Love Psychedelico's Kumi (left) and Naoki Sato.
Oddly enough, Tokyo-based rock group Love Psychedelico has more in common with the British invasion than with its contemporary Japanese pop groups, and its U.S. debut, This Is Love Psychedelico, struts its western influences better than many bands this side of the Pacific. Pairing gutsy, Stones-inspired guitar riffs with undeniably catchy pop melodies, guitarist Naoki Sato (one half of the duo) mixes influences and styles as seamlessly as lead singer Kumi oscillates between Japanese and English lyrics. The end result is a bit derivative, but has a unique flair and a vitality all its own.
"Standing Bird" opens the record on a biting, bluesy guitar spike that immediately reminds the listener of Dire Straits' "Money for Nothing." But the song quickly makes it its own, thriving on Kumi's gritty female vocals. Combining sweet melodies with feisty groans, the song proves infectious whether or not you understand the Japanese or the English.
Love Psychedelico formed in 1997, and has a very large following in the Japanese rock scene, moving over 2 million copies of its 2001 debut record, The Greatest Hits. This Is Love Psychedelico is comprised of cuts from the band's previous Japanese releases, including most of tracks found on the group's 2005 compilation CD, Early Times. Because of this, the group's Stateside debut sounds more like the work of seasoned rock veterans than first-timers, featuring countless radio-ready songs and great album tracks to boot.
The band continues to tour in Japan and across Asia, but will be in the States beginning in July, working on a new album in Los Angeles with a possible U.S. tour to follow.
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