Hitting the sweet spot
What do I know about Yura Yura Teikoku? Not much, and almost all of it comes from this page at Mesh-Key Records, a New York label that acquired some of this Japanese band's out-of-print vinyl and brought it to the States. (It's also where I swiped that great photo above.) Yura Yura played their first-ever shows in the United States last month. I saw them at Northsix in Brooklyn and it was great, although not as out-there mindblowing as their live CD from 2003, NA.MA.SHI.BI.RE.NA.MA.ME.MA.I (somehow I have a feeling that title doesn't translate well). Their main sound is Nuggets-type rock like dozens of other bands from Japan and everywhere else, but they add massive walls of feedback and psychedelic weirdness, as if a band from the late sixties time-traveled forward to learn about Sonic Youth and Radiohead, then went back to the garage.
I grabbed their new album, Sweet Spot (Sony Japan), at the show. Like the concert itself, it seems to have less of a wig-out factor than their old stuff, opting for a cleaner garage sound and more mellow psych touches.
If you dig this stuff you can buy or download more at Mesh-Key.