TUVABAND – Growning Pains
Scandinavian pop seems to excel at doing two interesting, diametrically different things. On the one hand, few if anyone, are able to beat the Northerners when it comes to catchy melodies. From the 70s onwards disco, power-pop and indie groups have held the radios under a strong grip.
On the other hand, perhaps more in tune with the stereotypes about the Scandinavians, they excel at making music that feels cold, vast, and would work well in the hands of a producer of a nature channel.
TUVABAND’s Growning Pains aims to cut the difference. The shiny pop production mingles with ethereal vocals. The lyrics deal with the universal theme of developing and maturing, but the sound is a unique North European phenomenon seemingly created by recording the sound of the fjords for hundreds of hours on end.
OKAMOTO’S – Young Japanese
Ah, cheers to the lovely power that rock music has to transcend borders like… nothing else really. As young funk-punks, the Red Hot Chili Peppers played aggressively hip hop inspired music that displayed musical qualities well beyond their age. The members of the current incarnation of the RHCP may not believe a lot of people were listening and they’re probably right.
But, they sure are listening now. A lot of their listeners are taking notes too, like Japanese alt-rockers OKAMOTO’S. Their single Young Japanese bristles with confidence, naivety, and a real love for playing rock tunes in a funky, ear-splitting manner.
The band members, much like their mentors, are already great players. Unlike the early RHCP, they also have a good ear for melody and are happy to sacrifice some of the swaggers of the performance for a nice, radio-ready veneer. As the name suggests, this is a youthful celebration of rock imbued with both American and Japanese influences—quite a find.