J-BAND Of The Week 10/18/09 – SHAKALABBITS!
I had promised an acquaintance from the Joshifans Message Board that today I would pimp the excellent GaGaGa SP. The one problem with that is that I can find no information on the band and in case you haven’t figured it out, I like to give some background on the bands I feature here. So I’m really torn, do I keep my promise and feature a band whose music I’ve hard and enjoy but have no real information on, or do I talk at length about bands I know about so I can pass my knowledge onto you, the reader?
A tough call my friends, a tough call indeed. I am going with the latter option, just because I think people ike to get some background on what I’m exposing them to as opposed to just throwing up random music videos in a language that most (including myself) barely understand. So having said that, it is high time I introduced the J-Rock band that has been hands down my favorite since 2003… SHAKALABBITS! Formed originally in 1999 as the band JUU-Shock, SHAKALABBITS have spent the last 10 years recording andreleasing really great music. The roots of the band are in punk and SKA, the latter despite the fact they have no dedicated horn players in the band. The band derived their name by combining the Japanese pronunciation of the English phrase “Love It” with lead singer UKI’s favorite animal, the rabbit, thus SHAKALABBITS.
The band began gigging around Tokyo not soon after forming and soon cut their first single “SWISS MAMMY” for indie label Evil Design Records. Next came their first Maxi-single Overdoing. Since then the band has made at least 1 release a year, be it single, EP or standard Album. The band grew a large and dedicated following and even teameed up with another indie darling band, 175R, to record the excellent “Stand By You”. Their biggest succes thus far include achieving the #3 position in the weekly Oricon charts for their 2003 release “Monster Tree” and having other singles like “Pivot” and “Mommy’s Back” achieve some minor chart success. They recently came back to the charts in 2008 with “Walk Over The Rainbow”, the first single from their self-titled album. The band released Mushroom Cat Record, a greatest hits collection in February of 2008 and a second Greatst Hits collection, featuring their favorite B-Sides will see release at the end of October 2009. Keeping true to form, the band released their new double single (their 15th single release) “ROLLER COASTER/HAPPY BIRTHDAY” back in August.
Also UKI, the band’s singer, doesn’t stay with a specific look verylong. In fact from album to album she changes her look (in fact you if you go back to the last D&D post you can see a picture of UKI during the band’s CLUTCH period. The look she currently sports is a short,single-tone bob and much like all of her pervious looks, she looks great in it. What I can’t say UKI looks good?
So who wants to hear the band’s music now?
First up is the song that got me hooked on this band “Monster Tree”. I heard it once and had to hear it again, it was that catchy. From UKI’s vocals to guitarist Take-C’s great opening riff, everythign about the song just clicked with me. It remains the band’s biggest chart success to date and has even been featured in several music games, like Guitar Freaks and Drum Mania. It remains their most recognizable song six years after release and one of their most anticipated when they play live.
Next up is “Pobby To Dingan”, a sentimental song about friendship and young love. It akes its title from the Ben Rice novel Pobby & Dingan. Pretty esoteric reference for Japanese Pop/Punk/SKA band. Still it is a great song that once again putsUKI’s great vocals front and center. The video is taken from their Live DVD between YOU and ME SHOW FINAL 2005 in Nippon Budokan
Lastly I’ll leave you with 2 more live performance and their most recent single. Up first a great live performance of “The Pitchfork Diaries” from their Riddle Glide Sound System 2008-2009 LIVE at ZEPP NAGOYA and one of their signature songs “G*S*G” which stands for “Groove SHAKA Groove”. Then last, their newest single “Roller Coaster”. Really get an idea of how great this band is live, as past live performances have included UKI taking true Rock Power Stance on stage, TAKE-C going nuts on his guitar and Bassist KING just… well being KING!
(Note: The BURNING CYLIDER LIVE CD comes with a DVD and you get to see UKI breakdown with emoti on stage, it is actually a breathtaking sight ot behold and gives an idea of just what the fans mean to this band)
NEXT BRAVE BLOG: Bad Movie #6!