I never really knew a whole lot about Fushi
tsusha before I picked up their second album, titled Hisou
, it’s known by both names) the other day. I knew they were Japanese, which means they could be fuc
king awesome or fuc
king gay--there’s no in between in Japan--and they were known for creating some of the most stoner-ific psychedelic symphonies this world has known since 1978. When I actually gave this album a listen, though, I found I was only right about the latter.
tsusha was led by Keiji Haino, who has performed in solo monikers or some different bands since 1970, until their breakup (or “hiatus”, but we know that’s just a shi
t term) in 2001. Like most of the long-running band’s albums, Hisou
is by no means an easy listen, combining slow, pulsing drum patterns, out-of-tune guitar playing, and some of the most crunching feedback my poor speakers have ever been forced to spit out. Haino sometimes makes the choice to buoy the crunch with vocals, as he does perfectly in the third (all untitled) track. His choked and by all means terrifying vocals sound as if the man’s being smothered to death by his own repetitive guitar riff, before moving out into guitar-wank mode, as the track condenses into one of the greatest and most experimental solos I’ve ever heard, before building back up into that riff. Problem is, this cycle repeats itself three times, and becomes straight boring.
The first two, much shorter tracks are the highlights of Hisou
, squashing all that psychedelic goodness into five and nine minute plates of easy consumption. However, the album runs the other side of the gauntlet, as the last track lasts a brain-numbing forty-five minutes, and consists of nothing but Shuhei Takashima’s primal drumming and gallons of unrelenting feedback that wash over you like a tsunami, with some strangled vocals thrown in. The song is certainly awe-inspiring for a good ten minutes, as a symphony manages to form out of the chaos, but the track does become annoyingly repetitive, and the last thirty minutes are just a complete chore to get through. These two tracks and their long-windedness bring down the overall experience of the album for me a bit, even though I can see noise aficionados lapping this shi
t up. Hisou
is by no means an album that I or probably anyone can listen to day after day, but if you need a stimulant to get you through that last bit of weed, than I thoroughly recommend this. Just be prepared for the most intense trip of your life.