Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Song Title: "Gesuidou no Petenshi (Swindler in the Sewer)"
Artist: The Stalin
Search Term: "Swindler"

Japanese punk band The Stalin have me excited about exploring them further, and I can't remember the last time a punk band inspired that reaction in me.

As soon as I typed that sentence, I realized it was about three months ago, when I first heard British punks the Adicts. It's never fun to realize just how much unreliable hyperbole I actually use in everyday conversation, but I am still really stoked on The Stalin.

Singer Michiro Endo breathlessly blurts a series of Japanese lyrics and the band pounds out an acerbic mix of mechanized structure and unpredictable guitar harshness, reminiscent of Gang of Four or early Pere Ubu. (There's a certain complementary resemblance between this song and the latter's indelibly unhinged "Life Stinks.") Once again I can offer no data about this entry's lyrics beyond "They are performed in some godless non-English moon language," but Endo's shouted performance is likably confrontational without toppling into overexaggerated aggro. There's nothing humongously special about "Swindler in the Sewer," since it is, at bottom, just another punk song, but its peculiar energy and adroitly flailing-yet-well-considered production are extremely appealing to me.

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