1.10.16

Atomic Futurists Atomized, or, How Hisashi Got His Wife Back

Friends, this is Cayce, itching to write a review of the new album but with a weekend chock full of Real Life (TM) ahead and consequently, no time to write the review yet. But, perpetually masturbating narcissists that we are, we know you're all out there panting with anticipation to hear our augustly royal personage pontificate in an edumucated fashion about our opinions on this album. Sorry we don't have time yet for edumucation...but we do have time for the opposite: translating this bit from a special exclusive scoop that was printed in The Hisashi Inquirer on Tuesday, detailing how the Atom Miraiha album came to be.

How Hisashi Got His Wife Back

Imai: Forgive me, Acchan. The Mortal made me realize anew how your black soul sucks its succor from the sultry sussurations of the blackest darkness, and if I'm to win you back after my shameless affair, that is the gift I must give you. Also Maki reminded me how much cooler everything was in the 90's.

Sakurai: I see how it is. You'll do it because Maki said so. I'm sick of being the butt of your unfaithfulness and treachery! It's time to get some of my own! I've got Murata on speed dial and I'm calling him for another Pain Drop in five, four...

Imai: Wait! That's not what I mean! I realized I was only attracted to Maki's luscious black locks and scowly goth face because he reminded me of you, Acchan! Be my wife! Be my wife again, I mean.

Sakurai: Stop it with that "be my wife" line! Don't remind me yet again that Bowie's dead and all the good things in this life shall soon pass away, leaving naught but the echoing void of oblivion in their wake. Already I fear I feel more existential despair than one frail man's frame can bear!

Imai: But that's what I mean, Acchan! You and Bowie reminded me just how precious this life is, and how precious you are to me. Every time I heard Yow-Row autotune himself in the studio, I remembered your rich velvet baritone and chilling falsetto with a pang of such intense fondness, I had to duck into the bathroom to cry as I wondered whether you could ever find it in your heart to forgive me and give me another chance to love you as you deserve to be loved.

Sakurai: You were the one who cheated on me first! I call bullshit. I hate you. Buck-Tick is over. This is the end! I have nothing more to say! 

Imai: Would you give me another chance if I told you I wrote a song that sounds just like Wayne Hussey era Sisters of Mercy, but with Depeche Mode electronics?

[Sakurai's cat tail, which he keeps hidden most of the time, appears, and begins to swish back and forth.]

Imai: Would you have anything to say if I told you I packed this new album full of Latin beats, just because I know you like to dance to the masochism tango?

[Sakurai's cat ears, which he keeps hidden most of the time, appear, and perk up with interest.]

Imai: What would you say if I told you I wrote a song that sounds just like London After Midnight covering Sawada Kenji?

[Sakurai sprouts whiskers and starts purring]

Imai: You can't leave me! You're the love of my life! And to prove it, I wrote you a second "Zekkai"!

Sakurai: Bonita, besame mucho!

Thus, the cosmic lovers were reunited, and proceeded to have loud, spicy musical makeup sex all over the studio (and used a lot of electronic toys while they were at it)...and nine months later, Atom Miraiha No. 9 was born. That's the real reason why they named it No. 9, and don't let anyone tell you differently.

The End.

[Taken from The Hisashi Inquirer, September 27th 2016 issue. Translated from the original Buck-Tickistani by Cayce. The incidents expressed herein are solely the views of The Hisashi Inquirer, and are not necessarily endorsed or shared by Blog-Tick, This is NOT Greatest Site, or its associates.]

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Damn, reading this has gotten us all fired up and bursting with a desire to spill our opinions all over you, after all, so here goes - an atomized, track-by-track, bits-and-snippets first take on Atom Miraiha No. 9.

cum uh sol nu - Mr. Sakurai told FT, "I like these vocals. This is what breathing from your diaphragm does." He went on to say that in his mind, this is an Australian aboriginal war dance. In our minds, it sounds amusingly similar to veteran Japanese batcave band Madam Edwarda. The guitar is laced with more than a few echoes of Imai's Daniel Ash fanboy past, that make us want to touch ourselves while listening to "Brain Whisper Head Hate is Noise."

Pinoa Icchio - Imai listened to Six/Nine and Schweinstein over DJ turntables, speeded up by 10%, and he realized that life after the year 2003 had no meaning and that he should have turned to a twelve-step program to disavow himself of "Hamushi no You ni." He did a line and wrote a song that couldn't be any more Imai if it wore a potato mask with B-T written on the cheek and fell asleep after one beer.

Devil's Wings - The single mix sounds like a massive dubstep attack, and the album mix sounds like electronic Sisters of Mercy, yet it's also the distilled essence of Buck-Tick. The lyrics feel both more spare and more jaded than anything Sakurai wrote prior to The Mortal...and do I hear subtle but trenchant criticism of global capitalism and overpopulation? The seven deadly sins theme on this album is bigger than track 6, but I get ahead of myself.

El Dorado - According to FT, in a great reversal of traditional roles, Sakurai insisted on adding the witch's cackle, and Hide didn't like it, but he did as he was told. How does this subtle, understated song manage to be one of the standouts on the album? In part, it's the vivid sense of place: we're in Mexico, home of Mr. Sakurai's favorite tequila, and it seems that after spending a night at Motel 13, we're back on the highway again and we get to hear the continuation of the story - the two songs feel like two fragments of a larger continuing narrative spun by Hide and Sakurai when Imai's not around. The relentlessly dark electronics and moody guitar ostinatos contrast sharply with blue skies, Mexican sun, and golden paradise conjured in the lyrics - but it's all a sham, and even before Sakurai outright admits it in the lyrics, we can hear it in his deliberately maudlin, vibrato-heavy vocals. Even if the singer pretends to himself that he believes what he's saying, none of the rest of us believe him. Without even understanding the lyrics, the feeling of desolation blows from the speakers like desert dust. It may be bleak as fuck, but it kind of also makes you want to get your fuck on - and that's a goth's El Dorado, right there. (goth pickup line: heeeeeey baby, want to suffer existential dread in my bed tonight?)

Bi Neo Universe - Or as it's more commonly known, Paradise Redux. If you were as sorry as we were that "Paradise" was a B-side that never made it onto an album and that the band hardly ever performed live, this is your song, right here. "Paradise" gets a new lease on life. You could push this song straight between the thighs of Sexy Streamliner, One Life One Death, or Kyokutou I Love You, and each of the albums would sigh and moan for more.

BOY Septem Peccata Mortalia - Imai does DAF and Front 242 while Sakurai genteely recreates "Barbaric Man" in Buck-Tick-friendly form. We'd award this the prize for his best vocal performance on the album, if his vocals weren't so superb across the board - how the man's become a better singer on nothing but shochu and kitten cuddles is anyone's guess, but there it is. Listen to his impeccable pronunciation of that Latin word, "luxuria"! Listen to the gentle way he wheedles "motto hoshii, motto hoshii," before literally roaring "I'm a beast!" over the rearing chorus? Make this a fan favorite, kids. We want this song to be our boy.

Jukai - In keeping with the general trend on this album for all the band members to distill the essences of what they have done best over the course of their careers, Hide oozes out the two-chordiest, harmonic minoriest, balladiest two-chord harmonic minor ballad he's ever oozed out sap-like from hiding in the Tree of Hide. There's a lot to be said about the lyrics that I won't say here, so for the moment, let's pay attention to that thrilling tripped-up rhythm during the guitar breaks. Toll's going to have a ball on the drums, but none of the Japanese fans will be able to dance to it. This is "Desperate Girl" thirty years later.

The Seaside Story - We'll admit it: we expected something like Green Cheese Girl on the Beach. But it beat us over the head with its techno beat and proved us wrong! If anything, this is a tribute to Schwein - the ending repeats of "taiyou no shita de" echo the lyrics at the end of "Slip" - "taiyou no mashita de." And...Imai appears to have written lyrics from a woman's perspective. And...unless I'm much mistaken, that woman is The Little Mermaid. We will follow up with this story in the near future. Which brings us to...

Future Song - Smoking a musical cigarette after their first round of musical make-up sex, Imai said to Sakurai, "Remember when we were young and carefree and I wrote catchy-as-fuck electropop songs where we traded off doing the vocals and I rapped about cyborgs and monsters and stuff and then out of nowhere you showed up and started shaking your ass and crooning about sex and all the fans danced their tits off and half of them wanted you and the other half wanted me but we were young and so in love and we had eyes only for each other? That was our past. Now let's make it our future, too. This is my future song 4 u cuz I still luv u Acchan." And they had more musical make-up sex. Aww isn't that sweet I'm getting all teary. Make this song a fan favorite, kids. We want it to have a brilliant future for future.

Manjusaka - Did you love "Gensou no Hana," yet feel that it wasn't nihilistic enough for the endless ennui of your utterly jaded and over-it tastes? Did you love "Gekka Reijin," but wish Hide had written it because you harbor a secret irrational resentment for Imai? Do you have a particular nagging sexual fetish where get off every time you hear that last line in "MAD," "doutte koto nai sa"? Well then, "Manjusaka" is sure the song for you! It steps so very close to the precipice of schlock and yet never lets us fear that we'll fall. Sakurai does so much excellent vocal work on this album it's easy to get spoiled but he really puts the the swoon in croon on this tune. Bye-bye, "Message." Don't bother to call us.

Cuba Libre - Fact: it wouldn't be a Buck-Tick album if there weren't a naked senorita in there somewhere. Just like its title, this song's a bit of a cocktail - "Zekkai" redux with a shot of "Survival Dance." All the Latin rhythms and guitar on this album are making me wonder if Buck-Tick have any idea just how massive their South American fan following is. Are you listening, Yemitza from Venezuela?

Ai no Souretsu - If London After Midnight covered Sawada Kenji covering London After Midnight's "Sacrifice," it would sound like this. This, my friends, is Enka Goth. If you're a goth who likes to go to enka karaoke parties, your problems regarding what to sing have just been solved, for all time. Fujii Maki arranged this song, and therefore we can't help but think of it as a peace offering to Sakurai aimed at helping Sakurai and Imai repair their marriage...though in fact, I more than suspect it's a requiem for Ken Morioka. Definitely more Toki no Souretsu than Bara no Souretsu, this is the song Sakurai specifically recommended to fans on the Dave Fromm show, and he told readers in Fish Tank that he wants people to take it at face value, and take it seriously. You have my 110% permission to blubber and cry like a baby every single time they play this at the live shows, just so long as you cry like a samurai and refrain from those ridiculous anime girl wails. Anime girl wails are not Enka Goth.

New World - Beginning - Amazingly enough, the album mix of this song works just as well as the single mix. An extra layer of electronic noise helps this sparkly bright track blend more seamlessly into the seamy seductiveness of the first 90% of the album. If you're twisting the cutoff and resonance knobs on your analog synthesizer to full blast in sympathy, we feel you. Musically, it's forgettable, but Sakurai's pungent lyrics pull it down to a more serious level and give it just enough punch that it doesn't poke out from the smooth black skin of the rest of the record like a pulsating pus-filled pimple. Aside from the lyrics, the best thing about this song is the Morse code bleeping at the end. When the number 9 new world calls, you've gotta pick up the phone.

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Translations and Climax Together live report coming next week.

21.9.16

New World, New Lyrics

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The lyrics and translations to both tracks on New World are now up over on This is NOT Greatest Site, so go and feast your curiosity! I must say that I'm extremely glad I chose to hold off on translating these until I had a chance to read the official lyric booklet - after ten years of doing this I thought I'd gotten pretty good at deciphering lyrics, but it turns out what I thought I heard was nothing but a bunch of mondegreens, which means that "mondegreen" is now our official Not Greatest Word of the Day. What does it mean? It means, a misheard word. Like when you were a kid and you thought the song "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" was called "Lucy and This Guy with Diamonds."

In any case, I have saved myself from embarrassment by rightfully refusing to print the mondegreens, and thus I offer you nothing but the 100% accurate official lyrics. As usual, I have written my English lyrics to be singable with the original melody, which means that I've stretched the meaning in a few places, but not by so much that it matters. There's a lot to discuss, content-wise, so if you'd like to discuss, feel free to do so in the comments section of this post.

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20.9.16

New World, New Tower

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We braved the typhoon to pick up the new single at Tower Records, and entered the store only to find a truly gigantic Buck-Tick banner hanging on the wall! Unfortunately, Imai looks like he's been doing a bit too much cum uh sol nu lately.


For reference on just how big the poster was, here it is next to the CD display and the Buck-Tick Cafe menu.


And here's the ad for the album on the third floor. At the bottom, you can see a picture of the large-sized badge you get for free if you purchase the album at Tower. In keeping with the NuGoth designs, it's minimalist black and white...just the sort of thing you could feel comfortable showing off at one of the club events at Trump Room across the street.


If you still want to order the album from us, or any of the magazines, it's not too late. Just send us an email.

Tower Presents: The Buck-Tick Cafe

Tomorrow the new world is calling you, folks. In one more day, you get to find out what those Devils' Wings really sound like (taste like?) A typhoon is about to hit Japan but so long as the trains are still running, we'll be traipsing out to Shibuya to check out the new release shrine and pick up some CDs and mags for y'all while we're at it.

But it's a testament to how spoiled people get when they live in Tokyo, that when we called up our friends one by one and invited them to share a bottle of Buck-Tick beer with us at the Buck-Tick cafe after the Tower run tomorrow, every single one of them begged off.

"Too tired," sighed one.

"No money," lamented another.

"For the past two months, I've been too depressed and miserable to leave my house," kvetched a third.

"I can't make it, I have to work nights so I can afford to attend every single gig on the Atom Miraiha Hall Tour," we were briskly informed by a fourth.

"The spirit is willing, but the body is perpetually weak. But we're always with you in spirit. And we mean always," said a fifth, rather creepily.

And so on down the gamut of excuses. It makes us sad, it truly does...because we know you readers in other countries would do almost anything for a chance to drink some real, bona-fide B-T beer in a bar within view of Laforet Harajuku. If any of you want to hop on a plane right now, you're welcome to join us tomorrow for a cuppa.

But in fact...we have a confession to make, and the confession is this: we've already been to the Tower Buck-Tick Cafe. We simply enjoyed it so much we'd like to go again.

Three times is certainly the charm, it seems, at least where Buck-Tick cafes are concerned. The first attempt at a Buck-Tick cafe happened with the release of Yumemiru Uchuu, when NicoNico created a Buck-Tick themed cafe space in their Harajuku shop. While the NicoNico cafe boasted some interesting attractions such as a Buck-Tick purikura machine in which it was possible to take photos fake-smooching the band members, a graffiti wall where fans could draw pictures of whatever they liked, a costume exhibit, and a distinctly unappetizing black curry, it had some major drawbacks, such as the fact that it was only open for a week, it closed every night at 8PM sharp, and it didn't serve alcohol.

The second Buck-Tick cafe appeared to celebrate the release of Arui wa Anarchy, at the Cafe Manduuka next to Tower Records Shibuya. While this event featured Buck-Tick placemats, coasters and wall decor, and the cafe itself stayed open till 11PM and did serve booze (plus it was right next to Tower Records where fans had just bought the album), the mediocre food offerings were not Buck-Tick themed, and the sound of Arui wa Anarchy being played over the speakers was drowned out by the loud shrieks and giggling of drunken gyaru girls who were definitely not Buck-Tick fangirls, because Shibuya is a trashy town for trashy teenyboppers, and goths and people over age 25 are unlikely to feel at home there unless it's the middle of the night.

This time, at last, they've finally learned: not only is the Tower Records Buck-Tick Cafe open for a total of three weeks and open till 11PM every night, it serves both Buck-Tick themed food and Buck-Tick themed booze, and while it may not offer anything so exciting as a costume exhibit or a purikura machine, it does have a lot of back issues of magazines. Plus, as we found out for ourselves, the food is damn good.

It's a bit of a walk from Tower Records Shibuya - about ten minutes up Meiji Street, then a little jog down Omotesando, in the heart of (sadly gentrified) Harajuku. However, from the entrance on up, the place makes it clear that non-B-T fans are not welcome.

At the entrance. Most Wanted: these five guys!


And a peek through the door...


A line of empty Buck-Tick beer bottles adorned the window. When our party arrived, there were no seats at the tables, only at the counter overlooking Omotesando, but soon, a space opened up right underneath the projection screen which was currently playing the live DVD of the Razzle Dazzle Tour.

Just in time for the start of the DVD...


And oh look, here comes Acchan-chan-chan-chan-chan.


And did we mention...the Buck-Tick beer is really original Buck-Tick beer? You can even take the bottles home if you like. On this slow weekday evening, very few fans had bothered to show up, so the Diabolo Lucifer chicken was still available, as was the Angelfish Fish & Chips. While the Diabolo chicken was really nothing more than bog-standard fried chicken, the quality was more than satisfactory, and the sharp knives provided to help cut the chicken lent themselves naturally to joking imitations of the "Romance" PV.

As for the Angelfish, it was a lot better than the title made it sound - yummy fish and chips, though I think somebody forgot to tell them the meaning of the word "chips" in this context. What you served us, my fine Tower friends...those are crisps. I recognize that when it comes to potatoes, Japan speaks American, not British, but on the other hand, Buck-Tick recorded a whole album in London. You can accuse us of having a chip on our shoulder, but really we just want to chip in to make this cafe an authentic success.

The Buck-tick label tags were actually edible (if tasteless) rice cakes coated in black food dye. Like conversation hearts, but more rectangular, and none of them said "fax me."


The walls were covered with an admirable number of photo panels.



These panels of the band members are more or less life sized.





If anyone wants the collaboration goods, just let us know - they're still available. In addition to the Victor dog mug, there are black cafe aprons that read "Buck-Tick Cafe" in a NuGoth font. Highly recommended for those of you who are into the whole naked-but-for-an-apron fetish game.




And here it is...the Serious Latte in a Victor Mutt Mug, accompanied by Toll's Kick Highball, both sitting on complimentary Buck-Tick coasters! (With an empty B-T beer bottle in the background...because it's not a Buck-Tick fan party till there's at least one empty Buck-tick beer bottle kicking around. If anyone wants the bottle, we'll sell it to you for 100 yen.)



The verdict: it was a good latte, but the perfect Serious Bear image was attained via a stencil (we saw it hanging in the window of the kitchen.) We could shame the baristas, but honestly - that would be a lot of bears to draw in one day. A stencil gets the job done faster. Despite the odd mixture of sake with ginger ale, the Kick Highball was a damn sight more palatable than any Kaku Highball we've ever had the misfortune of drinking. Actually, it was quite tasty. Maybe if we make it back again before the place closes down, we'll try Sakurai's Sunrise Tequila just for shits and giggles, though methinks it doesn't have the same magical effect unless you drink it at dawn while doing a sun salutation. Otherwise it's just a pointless exercise in diluting perfectly good tequila. We'd have tried #SexyBeastHide's cream soda, if we were ever willing to put melon flavoring into our bodies, but in our very well informed real-life experience, melon-flavored drinks are best seen and not imbibed. Sorry, Hide.

In addition to the scenes pictured above, the cafe was chock-full of back issues of various magazines the Buck-Tick members have appeared in over the past three years, including the lost The Mortal issue of Ongaku to Hito. Hide and Yutaka's autobiographies were also for sale. Not only that, but the maitre'd is a real-life color-contact-wearing anime bishounen who looked to be in his late 30's...so not too young for you Buck-Tick fan ladies!

Buck-Tick beer, bishounen and Harajuku style - truly, this is a classic classy weeb's night out! And don't be shy boys, because we definitely spotted a gray-haired old man drinking at the counter all by his onesies. The only thing that would make it better would be if it's a PokeStop, but since it appears that no Buck-Tick fans play Pokemon Go, we cannot verify one way or another.

(Imai-chu, I choose you!)

Thus concludes our report.

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But...if you're busting out of your knickers so hard that you can't wait for tomorrow's release, and this blog post hasn't tickled your pickle to suit your fancy, then feel free to join me in...reacting...to this brand-new The Mortal copyband, brought to by the one and only Grand Court Jester of the Royal Court of Buck-Tickistan, our own dear Maoh Sakurai.


This is not a joke. We did not have anything to do with the production of these pictures, and we did not alter them in any way. In fact, the members of La Fantomas actually rented this photo studio to stage this photoshoot. We would like to call your attention to the Imai Stabilizer Guitar held by Larger Than Actual Size Jake (who actually went out and bought the exact same hat that Actual Size Jake wore on the real Mortal's real tour). We would also like to call your attention to the Chobits-style anime girl ears worn by Lovely Doll Cardcaptor Mera-Mera Murata. Apparently, according to La Fantomas, this is what happens when Acchan-chan kisses you in front of an NHK Hall full of fangirls: you turn into a Chobit. Don't let this happen to you! Friends don't let friends be kissed by Acchan-chan.

If you've got words beyond this, feel free to add them in the comments section, because we've got none. We're struck dumb.

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3.9.16

Atomic Victor-y Cafe

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In keeping with the recent tradition of accompanying the release of each album with a time-limited cafe tie-in, it has been announced that Buck-Tick will be taking over Tower Records Cafe Omotesando between September 10th and October 2nd. At three weeks, this is an unprecedented length of time for Buck-Tick to be taking over a cafe, so everyone who wants to ought to be able to find the time to go check it out!

Perhaps they got the memo about Cafe Manduuka, because this time, Buck-Tick are bringing back the themed food they used for the NicoNico Cafe, but unlike the NicoNico Cafe, the Tower Records Cafe is open till 11PM, meaning that there will actually be time for normal people to relax and have a drink!

And yes, my friends, there are drinks: one for each band member!

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Mr. Sakurai - Tequila Sunrise (850 yen)

Mr. Imai - Tory's Kaku Highball (850 yen)

Sexy Beast Hide - Cream Soda (750 yen...no booze in this one. Sorry, fans!)

Serious Yutaka - Serious Bear Latte (700 yen...it's a latte with Serious Bear drawn on top)

Yagami Toll - Kick Highball (850 yen...Toll's favorite sake with lemon and ginger ale)

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The announcement claims that the band members themselves picked these drinks out, but I don't buy it. Or rather, it seems to me that the only band members who actually bothered to pick out their own drinks were Hide and Yutaka. Not only is Tory's Kaku the second-worst whiskey in Japan (and plus we know Imai's a beer drinker), and not only does Toll (when he's not drinking white wine out of a box) prefer his sake unadulterated with ginger ale (because only gaijin mix sake into cocktails! Sake cocktails are Not A Thing in Japan)...but while we've heard through the grapevine that Mr. Sakurai's going through a tequila phase, the other thing we heard through that same grapevine was that Mr. Sakurai is going through a challenge-the-bartender-to-tequila-shots phase...a challenge which he always wins. Points for emotional maturity: 0. Points for hanging loose and enjoying life after 50: 100. If you've gotta be drinking your tequila out of sunrises instead of straight out of the empty skull of your favorite dead jester, you're not ready to be drinking tequila with Mr. Sakurai. Tower Records is not ready to be drinking tequila with Mr. Sakurai.

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Anyhow, in addition to this boozy goodness, there will also be a Buck-Tick themed food menu, consisting of the following dishes:

Kyokutou Yori Ai wo Komete Neapolitan Spaghetti - 1200 yen. Spicy spaghetti, because of the flames in the Kyokutou Yori Ai wo Komete PV.

Diabolo -Lucifer- Chicken - 1200 yen - Italian Diablo chicken. They're only serving 20 of these per day, so get yours fast.

Angelfish Fish and Chips - 850 yen. The idea of eating an angelfish is only slightly less sickening than the idea of eating an angel. Something about this is fishy, guys.

Chocolate Pancake - 1100 yen. But Tower Records, you do know that song wasn't actually about chocolate, right? So please tell me, what's really in this pancake?

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In addition to the food and booze, Buck-Tick songs will be playing over the sound system, and there will be a photo panel display of photos taken at Buck-Tick's DIQ tour last year. Also, if you order a drink at the cafe, you'll get a special Atom Miraiha coaster (until supplies run out). If you're really desperate for a coaster, you can also order a beer at Yokohama Arena before Climax Together 3rd, and they will give you a coaster there, too. However, they advise you that you can't drink the beer in the venue...so let's hope that beer booth is outside, and it's not a trap where you order your beer in the venue and then some peach-fuzz kid in a security guard's uniform comes over immediately and tries to tell you that you're Breaking The Rules and therefore must leave (if this happens to you, just take a good slurp of that beer and smile broadly at him.)

Also, if you order more than 3000 yen worth of food at the Tower Records Cafe, you will be entered into a lottery to win one of the photo panels...though if you're really going to attempt this, I advise asking the cafe staff to make the Tequila Sunrise extra strong for you, because Japanese cocktails in cafes of this kind often would be better labeled as "may contain traces of booze" than "alcoholic beverage, not for consumption by under-twenties."

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Also, Victor is really, really glad to have Buck-Tick back. To celebrate the occasion by trying to squeeze even more money out of you, they're selling collaboration goods with Buck-Tick's logo and the Victor mascot, Nipper. So if you're into overpriced totes and coffee mugs that look like swag from that Dynamic Integrated Horizontal Human Resources Capacity Building Development Parallelogram Innovation Symposium Seminar Series you had to attend on your business trip last week, then by all means, buy these goods. Victor will hump your leg and possibly pee on your floor in joy.

Oh yeah, and when you buy selected goods at Tower Records shops after September 20th, you get a free "Welcome Buck-Tick" sticker from Victor, just because. Because Victor is the Church of Scientology in disguise, and we should all be very afraid.

Oh yeah, and they're selling the Climax Together 3rd goods at the cafe, as well. But if they don't hurry up and release another shirt that says "Climax Together" across the front, totally context-free, then we're not interested. However, if any of you readers are interested, and would like to purchase goods through Cayce, just shoot us an email. We are here together with you, helping you Climax.


31.8.16

Ubi Sunt Membra Mortalia?

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Now that we've seen the track list for Atom Miraiha No. 9, everyone's talking about Buck-Tick. But does Mr. Sakurai still yearn for those days of freedom last year when he cast loose all the constraints of his musical marriage? If the song "BOY: Septem Peccata Mortalia" is any indication, the answer to that question is yes. Hell, it almost looks as if this song title is one that he scrapped from using with The Mortal simply because he didn't have enough time to fit it in.

Therefore, we thought we'd do a little check-in, and see how the rest of The Mortal's members are doing...what are they doing without Mr. Sakurai's fame shining a spotlight on them and raining the gold coins of fangirls into their pockets? How are they managing to put roofs over their heads and food on the table?

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Well, Jake, it seems, is doing the same as ever - Guniw Tools continue apace with their revival, but Jake does not appear to want to be involved with Asaki in a musical sense, and therefore, he's not involved in the Guniw Tools project. Instead, he's busy advertising guitar effects on YouTube. This video just broke 40,000 views! Let's help him break 50,000. And maybe when you're done with this one, you'll go watch the one about the Purple Plexifier.


How much money does this kind of job pay?

Enough to keep him drinking craft beer, clearly. Hang in there Jake! We know there's more beer in your future, and we'll hope there's more Acchan in there too.



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So then, what about Akiyama Takahiko? We mentioned his jazz-drummer sensibilities in our article The Cacophony of Mortality...well, turns out, the man's got a history as a jazz drummer, with this crazy hyper-powered instrumental jazz-rock band, Fresh! Sure, this video is old. But if you like Guniw Tools and you like Imai, you ought to watch this video, for sure. Past the 2 minute mark it starts getting really good...and see if you can spot the cameo by off-the-beaten-track live house Shin-Daita Fever (which may or may not show up in the venue guide we're currently in the process of writing...shh don't tell anyone yet! You're not supposed to know!)



More recently, Akiyama has been involved in a series of metal-themed live gigs, the Metal-Kai, involving various members of various bands who get together to jam their favorite heavy metal songs. We haven't been, but we're heard from Mortal fans who have. The consensus? It's heavy. It's metallic. It's Metalocalypse-approved. If you're a metal fan in Japan, by all means, check it out.

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And if you're a metalhead, you should definitely check out Miyo Ken! If you think instrumental power-rock jazz is unusual taste, try out Miyo Ken's instrumental math metal band, Seiten no Hekireki! We'd have liked to post a video, rather than this shitty photo, but it appears they have no videos on YouTube. If you go see them live, though, you can buy one of their demo CDs for the low, low price of 500 yen.


But if you just can't get enough of Miyo Ken and need a band who has videos on YouTube and other places, and you also liked minus (-) and maybe Portishead, then Miyo Ken's other dark side project u crack irigaru are the band for you! Pairing dark, hard sounds with ethereal female vocals, this band manage to capture both the Nu-Goth and hipster-electro sounds without quite sounding derivative of either. If you enjoyed the vocals on the minus (-) song "The Victim," u crack irigaru may sound eerily familiar - the vocalist is the same.



Of course, those of your with more sparkly proclivities may now be straining to point out that in addition to the above dark grungy indies projects, Miyo Ken is also now an official courtier in the kingdom of Vaniru's Gothique Prince Leoneil...but we're not going to talk about that right now except to say that, to you fans who asked...Leoneil he is Acchan-chan's secret love child, duh, of course. Haven't I always told you, everything you read on the internet is true???

To those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about...please, for the love of god, don't look it up. If we ignore them maybe they'll go away. Actually, we take it back - do go look it up. Vaniru are at least the best Buck-Tick copyband since B-T-K (Sorry, Maoh!)

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So, that leaves one member of The Mortal as yet un-checked-in with. So let's go check him out. I mean check him in. I mean check up thinking time listen to the music? ...whoops, that was Imai. What I mean to say is, what of the only member of The Mortal to possess fashion sense edging up on the ugliness edginess of Imai? Yes, friends, we're talking about My Way My Love's own Murata Yukio... we checked in with him, too, and we found out that gosh darnit, he's written the hit single of the summer.

This song, my friends. Words, music, and arrangement by Murata Yukio. Yeah, the same one who wrote "Pain Drop." Yeah, the same one who wrote "Barbaric Man." This is currently, as we speak, the top of the Japanese singles charts, so make sure you watch the entire video.



If the idea that musicians who've worked with Sakurai also work with the likes of the people above makes you angry, just remember: every mouthbreathing fanboy who buys this single is paying royalties to your very favorite Pain Drop composer. It's a dog-eat-dog world out there, and this is what indie musicians do for money, kids. 

But think of the champagne he's drinking, as we speak! Maybe next time, he'll be the one who takes Acchan-chan out to dinner. Maybe tomorrow, when he gets paid, he'll finally be able to afford a second pair of pants.

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Cool pants, dude...

Cool pants...feel like I've seen 'em before...

Cool pants...it's like deja vu...

Life is short, dude. Buy new pants.

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26.8.16

Atomic Future News!

And now, we bring you ALL THE NEWS about Buck-Tick's forthcoming single, New World, and their forthcoming 20th studio album, Atom Miraiha No. 9! The jacket art and track list for the album have been released, and they're intriguing, to say the least.

Here's the jacket art:

[Limited Edition]



[Regular Edition]



...why is the picture bigger on the regular edition cover than the limited edition cover? Don't ask, folks. Don't ask. But more to the point, as one Blog-Tick reader has already pointed out, this cover demonstrates excellent use of an airplane stock photo. Here's the original photo!




Wow, much stock. Very photo! And now let's take bets on whether this cover was designed by Sakaguchi Ken or Akita Kazvnori...because the web site did not bother to tell us, because they assume (probably correctly) that most fangirls are more interested in judging the band members by their appearances than in judging albums by their covers.

But wait, there's more! Here's the tracklist, and it's a doozy!

01. cum uh sol nu -Furasuko no Besshu-
[lyrics + music - Imai Hisashi]

02. PINOA ICCHIO -Odoru Atomu-
[lyrics + music - Imai Hisashi]

03. DEVIL'S WINGS
[lyrics - Sakurai Atsushi / music - Imai Hisashi]

04. El Dorado
[lyrics - Sakurai Atsushi / music - Hoshino Hidehiko]

05. Bi NEO Universe
[lyrics - Sakurai Atsushi / music - Imai Hisashi]

06. BOY septem peccata mortalia
[lyrics - Sakurai Atsushi / music - Imai Hisashi]

07. Jukai
[lyrics - Sakurai Atsushi / music - Hoshino Hidehiko]

08. THE SEASIDE STORY
[lyrics + music - Imai Hisashi]

09. FUTURE SONG - Mirai ga Odoru- 
[lyrics - Imai Hisashi & Sakurai Atsushi / music - Imai Hisashi]

10. Manjusaka
[lyrics - Sakurai Atsushi / music - Hoshino Hidehiko]

11. Cuba Libre
[lyrics - Sakurai Atsushi / music - Imai Hisashi]

12. Ai no Souretsu
[lyrics - Sakurai Atsushi / music - Imai Hisashi]

13. New World -beginning-
[lyrics - Sakurai Atsushi / music - Imai Hisashi]

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In general, I prefer not to speculate on the meanings of the song titles before listening to the lyrics, but since I know y'all are busting out of your knickers, here are a few notes:



"Furasuko no Besshu" would appear to mean "A different kind of flask." Not that this really answers any questions, so let's wait for the whole song, shall we. "Cum uh sol nu" is no language known to the internet, which makes me feel certain it's a Buck-Tickistani proverb, although it might just be re-romanized garbled katakana.


"Odoru Atomu" means "dancing atom" - there are all kinds of connotations from the fact that it's "atomu" in katakana rather than the Japanese word "genshi," but I'm going to save that kind of thing for the notes. As for Pinoa Icchio, I'm tending to think it's Imai making up some fake Italian, but we'll see.

"Bi" means "beauty" or "aesthetic." It's a central concept of Japanese art and design. More on this in the translation notes.

"Septem Peccata Mortalia" - if you know this one without having to look it up, I'm guessing you're either a graduate of goth school, or you still remember your high school Latin, or you like to listen to and/or sing Medieval church music (or perhaps you are just well educated.) This, my friends, is a major holdover from The Mortal: the seven deadly sins!

"Jukai" literally means "sea of trees," but the most famous "Jukai" in Japan is the infamous Aokigahara Jukai, otherwise known as the Suicide Forest. More on this in the translation notes but in the meantime, take a drink in honor of none so goth mortality and songs by Hoshino Hidehiko.

"Mirai ga Odoru" means "The Future Dances." This is clearly a reference back to "Odoru Atomu" earlier on the album.

"Manjusaka" is another name for the higanbana, otherwise known as the cluster amaryllis or hurricane lily. I already wrote a sizable note on this one for Sakurai's solo song "Tensei," so go check it out if you're interested.

A Cuba Libre is a cocktail similar to a rum & coke. Methinks Imai's been drinking too much at his sister-in-law's bar.

"Ai no Souretsu" means "The Funeral Procession of Love." But if this isn't a direct reference to Auto-Mod's classic song "Toki no Souretsu," ("The Funeral Procession of Time") I'll eat my goth top hat whole. Back in the 80's, Auto-Mod's frontman Genet also sponsored a series of live events called Toki no Souretsu showcasing the hottest indie goth bands of the time. Later, a Toki no Souretsu compilation album was released...and then in the early 2000's, Genet resurrected the event, featuring 80's indie goth bands who'd reunited after years of silence (and some of them reunited specifically for this event). Basically, this is a phrase with some longstanding cred in the history of Japanese goth, and if Sakurai doesn't know that...come on, of course he knows.

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But meanwhile, while we speculate as to the contents of the album, Victor is all hot to sell us on the contents of the single. And yes, I know. "New World" sounds like Sakurai musing some very poetic, sad, existentialist things over an oddly spastic, incongruous soundtrack of hyper-fast Eurobeat, EDM, a mashup of the guitar riff from "Solaris" and the melody line from "Bran-New Lover," and maybe a teeny tiny bit of psytrance, if we're being generous. But...it's a single, kids. And it's being released from Victor. Its purpose in life is to try and convince the popular kids that Buck-Tick is in fact boring enough to be worth listening to. Which may be a futile mission, but let's be charitable and let Victor do their thing.





However...if you want to get angry about the fact that all the songs on DIQ bonus DVD are songs owned by Victor, and that they're inflicting yet another video of "Aku no Hana" on us just so they can make a few more yen in royalties, rather than showing us what we actually want to see (which was "Cyborg Dolly" and "Kyouki no Deadheat," amirite kids?)...then by all means, get angry. Maybe if there are enough of us we can gang up and chuck "Aku no Hana" out of Buck-Tickistan forever! It's certainly overstayed its welcome.



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Anyhow, last but certainly not least, the details of special editions and goodies for the single and album have now been announced!

The single New World will come with the following goodies, if you buy it at one of the following chain record stores:

Tower Records - an original clear file folder
HMV - an original fridge magnet
Tsutaya - a sticker
Victor Online Shop - a giant-ass poster

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The album Atom Miraiha No. 9 limited edition will include the following extras:

- A "special package" (heh heh heh)

- 48 pages of photobook in which the band members will be Photoshopped as smooth and shiny as K-pop idols

- A DVD or BluRay of the music video for "New World"

- A chance to enter a lottery to win some kind of special prize (I hope it's the jacket Mr. Sakurai wore in the New World PV!)

- A coupon for a high-resolution download of the songs...but who the fuck needs this if you already bought the album?

And if you purchase the album at one of the following chain record shops, you'll get one of the following special awesome free goodies:

Tower Records - a big giant badge (4.4 centimeters, yo!)
HMV - an original fridge magnet (deja vu!)
Tsutaya - a sticker (deja vu all over again!)
Victor Online Shop - a giant-ass poster (even more deja vu!)

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If you would like to reserve either the single or the album from Cayce, please contact us at themadaristocrat at gmail. We're getting ours from Tower!

Also, Buck-Tick will be appearing in the following magazines:

Rolling Stone Japan (interview with Sakurai and Imai)
Ongaku to Hito (cover feature on Sakurai and Imai)
PHY (cover feature of the whole band)

It would seem that the gossip rags are going to town on the fact that Sakurai and Imai have reunited their marriage. Anyhoo, if you'd like to purchase any of these magazines through Cayce, just shoot us an email!