feelings about the world so obliquely, even more so for people who don't speak his native language, that the temptation is to say that the medium is the message, when in fact that isn't true at all.

It would be difficult to accept Shutoku's vocals were it not for the exquisite preciseness of his rhythm section, the biting angularity of his guitar figures and the sparklingest sloppiness this side of Lightning Bolt. As it is they are a perfect shining ray of truth.

I've heard them described as rap, I've heard the band described as rap-rock. By some guy at Tiny Mix Tapes , who seems to be one of the few western voices to be championing the band. Pitchfork likes them, but have they reviewed an album?

Anyway, I'd like to punch holes in Keith Kawaii's tires. I'd like to do worse, but saying so might seem like some sort of wierd cheap shot threat. Not like I think he'll read this, I don't really know anything about him except he writes about Japanese music for TMT, and somehow likes the Zazen Boys while still referring to them as a rap-rock band.

I'd punch through a wall to punch his arm. Rap rock??? Rap rock!? Oh man it's making me really really mad just thinking about it.

Fuck. calmdown. okl;

The Zazen Boys not only released the 3rd best album of the year this year, but I believe them to be the 3rd best band on the planet other than Radiohead, who, let's face it, are not really on that sort of radar anymore. Zazen Boys III is so good. There is not a note on the album that is not perfect, and I'd go so far as to say it's their best album to date. Not as hooky, not nearly as easy to listen to, but enough tension in every single track to break an elephant truck in half in the middle of summer. The snare drums alone could implode a factory.

When people talk about a band being tight, sometimes they mean tight as in tight, like that's a tight shirt, but not that kind of tight shirt, more like Juicy J's shirt in the "Stay Fly" video, and sometimes they mean that the band is hitting all of the beats at the same time. The Zazen Boys are beyond tight, they crush ducks just by looking at them. I can't imagine what this music would do to hyperactive or mentally unstable people. Keep it away.

Who cares that the words "This Is Noraneko" may not mean anything in particular in a vacuum. They mean the world when Mukai Shutoku strains them through his teeth while his band makes adolescent sexual tension seem like a day in the park. The Zazen Boys killed Aerosmith. I saw it.

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