Maxi Single Review: Kishidan "One Night Carnival"

I only ever watch the Japanese pop charts to see the videos of cute girl singers. But, just occasionally, among all the derivative pop fluff, something truly unique and Japanese stands out, like Kishidan.

Defined as "Yank Rock" you might expect them to be even more derivative, but somehow dressing in high school uniforms with giant 50s rockabilly quiffs and doing complex dance routines while singing "Can you master baby?" is as Japanese as sushi.

Instead of trying to look to look like chain-wearing, baggy-trousered American hoodlums, Kishidan represent an indigenous bad boy image of high school delinquency and bosozoku. None of this would mean a thing if they weren’t any good, but musically Kishidan are a tight band with a lot of tricks. The title track is catchy with some great, fluid guitar playing, while Guri to gura starts out sounding like Cream before funking out, revealing the complexity of their musical underpinnings. Also check out their major first album released back in April, 1/6 Lonely Night.


C.B.Liddell
Tokyo Journal
July 2002
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