This week, we are in Japan. Since I first discovered The Blue Hearts a few years back, I’ve been vaguely aware that Japan had a strong punk scene. But I’m just going to warn you right now: I’m not going to have that much to say about these bands. I often (as is the case today) won’t even be sure what the names of the songs are. And in general (as is also the case today), I won’t have much of an idea what the songs are about. But the songs are all great.
We start the week with Garlic Boys — a band that started in 1985 and are still performing today. According to Wikipedia, they are considered by some the “godfathers of [the] new school Japanese hardcore.” In this country, hardcore has become something of a farce. The bands have little character. I doubt that either Black Flag or Dead Kennedys — Much less Minutemen! — would be accepted in the movement. I don’t know if that’s true there as well. But it certainly isn’t true of today’s song. We are going to listen to the very chant-y song that is named, “あんた飛ばしすぎ” — which Google translates as, “You’re Skipping Too.” It is off their 1996 EP ビンビンジロ, which means (if that is the right word) Bin Bin Jiro.
This song seems to be about a guy drinking to forget a woman who left him. But it’s really hard to say. There is definitely a lot of drinking in the song. And I get the impression that the singer looks down on people who drink to excess — thus the powerful denouement when he admits to doing it himself. But reading Japanese translations are very much like the stereotype, “Drink resounds in left to good though it is usually timid person a rant in it off that involved drunk people of guy rules useless change drunk too skip.” The fact that English speakers learn Japanese, and Japanese speakers learn English is very impressive.
I hope you appreciate all that information, because even finding out that much was a lot of work!