There is always a certain thrill when coming across a new release from Japanese rock band Tokyo Chaos City. They were the first band these fingers chose to review as The RR began its first steps so a permanent attachment is in place but most of all the excitement comes because the band is so damn good. They still seemingly are a secret most have yet to discover and at times it feels like it is only us and the band itself who know of their existence. Admittedly whether previously the band has actually promoted themselves with any enthused energy has always been something to ponder though their recently emerged presence on social media sites is great to see and hopefully the beginning to wider recognition. You’re Dead And You Just Don’t Know It is the fourth EP from the Tokyo trio and if ever there was a time for the world to find their impressive creativity and sounds it is surely now.
The band began in 2010 and announced their presence with their debut EP Loser’s Bruise, a three track release which was as fresh as it was emotively stunning, the following year. The songs as with subsequent releases explored emotions and passions, bringing the likes of sorrow, anguish, and anger into a world of heart borne expression. Its glories were followed further into 2011by the equally impressive power and craft of the In My Death Bed and the Nothing Is Happening EPs. Combined their songs dealt with emptiness and loneliness, thoughts of desperate and pathetic situations, and the sense of being powerless and angry. You’re Dead And You Just Don’t Know It continues the investigation and openness of shadow drenched emotions to again leave one gasping in pleasure and reflection, the imagination and invention of Aki (vocals, guitars, drum programming), Ken (guitars), and Yuki (bass), as incendiary and startling as ever.
Choose Not To Live brings the release to life with an unsettling yet mesmeric stirring of the senses. Dark and intense the track pulls the blackest thoughts and the biggest shadow out to play, challenging and provoking its subject and recipients musically, lyrically, and moodily. Musically the track coaxes and draws one in with a breath which washes over the senses with a compulsive beauty whilst igniting a distressed atmosphere of discord to match the scars of the theme. It is glorious, at times understated and in other moments invasive whilst throughout the guitars perpetually twist and create unpredictable sounds to leave one in inspired absorption.
The following Drown In Broken Dreams envelopes the sense with a leaden emotive energy and oppressive presence. The song lays in broken dreams and lost hopes, again its breath spawn of emptiness and overwhelming shadows. The track pulsates through scorched melodic invention and consumptive atmospheres to leave once more a reflective and challenging wrap around the listener. It is as the release as a whole, simply beautiful, a black elegance which one can only immerse within and devour its emotive wash.
Closing with the magnetic 1440, a track which brings its own distinct imaginative lost world to envelope the senses, the EP is magnificent. From the glorious vocal caresses and harmonies, the dripping emotional textures, to the masterful unique invention of sound and words, it is dark perfection. To describe the sound of Tokyo Chaos City is not the easiest but imagine the essences of Radiohead, Deftones, Portishead, and Muse evolved into something more dramatically and emotionally stark yet openly gorgeous and you get a feel for the staggering music of the band and within You’re Dead And You Just Don’t Know It EP.
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