Thursday, January 21, 2010

Prague: Light Infection Tour

I went to see Prague at Shibuya's O-Nest last night. They are on the Tokyo leg of their Light Infection Tour, promoting their eponymous new single. Check a few posts down for the video.
The guys played well as always, and this time held the stage for much longer than usual.

Their music would be difficult to describe unless you are familiar with some of the sounds of contemporary Tokyo. One time when I split a cab home with Tsugu, I asked him about his favorite Japanese groups. Without hesitation, he mentioned the electro-rock band, Sakanaction. After listening to all Sakanaction's albums, I could see the connection. Prague has all the pop and funk of an electro-techno rock band but none of the electronics.

I'm most attracted to the interplay of Yuuta's high singing vocals with his dreamlike electric guitar. The sound is at once introspective, emotional, and aggressive, a perfect match for the dim urban-esque lighting of the typical Tokyo basement venue. Of their current releases, I think Slow Down most clearly represents their vibe.

I'm not the only one in town onto this group. They are signed by Ki/oon Records, a division of Sony that boasts some of the best bands in Japan, if not the world. Asian Kung Fu Generation, Chatmonchy, the Polysics, now Prague. Ki/oon has been pushing Prague's major debut all through the fall. They have posters up in Tower Records and on billboards around Shibuya.

After the show we all grabbed a few drinks and shared some good conversation. Prague is under the same management as Bo-Peep, so I saw quite a few of the usual suspects. The band has a funny dynamic. Bassist Tsugu and drummer Ken are outgoing and will talk about anything, but Singer Yuuta is unbelievably shy. Musically, he commands the band, but between songs and off stage, he doesn't have the 'frontman' personality. I think it adds to their mystery.

Keep an eye out for the debut album scheduled for release next June.

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