The Spinners

Fog Lamp/フォグランプ (Ogre You Asshole, 2009)

In J-Pop, Richard Bolisay, Rock, Thor Balanon on January 5, 2010 at 4:00 pm

Manabu Deto makes me want to learn Japanese because I seriously want to know what’s going on with the mewing vocals, what those cleanly twisting guitar lines are coiling over in infectious ecstasy for. OYA sounds like the basterd child of The Shins and Vampire Weekend, and Fog Lamp (lo-fi, irrevocably melodic) is a masterpiece by any standard. Riffs broken by chops lit by flickering, fuzzy plucking, “Wipers/ワイパ”ーruns 9 minutes but those droning chords can go on forever. “Cracker/クラッカ”ーstarts the album like a pebble skippingーdelicate, rhythmic—before “Fog Lamp/フォグランプ” floods the gates with a dancey four count, guitars marching recklessly. And just when you think it couldn’t get better, “Stage/ステージ” dives into Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain territory. Words simply fly out the window. Hooks, shiny chord shifts, invulnerable pop sunshine. All under 6 minutes.

– Thor Balanon

Words are not only about the meaning of them—as important as meaning is the sound of them, how their sound communicates and expresses thoughts without their actual meanings, without their intended message and implication. Listening to OYA’s Fog Lamp defies lack of comprehension; yet how rewarding the experience is. And how ironic—no matter how grossly misused and abused the adjective is—that I am expressing this failure to grasp the physicality of words through words, as if choices have all died and lost. Skin deep (orthographically and calligraphically), words are music on their own; and in the case of Fog Lamp, words are wordless, words are riffs and beats, words are silence, words build towers and autobahns, words let the Mt. Fuji cry, and words are the world’s worst kneejerkers.

– Richard Bolisay

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