Tuesday, March 15, 2005


Bleach, Bleachmobile, Bleach03, Whatever...

I've been championing the Japanese band Bleach for something like four or five years now, ever since I heard their slap-bass spazzout masterpiece Shikai No Haba on a compilation CD. Other than that comp, which included one other song, there was no other Bleach available in the western world until the Arrivederci Baby label finally released an album in the UK called Three Girls From Okinawa that included Bleach's Hadaka No Jyuu album, three songs from their Kibakuzai album and a video.

The track names were translated into English on Three Girls, so Shikai No Haba became Width of a Field of View. Call it what you will, it's a mind blowing hardcore/noise tornado that's nowhere near as random as it might seem at first, and it's got a surprisingly pretty instrumental break tucked away in the middle.

At one point Bleach started calling themselves Bleachmobile, but that didn't seem to work out because they're currently appearing at SxSW as Bleach03. As far as I can tell, they're playing tonight and friday, before heading out to the west coast to support a new US release of their most recent album, which came out in Japan in 2003. Very exciting, though I'm jealous as I sit here in Brooklyn.

One nice thing, though, is that the SxSW website hosts a new (to me) Bleach mp3, titled Raiko (I'm wondering if this is the track Raikou~Kareki Ni Hana Wa Sakanai from the Japanese version of the album that's about to come out in the US...I just don't know).

And it's...utterly fantastic. Again they're mixing hardcore, metal, and spazz-rock while keeping the songwriting tight and the playing super-tight. It boggles my mind that Aquarius Records doesn't seem to have picked up on them yet. It seems like Bleach tour America every year or so, blow a few minds, and then disappear back to Japan, and I don't understand why they don't seem to catch on.

Kind of funny trivia: apparently there's a Christian band also called Bleach whose fans have been known to accidentally order Three Girls From Okinawa. Much hilarity ensues, presumably. Read the reviews over at Amazon.

Just about everything I know about Bleach can be found here and here and here.

Ooh, more here, including photos and more mp3s.

Width of a Field of View by Bleach
Raiko (?) by Bleach

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