TsuShiMaMiRe - Sex on the Beach

review - 03.27.2011 18:09

Wild and fresh, as expected.

TsuShiMaMiRe is an all-female rock group from Chiba, Japan. Playing since 1999, the three members have gained much popularity from appearances at anime conventions as well as the famous SXSW Festival in Austin, Texas, USA and Benten’s “Japan Nite” tour throughout the US.

The album opens with the title track, Sex on the beach. The song opens with sound pouring into the left ear and then begins to alternate between the left and right ears. Right away, the album gives off a wild feeling. The contrast between Mari’s shrill, bright voice and both Mari and Yayoi's bass skills are impressive. But the moment when Mari half-whispers lyrics as well as ad-libbing towards the end is just as memorable. Singing “dame dame dame” throughout the chorus, meaning “no way, no way, no way…” in Japanese, the listener can find themselves singing along to Mari’s cheerfulness.

The second track, Chicken Sandwich, fades in with the sizzling of something being cooked - in this case, chicken. Warped guitar chords, drums and the low hiss of static break into the main opening melody. Mari’s voice is especially peculiar in this track. Most moments, it sounds like she isn’t really singing, so to speak, but that is the charm of the song. Her voice quivers between a soft yell and half-singing which suits the song.

J-POP is anything and everything but J-pop. The seemingly ska-inspired track is modestly bright and very energetic - a bit of a silly song. The brightness in Mari’s voice in the repeated lines in the chorus, “BGM wa J-pop” meaning that ‘background music is J-pop,’ makes no sense but is amusing to hear.

The middle and end of the album are the most impressive. Tracks like Pan Basket and Jitensha move away from the fun, bright feeling felt earlier in the album and dip into a slightly darker realm. Pan Basket, where Mari’s voice turns serious and isn’t as expressive by staying within a certain range, is most notable. The guitar hooks make up for that lost charm though, and makes the song one of the top tracks of the album.

The last two tracks leave a good impression on the listener. Rush Hour strays away from the wilder feeling and turns into a mixture of ska and light punk. The song itself sounds full-on and fast, as the name suggests, and is a great way to build up to the end of the album.

Sex on the Beach comes to end with the final, slow-paced Jinsei Kengai. It faintly sounds like the waltz, but pay close attention to the song and it actually is quite dramatic. Jinsei Kengai rubs the feeling of an anthem off on listeners and leaves them impressed.

Overall, the album is one crazy musical adventure. The three members worked well with each other, blending nicely, and allowed the listener to experience them fully. TsuShiMaMiRe, through their album, lets the listener experience raw talent and emotion, all in one basket.

The studio-length album, Sex on the beach, is available in the US exclusively under the label Good Charamel and includes an English version of the song Strobe.
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