[REVIEW] POLYSICS – POLYSICS OR DIE VISTA

18 05 2008

POLYSICS

Artist: POLYSICS

Release Date: October 2nd, 2007

Genre: Japanese New Wave/Rock

Label: Myspace Records

Format: CD+DVD

Here we go, my first of hopefully many reviews!

Today, we have the most recent American release for crazy new wave Japanese rock band, POLYSICS. And what a crazy album it is. POLYSICS has always been doing shows outside of Japan in various European cities, but they recently did a pretty big American tour under the Myspace Music Tour. So for all the fans of that crazy Japanese band, this is essentially a “greatest hits” kind of album released for the American audience.

For reference, here’s the tracklist for anyone that wants to look for a particular song.

1. Electric Surfin’ Go Go
2. NEW WAVE JACKET (reform)
3. Baby BIAS
4. go ahead now!
5. KAJA KAJA GOO
6. I My Me Mine
7. You-You-You
8. Catch On Everywhere
9. Coelakanth is Android
10. My Sharona
11. BLACK OUT FALL OUT
12. Shizuka is a machine doctor
13. Tei! Tei! Tei!
14. each life each end
15. New Wave Hotline
16. Peach Pie On The Beach

1. Electric Surfin’ Go Go

First, I have to admit that I’m not even really a fan of rock, especially in increasing levels of noise like metal and other stuff. So I pretty much only like lite rock and pop-rock. POLYSICS is well known for their craziness and all-out punk rock style. But this song is definitely not the kind of hurt your ears rock. It’s very pop and just fun. This song was one of their new singles after their album “Now is the Time”. It’s also featured on the (at the time) new Japan only album, Karate House. This song has a very simple but catchy keyboard tune done by Kayo. Hiro and Fumi’s guitars make great music, not noise. Yano’s drums, hell, I barely ever notice drums unless there’s less instruments going on. The song doesn’t seem that crazy lyric-wise, but comprises of Hiro’s short bursts of energetic singing. One thing that may get annoying is Kayo and Fumi “na-na-na-na”-ing… It’s a love or hate thing. I love Kayo on the vocoder and “Everybody go go” is so fun to sing along to. Another thing, the instrumental solos and clapping are awesome and are even better live (too bad the DVD doesn’t have a live of this song). This song is too awesome.

9 out of 10 animated clones

2. NEW WAVE JACKET (reform)

This song is just totally insane. I heard this is one of those songs that really put them on the map. Once you watch the PV for this (more on that later), you’ll see why. It’s just crazy rock. Who the hell knows what the hell they’re really saying, I don’t care. This is actually one of the first songs I really liked from them. “Let’s start new wave jacket”, that vocoder line is so cool. This song is just so over the top rock music and crazy. Kayo sings most of the song along with some Hiro. One should note that the beginning riff wasn’t in the actual version of NWJ, but remember this is the “(reform)” version, the one they use in concerts. This is the definitive new wave jacket.

10 out of 10 steam powered jackets

3. Baby BIAS

Ah, this is pop. This is Kayo’s definitive song. When I think of Kayo, I think of this song. It’s very catchy. There’s lots of Kayo’s crazy synth sounds and keyboarding. I actually notice the drums more in this song! Hiro and Fumi provide some backup vocals. But this is all Kayo. I really love Kayo and she’s so cute, just playing that keyboard and singing in that sweet voice. Surprisingly, this gets played at concerts and a lot and I think it’s a real crowd-pleaser. Hiro spends most of the time doing jumping jacks. Oddly enough, I think Kayo has a very sweet young voice, but after hearing her solo album, I’m really not sure what Kayo sounds like… she apparently has 3 or 4 different voices (not counting vocoder lines).

10 out of 10 dorky Kayo ponytails

4. go ahead now!

I’ve never really thought too much about this song. I’ve heard it from another album. It’s all Hiro singing with lots of noise. I think Yano is the back-up vocal in the back… I’m not sure. It’s actually a pretty nice rock track. But I don’t think too much of it. Probably because it’s a lot more normal than the other tracks. But you can tell this is from their older stuff, since the newer stuff is more pop (like Electric Surfin’ Go Go and BABY BIAS) and the vocals are generally a lot clearer in front of all the instruments.

5 out of 10 people going ahead of this track

5. KAJA KAJA GOO

Ah, this is the stuff. This is crazy noise rock that I actually like. This song is so crazy, it’s definitely a song I can imagine people moshing to. So much crazy guitaring going on. Hiro’s vocals are just screaming in this one. Hell, I’m surprised he doesn’t hurt his voice from doing this song. One thing I want to know though is… why it’s called KAJA KAJA GOO, when it sounds more like he’s saying KAJA KAJA GAH? Who knows, who really cares. Just listen to the song and marvel at the energy. This is definitely one of those recommended live experiences.

8 out of 10 kaja kaja gah’s

6. I My Me Mine

This is another one of those songs that put POLYSICS on the map. I believe this was first released sometime in 2006. The PV actually was so popular it had an award for creativity (more on that later) and made a certain young dancer jump to stardom. But as I’ve said more on that later when I review the DVD for this album. This song is crazy. In fact, you should expect crazy things from POLYSICS. Kayo, Fumi, and Hiro all have lines. Kayo has the same 4 lines over and over again, “I My Me Mine”. And wow… I can’t get over how cute she sounds when she sings them. Fumi has a couple different lines, but it’s actually somewhat hard to discern what they are exactly. Hiro has the most lines and I think it’s even harder to tell what he’s saying. Most people probably wouldn’t believe it, but all the lines in the song are in English. Watching this song live is a treat. Hiro has a good guitar solo and the chorus is just fun to listen to. Kayo has the most mundane keyboard parts for almost the entire song. She only shines when she plays the recorder, sing, or her keyboard solo. I love the recorder part, by the way. It reminds me of Spongebob’s little nose flute, but 15,000 times better. I’ve heard that a lot of people actually sing along to this song in lives O_O.

10 out of 10 Strong Machine 2s

7. You-You-You

Here’s another one of the songs on the Japan only, Karate House. This song is actually used as an opening theme for Keroro Gunsou. Again, this is another song leaning towards pop. Karate House has a lot of songs that lean towards pop. But they’re still fun and good music. This song is no exception. There’s lots of Hiro singing meaningful lyrics. Kayo helps out on the vocoder by spelling out the title of the song. There isn’t a lot I can say about this song. I really like listening to this song. Listen to the solos. It’s a very well put together song.

9 out of 10 Earth invading frogs

8. Catch On Everywhere

Oh my… another song from Karate House. This song I have to admit, is one of my favorite ones from POLYSICS. It should be no surprise that this song is very pop-oriented. You can watch the PV and see why Hiro sounds like Alvin from Japan. It might annoy some people who are really tired of hearing chipmunks but I think it’s a nice touch that adds to the fun of this song. Kayo blesses us with her sweet vocals. The music itself is very nice to listen to. As I’ve said, very pop. I think it’s actually kind of dancey. The chorus is catchy (pun intended), and chipmunk Hiro + Kayo is an excellent combination of vocals. Much like their other pop songs, it’s very fun to listen to.

10 out of 10 Japanese chipmunks

9. Coelakanth Is Android

Back to the hardcore rock tunes from POLYSICS. This song is from the Now Is The Time album (the last album out before this one) and even has its own single. It’s quite energetic. In fact, while youtubing I’ve read a comment that this song deserves to be on Guitar Hero 4. I agree, but that’s just because I like the song. The song comprises of Hiro singing about Coelakanth being an android? Kayo also adds some of her vocoding magic to the mix. It’s really a nice song. It works quite well to pump up the audience. Watching Kayo go crazy on the keyboard is always a treat too ^_^.

8 out of 10 androids

10. My Sharona

My Sharona is a cover of the infamous song, My Sharona. Now I don’t know how popular this song really is. I’ve heard it several times in some movies and some Chinese concerts. But this is quite an interesting cover. I believe Hiro is doing the vocals behind a vocoder or a talkbox? I’m not exactly sure, but I know he does the main vocals if it’s a song that uses all voice modification. There’s lots of emphasis on Kayo’s keyboards in this cover. In fact, I’ve grown to really like this particular cover of the song. It’s part rock with a mix of synth in it. You can never get tired of Hiro’s “wow, wow, wow” at the end.

8 out of 10 Sharonas

11. BLACK OUT FALL OUT

When I first read the title I thought this song would be insane rock. But it really isn’t. It’s pop-rock. And it’s also another Kayo song ❤ Kayo gets all the main lines. Hiro gets the same line over and over again. I’m pretty sure Kayo does the vocoding for the “BLACK OUT FALL OUT” line. It’s a very laid back song. The PV for this song is freaky, like almost every other POLYSICS PV. Food talking to you and… Never mind. Give it a listen, Kayo’s vocals are very nice. I have yet to see a live for this song. But I think it deserves a live performance. It’s much more tame than other songs and just overall a clean song.

10 out of 10 crazy talking delicacies

12. Shizuka is a machine doctor

After that laid back pop-rock, we get a rock track from Karate House. It’s a simple song with a lot of Hiro vocals and a chorus done by Fumi and Kayo. I find the chorus extremely catchy… I just happened to be humming it once in the car after listening to the Karate House tracks once. Trust me, it’ll get stuck in your head. Upon further inspection, I’m pretty sure the title of this song is a tribute to some form of the Witch doctor song. I mean, machine doctor… witch doctor? Something has to be related somehow…

8 out of 10 machine doctors

13. Tei! Tei! Tei!

This song is just weird… The music isn’t too weird, but the lyrics… they’re something else. Then again, I’ve never seen any translated lyrics for any of their songs. I like the part 2/3 into the song, very nice way to pump you up… in exercise maybe? Then again, you best be doing jumping jacks while skipping backwards, listening to this album.

7 out of 10 Tei’s

14. each life each end

This is one of POLYSICS’s older songs. In fact, when this song came out Fumi and Yano were not a part of the group yet. We’re treated to a Kayo song from the old generation of POLYSICS, possibly before they were even picked up by a major record label. I’m not exactly sure but it might be the case. Well, you can hear the major difference from the year 2000 and now. POLYSICS was weird then. They’re still weird now. But the music back then was a lot noisier and grittier. Hell, Kayo sounds even different. There’s no Hiro in this song, so unfortunately we’re not treated to his vocals, but I’m sure they’re probably the same anyway. I still like this song even though it’s noisier than most.

7 out of 10 things wrong with Kayo’s phone

15. New Wave Hotline

I’m pretty sure this is a interlude track. There are barely any vocals and it’s just mainly just all music. It’s not like NEW WAVE JACKET. But the music isn’t too bad. This makes me want to play Smash ^_^; So enjoy the interlude before the last track.

6 out of 10 Hotlines

16. Peach Pie On The Beach

This is a really weird song… I’m sure it has something to do with peach pie. But who can tell if it’s POLYSICS. At any rate, this is a very popular song in concerts. The PV is a great display of all that this song stands for and all that this song does to the crowd. There’s crazy guitar riffs, crazy lyrics, crazy vocoding (not really). Kayo is the best in this song. Her pompoms… probably the most random thing you’ll ever see in a POLYSICS song. Have I mentioned that POLYSICS is crazy?

8 out of 10 Peach Pies on the Beach

Conclusion: The packaging isn’t too bad. It’s your standard CD case with a booklet and insert. The booklet is dissapointing. It’s just a fold-out version of the front cover and a quick tracklist. The front cover itself… I’ve seen that picture everywhere, they could’ve used a new picture. Since I actually own the CD (not everyone can say that can they? ^_~) I can actually criticize the presentation. The CD itself is simple, it’s like a NO POLYSICS sign, if one really existed. The back of the album is pretty amusing too, since it features a giant megazord complete with power sword in the city. It’s a nice nod to their cover of Domo Arigato! Mr. Roboto from LO-BITS.

Truth be told, I’ve heard every song on the album one way or another. But I highly recommend it to the American audience. This is a great album that really hits all the peaks of this quirky new wave rock band. The songs are arranged very well for an album. I can’t even pinpoint a favorite song on this album. Obviously it’s one of the 10s I gave out… but on any given day it could be a different one. So go buy it now! Go ahead now… everybody go go, get the album. Seriously, for how cheap it is, you’re not really losing anything. And remember you get a DVD with it (which is lackluster compared to the album) which I will be providing a review of soon. Now after averaging the song ratings up I get a rating of 8.3125. So with some rounding for presentation and overall completion we have my final rating of…

8.5 out of 10

~Siggy, who wants to pompom with Kayo…~

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5 responses

19 07 2008
PePeTTe ?!

Thank you for your detail reviews. A friend told me about this group, but I didn’t know them. By searching some information on the net I dropped here. You help me to understand this group and to find their best songs.

24 07 2008
siggyx4scythe

Thank you for the thanks and you’re welcome.

The CD is awesome since it collects some of their best hits. But that’s not to say there aren’t other great hits out there too.

Finally… visitors from the outside world! What do you think of the POLYSICS inspired header?

27 10 2008
ASDFGHJKL

It’s probably called KAJA KAJA GOO after the band Kaja Goo Goo.

30 06 2009
Giroro

being as a major POLYSICS fan, I just wanted to correct some of the things you put in this review.
1. Yano joined the band during Now is the time! so he wasn’t anywhere in go ahead now! (go ahead now is in NEU (2000))
2. My Sharona is sung via vocoder, but KAYO is the singer, Hiro does the wow wow wow and the “My Sharona” part only.
3. Kayo doesnt say “everybody go’ go'” she says “electric surfin’ go go” name of the song? :3
anyways, great review ^_^ I agree with much of what you said, but I would have given it a 10 out of 10 for the overall score.

30 06 2009
siggyx4scythe

ah, thanks for the clearups
i could never actually hear electric surfin behind all that vocoding…

nice to see that this post still gets hits ^_^

i should write a review of their now is the live concert

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