It is a crime when a band goes unnoticed, a sin that when they have so much quality to give and do so constantly, it is without any awareness they exist by the world outside their city or at best homeland. This applies to Japanese band Tokyo Chaos City, a band that oozes powerful and emotive sounds created and delivered with great craft and passion. To be fair from the outside it feels like the band likes their ‘solitude’ with any search for information on them a big void even on their own site to some extent but that will change the more they are heard.
Last year saw three EP’s from the band starting in January with Losers Bruise, followed in May by In My Deathbed. The third Nothing Is Happening has just been released and is a masterful and powerful statement lyrically and musically. The band consisting of Aki (vocals, guitars, bass, drum programming) and Ken (guitars), have as with their previous releases worked with a theme within the new EP. Losers Bruise was made up of songs fuelled by emptiness and loneliness whilst In My Deathbed exposed a feeling that things were desperate and pathetic. Nothing Is Happening deals with the sense of powerlessness and anger and as with the other two is emotively strong and incisive.
The sound of Tokyo Chaos City has changed across the EP’s, not in the songwriting or core sound of the band but with what it is made. Losers Bruise flowed with creative and uplifting keyboard sounds now a duo from the first EP’s line-up of three; the same effective and soaring sounds come without synths and the like to give a different edge to the music though as across all the releases there is still a clever mix of dark and light, aggression and subtlety.
‘Dumbfucks’ opens up the new EP with a Dead Kennedys like dark grumbling bass line and aggressive guitars interspersed with sorrowful melodies and break. Inspired by the Fukushima nuclear power plant failure and its handling the sense of disdain and disgust wrapped in intense and melodic sounds is impressive. Vocally Aki sounds very much like Matt Bellamy bringing the lyrics emotion through with his voice, harmoniously and delightfully smooth he has a voice to savour and delivery to admire.
Second track ‘Desperate Cries’ is a softer flowing song coming from feelings inspired by the Tsunami that followed the earthquake and it is impossible to not feel something deeper beyond the ear as it graces the senses. This is followed by ‘When I Kiss The Earth’ to complete the trilogy of stunning tracks. The song leaps into view with playful guitars that dance eagerly over a driving and incessant rhythm. The song bringing a tale of a broken heart and feelings of hopelessness and incompetence in this world against a background of engaging and inviting sounds and varied interplay is the perfect ending to a truly glorious EP.
With a sound that sounds like it comes from a mix of Muse, Radiohead, and a splash of Foo Fighters, Tokyo Chaos City are sadly one of the best kept secrets in music and with Nothing Is Happening it is sorely hoped that will change as there has certainly not been this year a release as glorious and wonderfully engaging as this, well apart from the band’s other EP’s of course. http://www.tokyochaoscity.com/