オオハシ (Ohashi)
波のはじまり (Nami no Hajimari)


4.5
superb

Review

by Dewinged CONTRIBUTOR (55 Reviews)
May 14th, 2019 | 27 replies


Release Date: 2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A math rock tsunami of tropicalia and psychedelia.

A few days ago, I was in a very small live space in the outskirts of Osaka. The event was organized by a friend of mine, but I had little to no idea of what to expect of the bands playing that night, except for my friend's band, who were closing the event. As it's usually the case in the Kansai scene, the stage saw one amazing act after the other, from an outstanding tribute to My Bloody Valentine to bone-shaking indie rock, singer songwriters, and so on. And then, there was オオハシ(Ohashi).

This math rock trio won me over in a matter of 5 minutes into their set. With a new album fresh from the oven released by themselves, the band started off softly. Cascading guitar notes played over an intricate rhythmic pattern, bass lines intertwined, I was hypnotized... The entrancing first moments went on for a few minutes until Poke (guitar) stomped her distortion pedal sending my wig off with a smile. The whole live house shattered for some seconds of controlled chaos, which smoothly transitioned into a superb Tropicalia beat (!), with the voices of Poke and Nanami Kobayashi (bass) singing a blissful vocal harmony.

Those were just the first minutes of "機械の夕景" (Kikai no Yukei/The sunset of the machine), and it was just enough to know that this band was going to be something else.

波のはじまり (Nami no Hajimari/The beginning of the wave) is Ohashi's first full length if I’m not mistaken, and as the title accurately suggests, its eight tracks follow the pattern of wave forming, peaking, crashing and crawling back into the ocean. The band’s first official release despite being active for over 6 or 7 years would be interesting enough if it was just an instrumental album. Shohei Nakano's superb drumming, Poke's finger picked guitar acrobatics and Nanami's neck-bending bass lines are mesmerizing, designed to keep you in check for a full listen but, what I did not expect is the incredible vocal work of Poke and Nanami. The hooks in "θ" and "暮らす" (Kurasu/Live) are unbelievable, gently bathed in psychedelia and magically harmonized like a siren’s chant.

I remember being in awe during the two tracks quoted above when I heard them live, but upon sitting down with the album, tracks like "アナタ" (Anata/You), which wasn't played, offered a pleasant surprise. Positioned towards the end third of 波のはじまり, the song is a calming little tune brimming with voices and playful beats. "Parallax" showcases the band's irresistible appealing power with an impossibly good chorus and "潜水" (Sensui/Dive) is a delightful closer that brings the water back home before the next wave rises, as my finger hovers the play button ready to surf on it one more time.

Japanese math rock has always seen an infinite stream of outstanding acts and impressive musicianship. Toe, Mouse on the Keys, Tricot, Ling Tosite Sigure are just some names that come to mind. Their instrumental prowess is undeniable, but I've always felt a lack of... "soul" in their music. Ohashi is the first band of this kind that manages to combine technicality with melody to produce something truly special. 波のはじまり is undoubtedly the beginning of a wave, a tsunami named after a tropical bird that has already washed away most of other math rock releases this year for me, and there is a good chance that the splash hits you at some point.



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user ratings (3)
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3.8
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
May 14th 2019


15777 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I can't stop listening to this. Their live set was amazing. Also sorry for intruding into Johnny's territory ;)



Here's the video for "Parallax": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GRunwnJvL_g



Album's on Spotify, iTunes, etc. Give them a shot. Search for: オオハシ

Digging: ???? (Ohashi) - ?????? (Nami no Hajimari)

JohnnyoftheWell
Contributing Reviewer
May 14th 2019


14166 Comments


Get this boi featured!!
Gonna save this for my commute read, pumped for it

Digging: Otoboke Beaver - Itekoma Hits

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
May 14th 2019


15777 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Album's sooo gooood. Thanks man, normally I would ask for a feature, but this was released on March 3 so it's a little too late for a feat.



Not gonna complain if it gets up there though! The band could surely use some exposure!

JohnnyoftheWell
Contributing Reviewer
May 14th 2019


14166 Comments


Lmao I've asked for features for stuff like two months old and feel shameless now

Nice write-up as always, am super excited to hear this now! Only complaint is the shade on Tricot and LTS (although I kinda agree, would argue that they're energetic in such a vibrantly creative way that it comes to the same thing, but if these guys have that too...)

JohnnyoftheWell
Contributing Reviewer
May 14th 2019


14166 Comments


Also that artwork is groovy and fun

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
May 14th 2019


15777 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah I mean, don't get me wrong, I love Tricot, Toe and all the bands I mentioned but these guys they just connected with me personally like none of them. I'm also probably still a bit under the effect of the killer show they played last Sunday.



JohnnyoftheWell
Contributing Reviewer
May 14th 2019


14166 Comments


Yeah I getcha aha, no better time to write than when you're hot on the vibe though (and you somehow managed to avoid the kind of hyperboles you'd regret if you snapped out of it ;])

You've made me remember I forgot to get into Toe too, so I've got a good binge in store for when I have my day wrapped up

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
May 14th 2019


15777 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Dude, I honestly have watered eyes to Toe's "Goodbye" more times than I want to admit.



I mean, watch this: https://www.bilibili.com/video/av7295140/

Papa Universe
May 14th 2019


20987 Comments


オオハシ - 波のはPOSじまり

Digging: Yes We Mystic - Ten Seated Figures

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
May 14th 2019


15777 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Aah I miss those pos, not the negs though.

Papa Universe
May 14th 2019


20987 Comments


how can you miss the negs, you never had any.

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
May 14th 2019


15777 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Oh my dear I had aplenty. That Ghost rushed af rev of Prequelle had the expected effect. Plus some other scattered around.

Papa Universe
May 14th 2019


20987 Comments


i refuse to believe that

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
May 14th 2019


15777 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I would never lie to you Paps and you know it.

FadedSun
May 14th 2019


1943 Comments


It looks like the name is actually Oohashi according to the Japanese writing.

o-hashi is the polite term for chopsticks (normally just hashi).

I'll check out this band though. Since you mentioned Toe, I thought it would be appropriate to bring up the band Te'. They were one of the first instrumental rock bands I discovered from Japan. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-C2Zsj3FSYs

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
May 14th 2019


15777 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yep I know, Faded. I talked to them on Sunday though and it seems that for romaji they use it as above. Also, the name they intended means "Toucan". But i guess it's a play of words since the girl in the cover is using chopsticks too.





Bloon
Contributing Reviewer
May 14th 2019


2704 Comments


Dope review chief

Digging: Bomb the Music Industry! - Scrambles

Uzumaki
May 14th 2019


889 Comments


Yay! More good stuff to check out! Nice job, Dewi!

Digging: Otoboke Beaver - Itekoma Hits

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
May 14th 2019


15777 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks folks, hope you enjoy it!

Gyromania
May 15th 2019


27150 Comments


Very nice review. Gonna give it a listen



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