Mudy on the Sakuban “Zyacalanda”


Special To The Japan Times

Nagoya five-piece instrumental rock band Mudy on the Sakuban’s “Zyacalanda” EP is their fifth release in as many years. The eight-track effort was produced by Yoshimitsu Taki, the guitarist for local emo/post-hardcore act 9mm Parabellum Bullet. Impressed with Mudy on the Sakuban’s output on the EP, Taki joined the group as a temporary sixth member for their “Zyacalanda” June release gigs in Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya.

Ambient guitar noise ushers in the atmospheric opener “Soft.” But the brief sense of calm created by the song vanishes as it fades into the explosive title cut. Similar to “Moody Pavilion,” the standout single from Mudy on the Sakuban’s 2010 full-length debut, “Pavilion,” the track “Zyacalanda” is filled with frenetic postpunk and complex math-rock rhythms. The song slows briefly near the end before the band launches into a fantastic noisy freakout.

The only track delivered with greater intensity than “Zyacalanda” is “Hard.” Mudy on the Sakuban are a powerful live band, but with past recordings they have struggled to replicate their onstage energy. “Hard” finally sees them doing this. The song’s dark postrock beginning quickly builds into angular prog-rock. With guitarists Hirokazu Furusawa, Watifo Mori, and Ryouta Kiriyama all doing their best to spin the heavy, densely layered number in different directions, the sound suddenly cuts out as several short blasts of machine-gun drumming from Kouhei Itou takes Mudy on the Sakuban into more experimental sonic terrain. From there, the track morphs into a brief bout of Mono-esque soaring postrock before returning to its earlier prog-rock grooves.

The group use a synthesizer to add steel drum-like sounds, electronic handclaps and a small laugh to “Ego Dance,” giving the cut a playful island vibe. While the off-kilter “Panic Attack” keeps listeners on their toes with its erratic time changes. And while these and the disc’s other songs are solid offerings, “Hard” and the title track are what make “Zyacalanda” worth picking up. Consider everything else on the EP a bonus.

Mudy on the Sakuban play Club Lizard in Yokohama on July 13 (7 p.m.; ¥2,500 in advance; [045] 663-4755) and the Apollo Theater in Nagoya on July 16 (6:30 p.m.; ¥2,500 in advance; [052] 261-5308). For more information, visit www.sakuban.com.