Hailing from Japan’s Kansai district Hibushibire are at the forefront of the new wave of Japanese psychedelic rock bands. Their Freakout Orgasm! album from early 2017 reset my expectations on what psych rock is all about as effectively as Mainliner and Musica Transonic did back in the mid 90’s. Yes, they are that good and are a very, very special band.
The new album builds on everything that was good about their first release; huge riffs, maximum freak out guitar solos, ample fuzz and they take it to even greater highs all without faltering into the indulgent. That’s a neat trick to pull off considering the countless bands have failed with it. It’s probably fair to say the band’s ‘home venue’ Helluva Lounge in Kobe has helped with this, most nights they have four groups playing which must restrict things bands time wise, it’s also pretty much the only venue in the area so all sorts of bands play there, the place is a melting pot of musical styles and influences. The band also play together a lot (check out their live numerous YouTube clips), 6 official live bootleg albums released in the last two years in addition to the two Riots Season releases attest to how vital they currently are.
As per the first album, we get four tracks to immerse ourselves in, three on side A and a 17 minute epic on the flipside to finish. From the outset it’s the closest musical experience I can recall to racking up some class A’s and getting a proper buzz on. It is ridiculously good in all the right ways and completely moreish. I keep thinking I’ll have a bit more of that and tweak the volume up a bit after each track, the other day I got stuck in a loop and put side A on repeat listen about half a dozen times. It got to the point where I had to put earphones on to save any possible words from my neighbours, who nice as they are definitely aren’t part of the psych crowd.
One thing about the band that did pass me by a little on the first record was the interplay between Chang Chang (guitar), 821 (bass) and Ryu Matsumoto (drums). On this new record it is phenomenal, Kawabata Makoto is at the recording desk again and has perfectly captured the essence of the band at full flight. The playing from 821 and Ryu play a huge part in making the album so good, the three of them together act as a superfluid and there is space in the dynamic for each to shine, absolute bliss start to finish.
Needless to say, and as you would expect from a Riot Season release it is beautifully packaged, there are lovely liner notes by Kim from Helluva Lounge to pore over, an Obi strip and the vinyl is appropriately acid orange on this first pressing.
If you are in the UK, Hibushibire are on tour from 15th May, having seen them in Manchester last year I can say with confidence that anyone who goes to see them will say it was their live event of the year.
Turn On, Tune In, Feak Out is available from Riot Season.
Live Dates: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0P1XyuYTGnM …
Blow! Blow! Blow! Album teaser https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJ3WFhBq2xA …