• For those who want to scare elders and stalkers - A review of Kokumaromilk's ''Poseidon''

    こくまろみるく / Kokumaromilk - 海神 / Poseidon

    If you think you knew everything about Kokumaromilk's strange genre potpourri, you might not be prepared for the level of weirdness included on the project's last release ''Poseidon''. While the debut record sounded childish and random at times, the sophomore effort had a much darker and more progressive vibe and this final record is a mixture of both styles that sounds so radical that it's still taking you by surprise. In a certain way, Kokumaromilk seem to have found their very own style after all since this release summarizes everything this band is about. Maybe these songs are also leftovers from previous recording sessions since this record doesn't have any guiding line aside of its randomness.

    The opening title song might actually be the best song in the project's short yet intensive career. After a disturbing overture recalling classical composer Edgard Varèse, this track mixes classical music and swing elements with Japanese retro pop music over some simplistic heavy metal riffs and a much more distinctive funky bass guitar and vivid percussion performance that even includes a drum solo. The middle part adds psychedelic vocal samples, some electronic music and harsh vocals. The coda offers a well-deserved break and ends on a more harmonious note with relaxing piano melodies. This song sounds as if it was taken from the soundtrack of an old Godzilla movie from the early seventies and remixed by visual kei outfit Mucc with some help by Russian multi-instrumentalist Senmuth. You really have to like the random weirdness of Japanese music to enjoy this overwhelming genre potpourri. The only Western band with a comparable style that comes to mind is Canadian progressive metal group Unexpect. Still, this song somehow works because the progression of experimental ideas is somewhat coherent and fluid and this entertaining song simply never gets boring and has an intriguingly sinister atmosphere.

    ''Bruises and Screw'' is a typical example for a song that is so bad that it's good again. If the opener represented the band's complex and dark side, the second track exposes the band's childish and commercial touch. Artificially flavored keyboard beats and childishly female Auto-Tune vocals are intertwined with extreme metal passages including growls that sound like burps or farts. Despite this cringe-worthy combination, the track is extremely catchy and won't get out of your mind. This tune sounds like the little retarded brother of the band's catchiest tune ''PIPIPI''.

    How may I describe the concluding ''Prelude to the Drama''? It sounds like an aggressively discordant retro pop tune that could come right from a David Lynch movie. Nerve-firing sound effects and muddy vocals meet abrupt breaks before the track ends with a sudden sample of applause that sounds quite ironic in the context. Despite its experimental style and dystopian mood, this short closing tune is rather pointless in my book and one of the project's worst songs. The track is simply going nowhere and too short to build up any kind of momentum.

    Who might purchase this weird record? Fans of eclectic Japanese music might pick this up as a special gem for their extensive collection. Those who are pretentious enough to show everyone how experimental and open-minded they are to listen to this kind of music might also take a shot at buying this expensive rarity. This release is also a perfect way to get rid of someone who is stalking you like an annoying friend or someone who's exaggeratedly in love with you since listening to this type of music will definitely isolate you and offer you some peaceful hours on your own. If you are the kind of person who wants to scare elderly people by blasting this type of music in your car, you will surely get a lot of negative attention with this record. If you don't do drugs but want to be in a transcendent state of mind, this sonic bad trip is certainly a daring experience. In my opinion, Kokumaromilk's ''Poseidon'' is an occasionally entertaining gimmick but nothing more.

    Final rating: 65%

    « Korsair - Mechopolis (2014) - For patient and sophisticated genre fans only - 60% (01/01/15)Some of the best thrash metal in recent memory - A review of Annihilator's ''Feast'' »
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