o’ summer vacation are a guitar-free noise-punk trio from Kobe, Japan. Formed around bassist mikiiii, Ami lends onomatopoeiac, shouty vocals while Manu (originally from Malaga) adds slick intuitive drums. Damnably will release their debut album WICKED HEART on June 23, 2021, digitally and as a limited edition LP pressed on red colour vinyl.
It’s a vital, off-kilter affair that opens up a sonic universe of their own creation, but in which you can recall Beefheart-esque riffs, more danceable early Fall, and upbeat, bass-heavy, joyful indie-rockers Dianogah. mikiiii’s arsenal of FX pedals (whammy, ring modulator, looper, distortion, overdrive, delay, and switch) offers a wide pallet of sounds, so you hardly notice guitars are off the menu. The drums form a hard percussive shadow to the bass melodies. Each song rarely stays the same tempo, start-stops and loud-quiet-loud dynamics being the default constant. The album was recorded live in one continuous take, emphasizing their muscle as a live band. “We rarely rest at gigs. We wanted to express that kind of feeling on this album.”
扁桃腺のモニーク (hentousen no MONIQUE) starts off their debut with blistering drums and bass hammer-ons, building into alternating stereo pan chords, then a chiming ring modulation fanfare as Ami’s vocals harmonise. C.J.D. see’s Ami follow mikiiii’s sharp, ominous metallic peck riffs that launch into catchy break outs and dizzingingly fluid fingerwork that glues it all together. Pandemic?, written long before a Covid-ridden world, is a perfect mini rush of a hammer on before launching into offbeat chorus. NUTS is an exhilarating burst of firework vocals over helter skeletering bass riffs and drums locked in for the ride. imitation imitation is full of pretty melodic shapes whirlpooling into chaos. after all illustrates mikiiii’s on-the-fly looping style; playing duplicate, opposing or octaved versions transistioning into key changes seamlessly.
There are no deep messages to read into in the lyrics. Google translate or TripLingo will not help you. It is to be felt, rather than to be understood.
In their own words, “There are many bands around the world who assert their ideas. Of course, I like them too, but I like and have been influenced by bands that sing with meaningless lyrics and onomatopoeia such as Ponytail, Cocteau Twins and UUVVWWZ. I think people from every country will hear the same when they are sad or happy. It’s not sung in a Kansai dialect in particular, but I grew up in Kansai, so it may be a little mixed. If anything, I think it was inherited from the history of the music scene we are enrolled in. From greats like BOREDOMS, MELT BANANA, RUINS, for example.”
Check out pre-order info in the bandcamp link below.