Some tight and powerful psych jams here from Tokyo’s Sundays & Cybele, brought to you by Brooklyn’s Beyond Beyond is Beyond records. And you can skip the whole “should I buy the vinyl or just grab the tape” debate in your head since Heaven is a tape only release. So put some fresh D batteries in the boombox, click that Buy Now button and get your daily fix of Japanese acid psych!
Describing music of great power and great expanse as âcinematicâ can be fitting, if perhaps overused. When it comes to the music of Tokyoâs Sundays and Cybele, itâs incredibly appropriate.
âSundays and Cybeleâ is the title of a 1962 French film directed by Serge Bourguignon, and the winner of an Oscar that year for âBest Foreign Language Film.â Conversely, âHeavenâ is the title of the 2015 album from Sundays and Cybele, a Japanese band speaking the universal language of explosive, kaleidoscopic sound, for a result easily translated as both heavy and heavenly.
âHeavenâ announces its intentions immediately; opening track âBlack Rainbowsâ takes to the skies in an initially unhinged manner, sounding as much like an ending as a beginning, before a gate-crashing bass line drops us firmly into the overdriven world of Sundays and Cybele. If youâve ever yearned to hear an Orange amp threaten to explode in a transcendent array of colors, âHeavenâ is the album for you. âAlmost Heavenâ follows, providing evidence that Sundays and Cybele seem always to be reaching for peak experience, here demonstrated by a lead guitar break that seems to merge the differences between Ash Ra Tempel and The Dead Boys into a single, illuminating whole.
Since 2004, Sundays and Cybele has functioned as essentially the brainchild of multi-instrumentalist Kazuo Tsubouchi. On âHeaven,â Tsubouchiâs reach seems to aim even higher than ever before. At just over eight minutes, âNight Predatorâ is the longest song on the album, one that begins with a jaunty, upbeat melody that would seem to slightly betray the songâs title. Yet thereâs something in the brittle, bruised stabs of guitar that punctuate the song that makes it clear the intent here is to draw blood â or at least bare its teeth. The same could be said of following track âEmpty Seasâ or, indeed, of the full album âHeavenâ in and of itself. Sundays and Cybele possess a preternatural ability to infuse the straightforward with a strong shot of weirdness, which in turn allows their weirder moments to feel incredibly straightforward and easily translated.
âHinagikuâ and âTime Mirrorâ end the album on what, out of context, could easily be heard as a melancholy note. Given the extraordinary fuzz pedal abuse of the albumâs previous twenty-six minutes, however, these two songs sound like Sundays and Cybele having reached their unreachable goal of âHeaven,â before floating away on another boundless, burning excursion. Heaven only knows where theyâll take us next. â Ryan Muldoon, revoltoftheapes.com
releases 31 July 2015
- Maybe Buy
- Not My Style
- Too Expensive