Existing mainly as a live-music event since 2007, Style Band Tokyo has gone the recording route and released a CD featuring artists associated with its gigs. The compilation is a collection of great, noisy rock.
Style Band selects a pair of groups to be its flagship representatives here, gifting them with two spots each. London-based outfit Bo Ningen represent the event’s messier side, jumping between Black-Sabbath-in-skinny-jeans on “Jinsei Ichidokiri” and slow-burning psych on nine-minute highlight “Cat Soup.” Japan-based Lillies and Remains, meanwhile, do a solid Ian Curtis impersonation on their offerings.
Hotel Mexico’s “Starling, Tiger, Fox” parachutes in as the hip chillwave-esque number and shines because it sounds so different from everything else. The best songs, though, impress because they let loose a bit. Hyacca deliver a blistering winner by thrashing ahead with no breathers on “Hanazono,” and the album’s best moment comes on Nagoya group Pop-Office’s “A Certain Smile, A Certain Sadness.” Ryuhei Shimada’s emotional vocals allow the band to present an emotional brand of new wave that complements Lillies and Remains’ detached cool.
The album may not sum up exactly what the Style Band Tokyo sound is about, but the open-endedness of it allows it a chance to show off what Japan’s rock scene has to offer.
The Style Band Tokyo release party takes place at Club Asia in Shibuya, Tokyo, on Aug. 7 (4:30 p.m.; ¥3,000 adv.). For more information, visit www.stylebandtokyo.tumblr.com.