Japanese Super Shift And The Future Band: Futatsu

So many likable elements but the songs don’t stick.
12.7.2012
Words by Birkir Fjalar Viðarsson
What a trip down memory lane this Japanese Super Shift And The Future Band (JSS&TFB) album is. It’s like the late ’90s/early ’00s never happened. Remember that wave of  US “real deal” emo and indie rock bands? The lines between those genres were so blurred that The Jazz June, Les Savy Fav, Owls, and Bats & Mice would all have a home on the same mixtape. JSS&TFB reminds me of those days. Right there, they are on my good side.

The vibe is there, but ‘Futatsu’ leaves a lot to be desired. The vocals quickly become tedious. The double tracking doesn’t help. And for some reason, although quite dynamic, ‘Futatsu’ is like a muggy blur where nothing really stands out. I find it hard to get excited about specific songs as they fizzle by without much impact. Each song has a redeeming quality but more often than not, it’ll also feature some kind of turn-off.

That’s not to say these guys are void of ideas. There’s a lot of intricate guitar work, somewhat complex arrangements, shifts, blasts and calm. Synths seem to be making quite a comeback and JSS&TFB are ballsy in incorporating those into their fuzzy guitar rock. It’s a risky move and a troubled marriage, often corny as hell but sometimes nostalgically fitting.

I find it hard to put my finger on it, but something doesn’t gel on ‘Futatsu.’ Despite all its promise, ingredients and manpower, I doubt it will make repeated returns onto my playlist.

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