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Updated 14th August 2019.
打首獄門同好会 (roughly translates to “Prison Fighting Club”) formed in 2004, the line-up consists of 大澤敦史 [Osawa Atsushi] (Vocals and Guitar), 河本あす香 [Kawamoto Asuka] (Drums and Backing Vocals), and Junko (Bass and Backing Vocals). Fourteen years later, the band has only continued to grow, recently doing a show at the famous Nippon Budokan! Currently the band are signed to LD & K Records, and to date have released 11 albums and EPs. A true feat for an independent artist! At this point they are yet to tour outside of Japan, if they can increase their worldwide profile I’m sure they would be a worldwide hit.
With a name roughly translating to “Prison Fighting Club”, you know you are in for a crazy ride. The song lyrics are comical (just look at the song titles in my top 5), which by how they have shaped their sound is not lost in translation. Although if you don’t know Japanese, the comic effect isn’t as potent but they are still a great listen (their videos also help figure it out). The best way to really describe their sound is high energy. Genres isn’t really much of a concern for them, across albums and even songs themselves can bounce around styles, similar to previously featured HYSTERIC PANIC. Unlike their counterpart, they do have more of a core sound in Punk Rock, creating a core consistency across their tracks. However, other genres they dip into include metal, metalcore, hard rock, and even reggae! Yet, it always works, particularly as it reflects the writing style of songs and bring out the comical nature. Sometimes it is an abrupt change, but timed with the lyrics to give a comical effect such as in “I Don’t Want To Leave My Futon”, there is jump to metal sound when he talks about leaving his futon!
Let’s get a bit more specific, the band themselves describe their sound as focusing around male vocals with a female rhythm section. Starting with Osawa, his vocals fall mostly in the punk style, sometimes using screaming vocals or even a standard singing voice. Both of the other members also give vocals, in a mixture of: call and response, backing, and having the lead in the chorus to make it stand out more. These vocals are the focus of the song, with the instruments focusing on delivering a strong rhythm. Notably the guitar is a 7-string and the bass is a 5-string, these extra strings no doubt gives the boost to their sound, and allows for the flexibility to go into whichever genre they desire. Where they aren’t complex, their musicality should not be underestimated, particularly as they masterfully bounce between genres. I can imagine live, these songs get a whole new level of energy. The simplicity will allow them to bounce around the stage and get the crowd going, screaming their lungs out about how Japanese rice is the best!
My Top 5 Hits
日本の米は世界一 (Japanese Rice Is The Best)
- 布団の中から出たくない (I Don’t Want To Get Out Of My Futon)
糖質制限ダイエットやってみた (I Tried A Diet Restricting Carbohydrates)
まごパワー (Mago Power)
Their discography is available on iTunes, physical copies have to be imported.