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Birushanah | Akai Yami | review | rock | Lollipop


Akai Yami (Level Plane)
By Craig Regala

OK, first couple minutes, song #1, is ambient drone note stuff between the simple parts of the latter "gauzy period" Swans recs, referencing a note or two from nasal monk what-not. Next song begins as continuation of this via their nation mates, Ghost, albeit with less zonked-whimsy. Its acid-folk with funny, dramatic syllabic non-word vocalizing run through classic (like I'd know) Japanese folk burble. This ends a whisper above five minutes, although it still keeps tracking as the second cut. Then the goddamn HAMMER falls.

It falls in a tradition, the one of meth-ed out Kyoto drummers who've stayed up listening to the SWANS' Crosby, Gira, Mosimann, and Westberg mid-'80s line-up. As traditions go, this ones pretty sturdy. Unlike other of their home-folks of the past, they "metal it up" in the dumbo/ker-chunka sweepstakes. This is a valuable activity. I was told a member of Corruption was involved. Sure could be. It says so on the MySpace page. The guys are listed as playing the traditional rock instruments plus "Japanese" and "metal" percussion. Sounds like it. This is pretty great big rumble-grunt vs. doom-grind. That you can't understand a word helps too. I opened their MySpace page when I was playing it and the overlap made for a more, ahem, melodic balled-up mass of UR-charge. They throw a baby crying and a few "jazzy duh-prog" moments into the mix starting around 12 minutes into the last cut. Works OK. Then, out comes Mr. 22 oz. roofing hammer. Oof!

They played here in the U-S-A, too! Like, just a minute ago. I missed it. One of the advantages they have is a great recording. There was heaving blat that HIT! like this is the olden days live but didn't transfer to recorded sound near as well. This may be the "metal" part, eh? Wouldn't mind if they wanted to pull a cool "retro" move and covered the F/i-Boy Dirt Car split record from 22 years ago, nose to toes. Hey, without roots, we all fall down! Right? Mix'm with Gore, early Swans, Fushitsusha, Lesbian, and Electric Wizard.


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