The Hang of Music: Maximum the Rei Rei Rei

So here we are. Again.

I started off easy, reviewing one of the most contraversial albums of all time, and giving a bad/neutral review to a lot of peoples favourite band.

For my next trick, I shall be covering a nearly impossible to categorise “nu” (it’s spelled new, you fucktards) metal band from Japan. “Impossible to categorise?” you say! Listen to this, stolen from their third full album (second with the current line-up), this album’s successor.

Onward, into my review of  Maximum the Hormone’s “Rokkinpo Goroshi”!

“Well one gratifying result of this session was that after the first broadcasting of it, The Slits were treated as a band, and not as a zoo.” This was a line by John Peel after he played their song “Love and Romance” on air. Wait, come back;  just because I started one of my reviews with a quote from a much better and more successful reviewer, I’m not a lost cause!

I was reminded of that whilst listening to Maximum the Hormone screech on Hōchō Hasami Cutter Knife Dosu Kiri – there are no words to explain the title. In fact, the problem with reviewing a japanese band who write their songs and song titles in japanese is that it’s hard for you to understand anything they mean. Whilst this has the incidental upside of making you pay more attention to the music, it also means that even the titles are obscured.

Luckily, wiki has the answer. So for as many titles as I can, I will include the japanese title (in latin letters – I AM NOT OTAKU), and the approximate english translation (“in brackets and speech marks like this”).*

Back to what I’m supposed to be doing, I don’t need to be able to read their track titles to say WHAT IS THIS I DON’T EVEN. I’ve never heard a band that mixes from such disparate genres; not even Late of the Pier. I actually made a running count as to how many distinct genres I could hear in one of their songs, “Rei Rei Ma Ma” (“Magic Magic Spirit Spirit”) – it’s actually repeated 8 times each, but I can’t be bothered.

Yes! The world needs more bands that shift between J-Pop, Stadium Rock, 80s synth-pop and Death Metal. And shift well at that! I’m impressed that they manage to sound like such a mish-mash of stuff, and still sound individual and good. I mean, they’re unmistakably themselves, unlike some bands, who even after years, fail to differentiate themselves.

A wild piano appears on "Nitrou BB Sensou" ("BB Nitro War"). Why? I don't know...

In terms of the actual musicianship, I’d say that I was impressed. The way that they can mix genres is good, but the way that they play their instruments/scream is awesome – in particular the drums. (Consider, after that, that she’s singing as well.) Sometimes, the snares made me think of ska, other times they were just pop styled backing beats, others still, full on metal. It’s pretty cool. I also think I heard some bass riffs nicked from the Chilli’s**, but I couldn’t tell you where.

Anyway, I refuse to mention every genre they mess with. I just won’t. Just listen to Rock n’ Roll Chainsaw.

I wonder if they might have been going for a concept to the album. There are a load of songs that start with the same 4 cymbals being hit, and a load of others that end with an obnoxious duck quack. Out of nowhere.

Becoming louder and more disturbing every time.


Uehara Futoshi (Futoshi – Born to be Bone) actually starts with the sound of someone going insane. Is that supposed to be Maximum the Ryo, the chief song-writer himself, who’s going insane, or me? Or neither? Or both?

Regardless of the insanity and frenetic pace kept up by the songs themselves, the tunes are good, and the band themselves clearly have fun. And I am a sucker for crazy genre mixes. Likewise, I kinda like that the band are probably going door to door to shock people, what with their album covers and general style.

Also interestingly – some of the little beeps that you hear? More like —-ing BLEEPS. Weird, considering the depths to which they go to conceal obscenities in their other songs. I love it!

* By the way; the title, Rokkinpo Goroshi? It means Rock Impotence Killer. Yeah.

** They even have a song called “R.H.C.P. ga Boku wo Sarai ni Yatte Kita” (“R.H.C.P. came to kidnap me”). True story.


EDIT – I should probably mention that, despite claiming I am not an Otaku, I did first hear of this band when they did the second theme tune for Deathnote. And in another of their songs, they do yell, for no apparent reason “My name is KIRA!”

And they’ve done a song based tribute to Frieza from Dragonball Z. Actually, I think just listening to them qualifies me as an Otaku. Desu.


Posted on June 23, 2011, in Music, The Hang of Music and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. This Nu Metal-type band are rather awesome. And yes you are a massive Otaku.

  2. Writing Japanese with its own writing system (or anything else, for that matter) doesn’t make you an otaku.

    It makes you Wikipedia. 😛

  3. You’ll be amused to know that the freaking out at the END of Futoshi is Futoshi himself….after getting kicked in the junk while in the vocal booth. It’s mentioned in the Q&A section (FAQ) of their Japanese site….slightly mangled by google translate.

  1. Pingback: The Hang of Music: Dreaming Chessmen on their Boards | A Hatful Of Napalm

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