In the same vein as he-na-choco, the formerly Usagi-Chang Records flagship-band Aprils are back with an album-long tribute to the Japanese music of their childhood. Band leader Imai’s still got one foot in the world of “all Nord Lead, all the time” electro spacepop, but the new songs “net surf rock” and (the mighty) “Pan-da” are both the closest things to new Flipper’s Guitar songs we are ever going to get. And for those who may have complained that this current Shibuya-kei revival only recalls Oyamada/Ozawa, the Aprils threw on a “Pan-da Reprise” which includes some nice Pizzicato Five pastiche PLUS Imai doing a deadpan rap pakuri of Bikke from Tokyo No. 1 Soulset.
The songs on this Aprils album almost make me rethink my current revisionist idea that ’90s Jpop WASN’T good… in other words, maybe ’90s J-Pop WAS good, and so bring on more revival. I don’t think this album is going to win over the “I was at the Maximum Joy closing party and now my picture is in Relax” set, but fuck ’em. Their role in the world is to go make boring free jazz and things that sound good, but aren’t good. Let’s leave the sugar sweet pop to the youngsters.
The Aprils enlisted popular graphic artist Mori Chack to do the cover and the video graphics for “Pan-da”, which rumor has it, will be on the giant jumbotron screen overlooking Shibuya in the near future. It would only be a better world if the people down below were listening to Aprils instead of nobodyknows+ and their ilk.