Now first off, I'm going to state that Polysics aren't your run of the mill band. If you're open minded, looking for something different, and aren't concerned with your music being deadly serious, then Polysics maybe for you. This Japanese bands mix elements of new wave with punk like no other.
In general, a song starts with a short, bizzare synth part, before bass and drums and sometimes guitar overtop. The verses and chorus usually contain multi layered synth parts remenisence of bands like Devo and Kraftwerk, but with a faster, more hyper edge, much like 80's computer game music. Add wacky male vocals, and cutesy girl vocals, mostly in Japanese and broken English. Vocoders are also used. Just listen to them for god's sake.
They also sound nothing like Blondie or the Killers.
Anyways, onto the album. I prefer doing track by track run-downs, so here we go.
01. Coelakanth is Android
Like most Polysics songs, the intro one starts with a synth loop, before the rest of the instruments join in. There are usually lots of things going on in Polysics songs, and this one is no exception. Drums, guitars, bass, multiple synth loops and riffs, and both male and female vocals, both in clear and vocoder style. The admirable thing is how well it all fits together without feeling muddled.
02. I My Me Mine
The lead single off this album, I My Me Mine has to be heard to be believed. Saying it is a bizarre Polysics song doesn't really cover it, considering the usual insane nature of their music, but this one is considerably wacky.
The song starts with the sound of a siren, which leads into the intro synth loop.
Then bass and drums come over the top playing a stop start riff. Then the vocals come in, led by the female singer singing 'I my me mine, I my me mine, I my me mine, you you you you yours,' and other bizarre lyrics. But the chorus is the real klinker... it's an uber happy upbeat recorder riff, sounding like something from the opening of a kids TV programme. Like most Polysics middles, the song has an enjoyable synth part followed by a particluarly sixties surf style guitar solo.
One of my least favourite songs on the album, not to say it isn't good though. Unlike most Polysics songs, this one is not particularly catchy. The chorus is a but boring, consisting of solely the lyrics 'Ah yeah!'.
04. Walky Talky
This song I do like. It starts out with a ridiculous synth riff, which builds up and up with guitars, before going back to the singular intro riff. But unlike the previous song, it is lacking a catchy chorus, which is the staple of most Polysics songs.
05. Wild One
Contender for best song on the album. It starts out like any other Polysics song, synth followed by guitar bass and drums, but then it kind of stops, and leads into a fantastically catchy vocal-led melody. The vocals are the real strength of this song, and the band know it, letting the other instruments provide backing instead of adding craziness. The song has a solo which sounds like sound effects from a Mario game, the kind of noise that sounds when you collect a coin. Listen to it, you'll know what I mean.
Unfortunately the album dips after the greatness of the fifth track. Toisu! is an instrumental track, showing off the synth players talent woth melding multiple loops and still letting the guitar bass and drums come through. It's good, but without lyrics it feels strangely flat.
07. Metal Cocunuts.
Along with the Wild One. this song also has a computer-game influence. The intro sounds exactly like the kind of simple synth melody you hear on a Sonic the Hedgehog level. Apart from that, nothing else really stands out.
08. Boy's Head
The album picks up a little hear. This song does have a catchy, fun chorus. You don't know what words they are singing, but damn do you want to sing along! It also has an interesting spoken word bridge, entirely in Japanese, which leads into a cool bass break.
09. Oh! Monaliza
Unlike most songs, this one starts with bass drum and leads into guitar. But then the synth comes in, and some darn wacky singing. This song is proof that this album could never have been made by a western band. We just don't have the mindset to produce music as unconventional as this. The singing is cutesy, simple, happy. There's no conflict or viable emotion, and usually this would detract from the music, but with Polysics, it only adds to it. They aren't making music to pour out their hearts and souls, they just want to have fun.
10. Baby Bias
This song starts with a drum beat, over which come the words '1, 2, 3, 4!' from the two female vocalists. There's a cool futuristic feel to the synth in the intro, and the singing is more conventional then most songs. The chorus is one of the catchiest on the album. The male lead is absent from most it. I really like this song, purely for it's pop sensibilites
Not a strong point by anymeans, this song seems to build towards a chorus that never comes, which leaves the listener dissapointed. It's also kind of annoying, with the constant shouts of 'jout!'.
12. Rain Rain Rain
Another perfect peace of melodic goodness, Rain Rain Rain features a nice lyrical structure with refrains of 'Rain, rain, rain ok!'. A nice, simple, happy song. Starts with the usual bizarre synth sample before heading into guitar bass and drums.
13. Skip It
Apart from the ironic title, this song is also a nice peace of catchy songwriting, sung in English, and in a way so you can actually understand... 'Waiting, waiting waiting for a good thing, trying, trying, trying to make sense.' One of the more conventional songs on the album, but still great.
14. Mr Psycho Psycho
A nice bass part carries this song, and the lyrics are sung in a very bizarre way, with words seemingly coming from every direction. The speed changes later on in the song are a nice touch.
15. Life In Yellow
Another song sung in English, yet making absoultely no sense. Slightly repetative, but has some cute vocals from the girls. A nice crazy finisher to a nice crazy album.
Apoligies if this review hasn't really made much sense, or given much of an impression to what Polysics sound like. The fact is you cannot describe their sound, it has to be heard. The most positive thign about the album, and the band, is that Polysics are purely a pop band. And I mean that in the best way possible. Polysics's music is what all pop music should be- fun, simple, catchy. However, unlike western pop artists, who are mass produced by record execs, sold purely on thier looks, and spout utter crap, Polysics emblazen everything good about pop music. Whereas American and British pop acts have given the word a bad name to people who like 'real music', Polysics manage to combine both. Most of the other bands I listen to are metal, with a few heavier punk bands added in, and I love them.