There?s not much better than some black clad Japanese dudes wailing away over ringing guitars while cymbals crash like big boulders into deep black oceans. As heirs to the Les Rallizes Denudes saga, Suishou No Fune play the part like true soldiers. Without actually aping their ancestors, their jams are way more structured for one, they create huge streams of emotional heaviness, like preachers of the psychedelic church on the brink of hitting ecstasy.
?Shining Star (Live)? is their 3rd release this year and although I haven?t heard the album on Archive yet, this one stands out as their most consistent so far. ?Writhing Underground Flowers? (on Lotus Sound) was magnificent but played the slowed down blues card just a tad too much. This live recording captures all the raw energy that goes into their playing and without understanding a word of what they?re singing about, I find myself completely immersed in their emotive realm of mystic vocals.
The duo of Pirako Kurenai and Kageo exchange vocal duties throughout the album. Two different styles, Pirako inhabits the more ecstatic emotion while Kageo sings his lines with an inwardlooking gaze. The production is a bitt off though, all the songs sound relatively mid-level while closer ?The Storm of Light ? Cherry? slams in the door with the volume a couple notches up. A minor issue, the shock effect is nice and the guitars rage with such a forceful power that I can?t bring myself to turn it down, it?s completely overwhelming and beautiful.
?Your Tears Drop from the Sky? is the kind of opener you wish for when they play your town. Chiming guitarmelodies searing across a backdrop of heavy drumming, Pirako wails his lines like the world will soon explode. Spacious, echo-y tales. Probably of desperation and love, and what they have to do with eachother. Crushing and epic, Pirako?s guitarwork nails it all throughout it?s thirteen minutes.
The euphoria present in the middle parts and endings of these songs are extremely rewarding but the build ups and break downs leading to those parts are just so damn gorgeous, you instantly get in a zone when ?You Look at the Night Sea? begins it?s journey through melodic break downs and Kageo?s mournful singing. And the vocals are perfect. When Pirako starts off ?A Rain? with soft ?la la la la??s, it hits as hard as all the thunderous guitars swirling around the place. This album is essential, as part of the Japanse psychrock tradition but also as a part of the experimental subculture blossoming all around the globe these days. One of the albums of my year, no doubt. 9/10 -- Joris Heemskerk (31 October, 2007)