MUCC/ムック – Music Finds #16

Music Finds

“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 musicMUCC.

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.

MUCCAka (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.

MUCCAkai 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~

MUCCYuu 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!

BONUS

 

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

9 Responses to “MUCC/ムック – Music Finds #16

  • A MUCC post! Talk about playing on heartstrings. ^^

    I think it’s so good of to make room for the demo. I’d not think to check on that. It may not be a way to lose interest but to gain curiosity. I know there is debate about starting at the beginning instead of in the middle of what was your point. Personally I like the long way round, it gives that much more insight. But then I am a Dickens reader so that kind of story might just tickle me right. I don’t like this give people what they want instantly. My advice, write things from your heart as you feel like doing. Sure there are plenty of advice out there, and useful ones, but in the end it’s your text and your story, let that personal greatness show.

    Can’t say there’s anything wrong with Aka (アカ). Difficult not to like the despair-feel in this as odd as that might sound. But that’s just the thing about MUCC for me they ride those emotions fully out. And this is no exception. I can see why they made it passed demo-days. It certainly is a red song. Oh, I have a thing for colour themes at the moment so this made me quite inspired to tell you the truth.

    “Itai tegami” (イタイ手紙)

    This is fall instantly for song. I can so understand it stuck with you. The intro vocal whisper, the guitar and bass at the end. Oh it’s so wonderfully all of the feelings at the same time.
    Oh, write me a letter like that. I do understand.

    Hana

    Those drums! It’also one of those impossible to sit still songs. And adding some nice guitars. It’s one of those come headbang with me kind of songs. Or you could do other things together to this song if that is in the cards… It is a physical kind of song.

    僕が本当の僕に耐えきれず造った本当の僕

    Old and new…Yes it’s quite an interesting mix. It’s sexy smooth and angry at the same time. And add some dancy guitars (what is that even?). It don’t make no sense and I think that was the whole point. I like this kind of “broken”song as much as I like broken narrative. Just do it with every detail in place and it will be excellent. Will have people wondering for years to come.

    9gatsu 3ka no kokuin (9月3日の刻印)

    This! The feeling of pain or rather release of pain has become MUCC for me. Get it all out and this is such an example of just that feeling. That slow start and then it explodes. I like the talk bit a lot. But then again I would…old MDB fan and all.

    「我、在ルベキ場所」 (Waga, arubeki basho)

    Oh yeah! I forgot to say that the video is very nice. Reminds me of the fact that I have a thing for gothic heroes. The singers makeup feels very The Crow like. I noticed, I just tried to save my dignity and not go full out goth with the haunting feel and come save me my hero, let’s run together forever from this horrible world. I’d fall so easily.
    And rude, you need to record such events for the future. I’m so sad to miss out on it.

    「雨のオーケストラ」 (Ame no orchestra)

    Oh yes the strings! Fields and…so much to like, all the senses play along. It gets another level with the strings added and that guitar solo isn’t too shabby either. And sexy rain…

    “Saishuu ressha” (最終列車)

    The calamitiy in this. Those vocals are always so heartfelt, very hard not to be moved by that. Quite strange combination of upbeat sound and the hurt vocals. Somehow there’s always that train. And a moon. To the moon and back…

    “Monster” (モンスター)

    That monster of bass, I’m quite the sucker for live performances. Also a headbanging song, could very well be the soundtrack of a monster. It sort of makes you want to do the monster dance. Hmm, I better not.

    Akai Sora

    Okej so 6 and headbanging. A bit of are you alive kind of a song. Not sure what I mean, except to say that I woke up listening to it.

    Yuu Beni

    Noes, more goodies we missed out on. It’s a lovely idea and it would have been fun to hear. Those kind of ideas are always brilliant, even if they come to nothing, they might spark other things. And great choice of song too! It’s got such a positive vibe. And I’m sure the sun shines on you when this is played. You had to write swaying… such a wonderful word.

    And you saved the best for last!

    Kuchiki no tou

    Yes 朽木の塔 is one hell of an album. This is by far my favourite MUCC song and has been since you shared a live video of it. Love at first sight. You had a monster of a song already but this is a beast. Talk about catharsis! It is tragic and cleansing. Hard to resist screaming along with. And then a thousand other thoughts and emotions…

    Live feeling does this song justice, heartcrushingly real was just the perfect word for it. MUCC uses emotions so well it’s hard not to like the live videos even more than the recordings.

    How the drums and guitar play together, it’s brilliant! So many details. And the scream vocal… wish I could do that. I’ve cried, I’ve screamed in pain and learnt to move on and love again to this song.

    Etched in my heart, forever.

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