Release Info: SAKANA-MY DEAR, CD, 1996, JAPAN
Placing emotional emphasis in awkward places and limping when they mean to strut, this idiomatically askew Japanese crew really tax my capacity to frame their actions. Whether they're trying to be funky, romantic or sunshine-y, Sakana's subtle but persistent ass-backwardness subvert these vibes at almost every turn, though said subversions are often subdued enough that these tunes might pass as almost normal under less-than-close scrutiny. In tone and intent, these folks are perhaps most comparable to the Homosexuals-releated UK outfit Orchestre Murphy, if you could imagine them subverting their Slapp Happy-like overtones with soppy 90's lite jazz motifs and other questionable-seeming tactics. There are even some bits here fleetingly suggestive of popular 90's artists normally well outside our purview here like Bjork or even Beck, though the thrust and intent of this album is so consistently and naggingly "off" (never more so than on the title track), these trendier signifiers scarcely render events any closer to comprehensibility. The result is something curiously gripping, though you might feel like a dip in the shower after being in it's oddly queasy embrace.
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