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Review: SpecialThanks - The Campanula E.P.

3:00 PM on 12.05.2012 // Hiroko Yamamura

Winter rocking.

After listening to piles of J-Pop on a daily basis, it's quite refreshing to sit back and listen to some raw rock and roll. I was fist introduced to the Aichi punk rock band, SpecialThanks via iTunes, when their single, You say GOOD BYE was featured as the single of the week. Needless to say the wait for new material has been a long one.

Fast forward four years, and we have their newest effort, the 5 track Campanula EP. I'm pleased to say the adorable three piece hasn't missed a beat. I nada chance to check out their upcoming release, and as you might guess, I'm pleased wit the results. Hit the jump to check out my impressions of this little EP that's been on repeat for me.

The Campanula EP really is a fantastic slice of what the band represents. Their current sound has definitely matured a bit, and isn't as up front pop-punk. The best way to describe the sound would be a late 90's/early 2000 alternative rock sound. This isn't a dismissive description in any way, as my music heart is firmly planted in that time period. Fans of bands like Veruca Salt, The Breeders, or the Pixies would find a lot to relate to in their sound.

The first thing that will grab you about the band is the vocals of lead singer/ guitarist, Misaki. She is just so adorable! Although not in a pop star way. She definitely rocks the sexy alternative band leader role well. Strong and upfront, but never overwhelming and always feminine, I can't get enough of her! The words are not necessarily easy to understand, English speaking fans will be excited to hear all their songs are in English! 

Her guitar work is nice, clean, and not over produced. Bass player Hiromu and drummer Junpei keep things moving along nicely and really show off their diverse playing ability. I sure hope I get a chance to check them out live.

From the opening frenzied energy of For, to the closing acoustical folk balls action of Wonder way -- the EP really does manage to display the bands broad new sound. The release will be out December 5th on Koga Records, and would an excellent stocking stuffer for any Japanese music fans interested in checking out the sounds that aren't on top forty radio. It's easy to think all Japanese people listen to pop music, but that'd be pretty similar to thinking all Americans rocked out to Justin Beiber. 

Do yourself a favor a explore the different sounds of a country rich with musical diversity and subcultures. Picking up some random rock and roll EPs is always a great way to start. 

Hiroko Yamamura, Editor-in-Chief
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