I always approach writing about new music from Wasuremono with a mix of joy and trepidation. Joy, because immersing yourself in their strange, musical world, one which seems to mix musical whimsey with clever sonic choices, left-field approaches to the job at hand and a genre-hopping …well, otherness is always time well spent. Trepidation because trying to truly convey how great, mercurial, beautifully strange and truly original their music is with mere words is one hell of a job.
Even before you get to delving into the way they make music, the first thing that jumps out at you is the sumptuous approach to the vocals. Rich, sharp edged, slightly disembodied and often a beautiful blend of oriental exotica and occidental charm. This is both the voice as lyrical communication and as an instrument in its own right adding additional layers ranging between the soft and sonorous, the deft and the dynamic.
Musically there is no point playing the genre game, they seem to have long ago fashioned their own and then immediately set about knocking down its musical boundaries to push ever further into new musical landscapes and possibilities. It is pop, of sorts, but pop that refuses to play by the rules, instead ricocheting between eighties experimental post-punkery, 4AD influenced sonic dreaming, feel good psych-pop, acid laced avant-gardening and a whole host of sounds and styles which you might be hard pushed to actually put a name to.
Heads Will Roll is a wonderfully meandering song which seems to hang strange chattering harmonies and skittering drums on to the one constant of a gently wandering bass line which acts as its spine whilst Cold Tadpole revels in a dance floor groove – albeit of a club which is so exclusive you are never going to get in anyway. England’s Slave sees the band making maximum musical use of the available space whilst Soft Lullaby sounds like a haunted piano from an abandoned music hall.
And that’s the problem really, though it is a wonderful problem to have as a reviewer. That even if I tried to describe every song, words really don’t always cut it. Damn them! Maybe we should try an analogy…Abba doing karaoke with Talking Heads? Flaming Lips writing a new album for Soft Cell? No, that doesn’t really help either. Best you just buy the album.