The Pillows
Little Busters


4.0
excellent

Review

by discovolante USER (85 Reviews)
February 13th, 2012 | 23 replies


Release Date: 1998 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The Pillows make a ruckus in the J-Rock scene with their legendary sixth studio album.

The Pillows: You may have first heard of them through the Japanese rock scene, or even more-so, you may have first heard of them through the Gainax anime miniseries, FLCL. Either way, if you're familiar with the band, you will notice their way of performing western-style indie/alternative rock. More specifically, the unique voice of frontman Sawao Yamanaka, which has a spacey and nasally kick to it. Up there with "Happy Bivouac", "Please Mr. Lostman, and perhaps, "Runner's High", "Little Busters" is regarded as one of The Pillows' most definitive works to date.

When you first start the album, you are greeted with the opening track, "Hello, Welcome to Bubbletown's Happy Zoo", which is a unique take on the indie sound, with pounding distorted guitars, pummeling bass and drums, and melodious vocals. The first two tracks sound like a brilliant mixture of bare-boned alternative/indie rock, before the fourth track is introduced, which is pretty much straightforward melodious indie rock. No complaints here.

However, "Like a Lovesong" takes a much more simplistic approach. The whole song is basically a very tedious formula that wears very thin before the duration reaches a minute. However, it is a fun song, and shouldn't be taken too seriously, as it is just over three minutes long. Thankfully, the following track, "Nowhere", which is a very spacey track, takes the album back to excellent status, with its dreamy appeal.

But the real standout track has to be eighth track, "Blues Drive Monster". With its heavy alternative bite in the beginning, The Pillows switch up once again, and create a brilliant track using catchy hooks and melodic verses to mix up a classic Japanese rock track.

Overall, "Little Busters" by The Pillows makes for a very entertaining and fun listen. Although the middle of the album does start to wear on the listener, the last few tracks helps bring the album back up to excellent status. A recommended album to indie/alternative fans, as well as all J-rock fans.



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user ratings (70)
4.2
excellent
other reviews of this album
Kyle Robinson (5)
A heartfelt masterpiece of 1990s alternative rock, Little Busters shows The Pillows at the height of...



Comments:Add a Comment 
Acanthus
February 13th 2012


9812 Comments


Heard them through FLCL, great soundtrack.

discovolante
February 13th 2012


855 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yea. One of my all time favorite soundtracks.

Acanthus
February 13th 2012


9812 Comments


Never moved on to their albums however, someday I might have to give them a try.

discovolante
February 13th 2012


855 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Ohh yes. They are without a doubt one of the few J-Rock bands that have existed for 20+ years, and never really missed a step. Their late 90's albums are classics.

foxblood
February 14th 2012


11159 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i'm surprised this didn't have a review before. it's kind of brief but good job

Auschwitz
February 14th 2012


1285 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

its about fuckin time this got a review. i think ill do one for Trial.

Parallels
February 14th 2012


10157 Comments


Oh man, this band....

love the title track

discovolante
February 14th 2012


855 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanx guys. The album's a classic.

ComeToDaddy
July 29th 2014


1851 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is the only thing of theirs outside of FLCL I've heard but damn is it good, it's so great hearing all this other music mixed in with familiar fooly cooly jams too. Nice review

dimsim3478
August 10th 2014


8987 Comments


just learned "One Life" on guitar. anyone else notice it's pretty much the same song as "Don't Look Back in Anger" by Oasis? (pillows did it better tho)

brainmelter
Contributing Reviewer
July 4th 2016


8376 Comments


Sic wit it

samwise2000
November 19th 2019


1875 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Best pillows

Lucman
June 8th 2020


5537 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Blimey, this is amazing. I took too long to listen to this when FLCL has been one of my all-time favs for years.

samwise2000
June 9th 2020


1875 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Check out runners high and happy bivouac too! They with LB are their 3 best records for sure

Lucman
June 9th 2020


5537 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I gotta hand this the 5. Loved Runners High too, but this has the feel-good warmth and fun while that one was a little more "typical" pop/punk. Still wonderfully done, but absolutely nothing beats "Little Busters."

dimsim3478
June 10th 2020


8987 Comments


They with LB are their 3 best records for sure

lotta ppl say Please Mr Lostman is their best

Lucman
June 10th 2020


5537 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Please Mr Lostman is such a nice record. Love the sunny disposition of that one.

Lucman
June 25th 2020


5537 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

"Blues Drive Monster" is seriously one of the best songs ever. Sheer musical perfection.

samwise2000
June 25th 2020


1875 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

yea such a great track! One Life was my first pillows song, so it holds a special place in my heart

dimsim3478
June 25th 2020


8987 Comments


they used Blues Drive Monster so perfectly in the climactic scene from ep 5 of FLCL. also Crazy Sunshine in the climactic scene from ep 4. also I Think I Can in the climactic scene from ep 6. imo the best use of rock music in a work of film or TV ever.

btw best live version of Blues Drive Monster is this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SRhCqRtzmTY (RIP Akasaka Blitz)



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