Bo Ningen means Stick Man in Japanese and this band are a Japanese alt rock band (never really know what alt rock means). The album is produced by Drew Brown who has done desk duty for Beck and Atoms for Peace so the pedigree is good here. Any album that begins with a track called “You Make A Mark Like A Calf Branding” will be at the very least interesting. This track features a minimalist feel with spoken word and a simple rhythm. “AKA-Fuller” has a brilliant bass sound and a full on rhythm with intriguing vocals and lyrical ideas. “Silenced” has a simple rhythm with ringing instrumental ideas and a great poly rhythmic backing. “Zankoku” is all sonic experimentation , a little reminiscent of Hawkwind or Primal Scream at their experimental best.
“Minimal” has a more commercial feel and features Bobby Gillespie from the aforementioned Primals on spoken word and some vocals. This is the standout track of the album. “Kyukai” takes us back to the more experimental feel with whining guitars over a loping beat . Great insistent guitar interplay. “Kuzurenai” has a keyboard opening which draws you in . With a shifting beat and phased vocals this has slight feel of Yellow Magic Orchestra. “BC” has an interesting opening which makes you want to delve further . The songs main rhythm kicks in late. The final track “Riff” has an insistent rhythm and a multiplicity of guitars leading to a more basic rhythm. This band remind me in places of Can for some reason. A questing , fascinating group of musicians aiming to find new sounds and approaches while injecting everything they do with exciting rhythm and melodic finesse.
Written by Paul Bamlett.
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