“The all” = “Poem”, Tokyo quartet Gateballers’ second album, released on February 21, builds on their debut, Lemon songs, with music awash in reverse guitar and chords drenched in echo and reverb. It’s all a hazy shade of neo-psychedelia that at times recalls the paisley underground if it were transplanted 5,000 miles west.
On the title track Hamano Natsuko’s soothingly laconic vocal floats above a churning synth riff while fuzz guitar straight out of a ’60’s garage plays counterpoint. Tanetoshikake is a melange of shimmering phased notes powered by four on the floor drumming, and, somehow, the reggae beat on Jiyuu works even in this context. Guitarist Itamura Itaru is able to distill all the colors of the rainbow down to their essence on Ending Theme and then shoot them out of his six string as swirls and whorls of notes and noise. Penultimate track “Poem” = “the all” is an eerie mix of sampled vocals and sound effects coupled with VU style guitar noodling that intrigues but never irritates. Yogen features an epic solo to close out the album with a blast of classic rock firepower. Impressive.
The music video for Beautiful Girl lives up to its name by combining a girl, a scooter and plenty of prismatic soft focus photography.
“The all” = “Poem”