MUCC/ムック – Music Finds #16
“Music Finds” is a new series, with new posts here on the blog each Wednesday. The concept is as follows:
As I listen to a lot of music, I from time to time finds a piece that sticks out, sometimes because it’s quirky, mixed two very unlikely genres, unlikely instruments, or just damn right having an awesome sound. Expect any kind of genre to appear here. These songs is what I will be sharing with you in these posts called “Music Finds”
But really it’s mostly a segment about some of my most played songs of the past week.”
This week have brought some new artists into my field of view, hell this whole month have been a big candy-shop of new music. Despite that, I’ve returned much to my old listening-habits, as one does sometimes, so this Wednesday I’m re-connecting with an artist that I featured recently (yet briefly) in my introduction to Japanese music – MUCC.
At first I thought I should list my favorites from the 朽木の灯-album, but that would be just to narrow, and to much of my own selfishness. So instead I’ll have a go at some of my overall favorites, and hopefully bring some new music to your ears!
Me and MUCC have a special relationship. They were in fact one of the two first bands that really dragged me into the Japanese music-scene (together with X) and showed me another world. Yet, I wouldn’t really consider myself a current fan. I were a fan.
As I got to know their music, they were just entering a new phase. And I got stuck in their old style and never really left.
Enough of that, here’s the songs you came for.
How to loose interest – start with a demo-tape. Sorry, not sorry – the “good stuff” is further down.
There’s nothing bad about this, might be the quality, that would scare off anyone interested in the feeling of despair that MUCC started in “99 with this release.
MUCC – Aka (アカ)
MUCC – “Itai tegami” (イタイ手紙)
The album of 痛絶 offered great songs, but somehow this one stuck with me. Maybe was it due to the limited space of 2GB on my first MP3-player, but maybe is was due to this being a great song.
MUCC - Hana
Oh, those drums. And the riff coming in.
Nothing less than nostalgia and youngster headbang.
Houmura uta was a great album, no question about. This was when MUCC slowly began reaching their true potential, and brought in such classics as Zetsubou and to the Angura Kei-scene.
The song I picked below is just the perfect mix between the older MUCC that I’ve showed above, and their new direction mentioned in this prelude.
MUCC – 僕が本当の僕に耐えきれず造った本当の僕
And then came the so-called “break through” as MUCC signed with Universal. They kept their cool and stayed to their roots despite this, developing their sound further, just to release “Zekuu”, my second favorite album of theirs.
This album is one of the soundtracks to being 14 again, welcoming the summer with an open window and seeing the rotten tree still in somewhat bloom outside. Below are some honorable mentions, but this whole record is worth your time.
MUCC – 9gatsu 3ka no kokuin (９月３日の刻印)
MUCC -「我、在ルベキ場所」 (Waga, arubeki basho)
For all the Angura Fans, don’t despair – here’s their lead single from this album. This might be just what brought them into the mainstream as the dark AK-band they were, yet it’s a solid song which I’ve spent many hours on non-recorded karaoke.
I feel like saving Kuchiki no Tou for another post, as it’s hands down the most influential MUCC (Japanese as well) record I’ve ever heard, but I’ve left a tease at the end of this post.
With the release of Houyoku, this band started to truly develop their sound. Just listen to this – as the strings kick in, I’m still getting those good ol’ goose bumps.
MUCC – 「雨のオーケストラ」 (Ame no orchestra)
And this brings me back to old days.. No doubt why this also were released as a single.
MUCC – “Saishuu ressha” (最終列車)
Fianlly an un-experienced live-favorite of mine by this band:
MUCC – “Monster” (モンスター)
Finally in my MUCC-spread, I’ll talk about 6 before I make this too long.. I must mention that Gokusai (極彩) were also a great album, but after that I kinda lost track.
MUCC – Akai Sora
Have I ever mentioned that time many years ago when me and a friend talked about covering a MUCC song?
No, not really, as it never happened – but my harmonica skills and under devolved singing style would make for some good laughs in hindsight! This were one of our choices, mostly due to its uplifting sound. After all these years, I can still feel the fields swaying~
MUCC – Yuu Beni
Do not fear that I’ve excluded a lot of songs for this list, as no list would do this band justice in proportion to the impact they’ve had on me. Did I miss your favorite? Leave a comment below!
You’re still here after all of this nostalgic nonsense? Kudos to you.
I’ve saved the best, or worse, for last. If you have the time and emotion for it, this will destroy you, yet rebuild you. Nothing less but one epic way to end an album filled with struggle, as 朽木の塔 is what seems to end and start everything in this recording. I’m regularly a fan of live recordings for “the feel” and studio recordings for the sound quality.
And it might be that I prefer the CD-version audio-wise, but there’s nothing more heartcrushingly real than this live-version.
So you made it this far, and still want more? The you should check out my previous posts in this series:
#15 – My introduction to Japanese Music
#14 – Fragile Voices
#13 – Pop and Black-Metal
#12 – Nostalgia for no reason
#11 – Some J to your Rock
#10 – Lynch. the devil
#9 – Oldies but Goldies
#8 – Gotta have that ‘oumpf’
#7 – “The Visualist from OZ”
#6 – A French Danse
#5 – Post-rock
#4 – Japanese Anti-Hero
#3 – Reggae meets metal
#2 – Korean Idols?
#1 – Steampunk Sing-alon