Ubi Sunt Membra Mortalia?


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?


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.


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.


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!)


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.




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.



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]

[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]

[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]


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.


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.


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


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!)


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!


Atom Miraiha Tour Tickets

Hey folks - this is just a reminder that the general admission presale lottery for tickets to Buck-Tick's Atom Miraiha No. 9 tour is open until Tuesday, August 23rd, at 2PM Japan time...meaning that it's not too late for you to get your tickets! Lots of Blog-Tickers are doing it, so why not succumb to peer pressure and try it yourself? If you're interested in getting tickets to this tour and you'd like my help in getting them, please contact me within the next two days, otherwise I will not be able to help you!


New World NuGoth


As many of you may have noticed, the jacket art for Buck-Tick's forthcoming single New World has now been released, dispelling entirely the hope that this would be a Disney cover single. Nope, kids - far from a Disney cover single, judging by the jackets alone, we'd be tempted to guess that this is Buck-Tick trying to imitate In Death It Ends for the sake of all those broken-hearted fangirls of The Mortal.

These jackets hit all the sexy buzzpoints of the new generation of minimal wave, witch house and self-styled "post-punk" bands that all the hipsters are listening to these days: an ultra-washed-out monochrome color scheme, blur and lens flare effects to make the band members look mysterious, some invocation of occult symbology through the moon phase motif, and of course, a stylized font designed to make Roman letters look like cuneiform characters.

All they need now are some Killstar collaboration tour t-shirts! I recommend this design...can't you just see Buck-Tick's name on this one? (Yes, I stole this photo from some online shop site, sorry not sorry.)

However, when we listen to the the trailer for "New World" that was posted online at the same time as the album jackets were released, it starts to sound less likely that Buck-Tick are indeed giving in to their inner hipster goths...but for the synth line, none of this sounds remotely like cold wave. In fact, if there were more talking animals involved, it almost could be a Disney song.

Then again, it's been my observation that these little snippets of new songs the band post prior to releases are often quiet misleading about what the whole song actually sounds like, so I wouldn't take too much away from this except that Buck-Tick will probably not show up on Stereo Embers "The Next 20 Post-Punk Bands You Should Listen To" any time soon, which means we're safe for now...because if you can tell any of these bands apart from each other by either sound or visuals, you're already ten steps ahead of me.

And that's all the Buck-Tick news for now. But before we leave, we'd like to call your attention to another Disney-related item that is surely well beloved in Buck-Tickistan. Friends, if you have not seen this yet, you must watch it as soon as you can, preferably with the aid of consciousness-altering substances, because this, my friends, is the one and only collaboration between animation titan Walt Disney and surrealist savant Salvador Dali, and it's every bit as weird as you'd expect it to be.