FUSHITSUSHA – Fushitsusha (1989)

Review by: Roland Bruynesteyn
Album assigned by: Tristan Peterson

Never heard of them, and now I have, I’ll never forget them.
CD1, track 1 (Acchi, I think), A slow bluesy Neil Young / Crazy horse song. I hesitate to call their playing ridiculously bad or too sophisticated for my taste. The singing is pretty bad  though, and badly recorded as well. The song is way too long. Lukewarm interest to put it mildly: hmm, what have I done to deserve this?

CD1, track 2 (Ango), more of the same. Now I like my droney music, whether it’s of the krautrocky Faust/Can (or perhaps Magma?) variety of the 70’s or the more psychedelic droney music of the 00’s like Ozric tentacles, but this is going nowhere. The guitar player has a signature sound I guess, but the bass player and the drummer sound nothing special (and they are buried deep in the mix). What they lack in melody they sadly also lack in intensity: it may sound intense, and intensely focused, at first, but very soon you realise (or rather, it occurred to me) that this is a gimmick, exacerbated by the primitive recording technique.

CD1, track 3 (Suki ni Sureba li), has a nice poppy singalong chorus that makes you want to dance and . . .  oh no, who am I kidding? It’s more of the same, really. It’s a lot more quiet and less threatening. The beginning sounds like it could have been a King Crimson improv ca. 1974 (but with Belew vocalising, thereby strangely making it sound a little Pink Floydish), not bad at all. To be honest, if this was the first song, I would feel different about Fushitsusha; I like this song!

CD1, track 4 (Todokanai) Suki ni Sureba li 2.0, with added harmonica, or so it sounds. A little more up tempo drumming half way through, but this remains listenable.

CD2, track 1 Fuwafuwa: Very slow, but hiding underneath the noisy loud guitar there is actually an almost European pop song, melody-wise. Think Aphodite’s child, only with more guitar and less keyboards.

CD2 track 2 Nattan janai. Well, if you think Arc by Neil Young is loud and distorted guitar, try this! I think you can best compare it with a compilation of all the power chords at the end of all the Who songs played live in 1970 by Pete Townshend, just before he ruined his amplifier.

CD2,track 3 Maigo. During the song the tension builds up nicely until it all ends in a noise fest. If we stretch the definition of the word ‘technical’ to its utter limits, we could call the guitar playing on this track a little more technical, but a doubt remains: is this guitar playing the way of the future, or is it a three year old?

CD2, track 4, Koko starts like some of the long live tunes by Ween in their earlier days, but without the musicality. Not the brown boognish, but bland Metal Machine Music-like. Seven minutes in, it gets quieter, somewhat of a relief, getting back to that 1969 Pink Floyd vibe. I like this part immensely, but mostly because of what I had to endure before. When it gets louder, after 12 minutes or so, I still like it, he has a nice guitar sound going on there. Way too long, but ultimately the best song on the album.

What to make of it? It’s certainly different, quite challenging if you’re willing to listen with an open mind. My main problem is that it’s too intense to use as background music, and at the same time too monotonous to listen to in concentration.