Kinoko Teikoku
Long Goodbye


4.0
excellent

Review

by ZombicidalMan USER (17 Reviews)
April 14th, 2014 | 81 replies


Release Date: 2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Well-crafted dream pop that may sneakily become your summer soundtrack.

Japan is curious in the fact that it loves to borrow ideas from other cultures and add their own flavour to them. French cuisine, American junk food and candy, and even McDonalds all have been reengineered by Japan for their own demographic. In the world of music, shoegaze has become quite popular in Japan, with bands like Tokyo Shoegazer, Mass of The Fermenting Dregs, and the classic Honey Dip, it’s not hard to discover talented and worthwhile artists. Looking at Japanese dream pop, which has a very pleasing feel, perhaps the leader is Kinoko Teikoku, whose name translates to “Mushroom Empire” – sadly, not a reference to the Mushroom Kingdom of Nintendo fame.

Long Goodbye is Kinoko Teikoku’s first EP, consisting of just five short tracks adding up to about 20 minutes. What the album lacks in longevity, however, it makes up for far and away with quality and catchiness. Taking the spotlight is Sakou, the band’s female vocalist and rhythm guitarist, who is ever present on each track. Sakou's vocals are done in a typical fashion for shoegaze inspired music, lightly singing in a way that sounds as if the words are pouring out of her mouth. On some tracks, like the stellar “パラノイドパレード" (Paranoid Parade), her voice is more prominent in the mix, but for most of the album she sticks to a rather subtle delivery. Backing her up is Ah-chan on lead guitar, who creates bright leads which inevitably become stuck in your head hours after you’ve heard them. Ah-chan also adds backing vocals to Sakou’s, and they play off of each other nicely.

The rhythm section, featuring Taniguchi Shigeaki on bass and Nishimura “Kon” on drums provide the backdrop to the music. The drums and bass together are usually lively and quick, weaving the base for the guitars and vocals. Since the songs largely rely on simple chords and leads, it’s great to see such energetic rhythm supporting them. Without the constant barrage from this pair, the album would be in danger of falling into boredom. The majority of the music here also relies on past work by shoegaze bands, but at the same time, Kinoko Teikoku throw in catchy bass, post-rock elements like tremolo picking and heavily delayed guitar, and a lot of very ear-pleasing passages. The album is also paced perfectly, with the first three tracks charging in with quick beats, slowing down for the luscious ballad “Flower Girl” before ending with the short and optimistic “Make L”.

The album likes to change tone as often as it does tempo. Though the songs are absent of any grating qualities, they shift between being more mellow and sickeningly happy. Opener “*ンググッドバイ” (Long Goodbye) remains one of the most blissful and down to earth tracks I’ve heard in some time, and “海と花束” follows suit, too. But on Paranoid Parade, the album takes on a more regretful tone, culminating in “Flower Girl”. Although I can’t understand Japanese, it’s easy to see the songs have much different meanings. Now, this is not a complaint – variety is always good. But on the EP, it sounds as if the band wasn’t sure which style they wished to pursue, and instead drew upon two different sounds. The songs all are well crafted and delightful, but the change in tone also makes the album seem less cohesive. On a full length, I think it would have felt more natural, and less like a “Greatest Hits” collection of dream pop tricks.

Kinoko Teikoku definitely lean towards a lighter brand of shoegaze/dream pop, and by doing so also create one of the most infectious EPs you’ll hear. Although the album clearly displays its influences, it doesn’t feel like a rip-off. And despite the disconnected feel of the EP, each songs feels just right, never staying too long and always adding something catchy and interesting to keep you listening. Long Goodbye is certainly worth your time if you like classic bands like Cocteau Twins, MBV, Slowdive, or even Galaxie 500, and want something refreshing to jam as the weather improves.



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user ratings (40)
Chart.
3.9
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related reviews

Eureka

Uzu Ni Naru


Comments:Add a Comment 
ZombicidalMan
April 14th 2014


2476 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Latest in my Japanese music reviews. Next up should be some Acid Mothers Temple and Mass of The Fermenting Dregs.



check this album out, it's awesome

ZombicidalMan
April 14th 2014


2476 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i'm just here to give sput-cred to some sweet japanese artists :')

treeqt.
April 14th 2014


16962 Comments


trending all genres albums

ZombicidalMan
April 14th 2014


2476 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'll add it to the list, it's definitely worth a review anyways

toxin.
April 14th 2014


12924 Comments


>like the stellar “パラノイドパレード (Paranoid Purple),

パレード should be parade, not purple ?
afaik パープル is purple

this actually sounds interesting tho, may check it out

FadedSun
April 14th 2014


1892 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

YES! This is my favorite EP of 2013. Review Eureka next! Really awesome band.



Yeah, that's definitely Paranoid Parade.



Definitely the rhythm section is a highlight of the group. I love the bass player. Not sure if the band would be as

interesting without them.

ZombicidalMan
April 14th 2014


2476 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks toxin, I don't know why I wrote purple instead. I'd say it's definitely worth giving a try anyways, I've been hooked on it for a few weeks now



I'll get around to Eureka pretty soon, too. I don't think I like it as much as this but it's still really good.

FadedSun
April 14th 2014


1892 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I felt that way at first about Eureka, but it's grown on me a lot. There's a lot to like about it over multiple listens.

Rhyme
April 14th 2014


1405 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

holy shit this got a review yay~



uzu ni naru is their best but i really like this too

ZombicidalMan
April 14th 2014


2476 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

it'll probably grow on me too, especially if I'm going to review it, lol

FadedSun
April 14th 2014


1892 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Awesome live vid. They sound amazing live. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VK7Od9Hjmv8

ZombicidalMan
April 14th 2014


2476 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

sakou has a G&L, sweet. they're definitely really good live, I'm debating if I should drive 8 hours just to see them next month

FadedSun
April 14th 2014


1892 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I was thinking the same thing haha. I live in the North East and really want to see them live at Next Level Tokyo in Montreal, but I'm not sure it's worth all the time and money.

Nikkolae
April 14th 2014


5404 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

dat build up at the end of Flower Girl

Digging: Drive Like Jehu - Yank Crime

ZombicidalMan
April 14th 2014


2476 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

it's like the only wall of sound on the album and it's so good

Rhyme
April 14th 2014


1405 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

you guy should check itsue as well if you like kinoko teikoku if u havent



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lT5EAvk2Zco

Keyblade
April 14th 2014


26288 Comments


Props to Zombicidal, great rev

ZombicidalMan
April 14th 2014


2476 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks for the link Rhyme, sounds great so far. Also thanks, Keyblade! Hopefully I'm improving in my reviews

FadedSun
April 14th 2014


1892 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"full length when"



Are you referring to this band? They already have a full length before this EP "Eureka"

Rhyme
April 14th 2014


1405 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i've checked itsue's website and all they've done is put out demos and no recent plans for anything other than touring



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