Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Suzan And Golden Week For The Poco Poco Beat

Pitched as a pop punk band but having as much in common with punk rock as Democrats do with Republicans, The Suzan are quite possibly the quirkiest Japanese band to ever land in America. Not at all like Shonen Knife and more like some strange art pop band, The Suzan are far too diverse and original to be lumped into the punk rock category. Their debut album, Golden Week For The Poco Poco Beat, on the electro stalwarts Fools Gold label, is a perplexing joy to listen too that challenges every notion of their label and their sound.

Sounding something like a garage rock band, The Creatures, Xiu Xiu, and Peggy Lee, The Suzan are so far outside of the box that their sound can't be nailed down. This group of four girls barely sound Japanese and almost seem as though they were born and raised in America and listened to a free form radio station much of their lives. With sounds ranging from torch songs to spiky pop, The Suzan are literally all over the place all at the same time. The record is a fascinating amalgamation of the most un-punk things in the universe and perhaps it's all of that un-ness, that makes them so punk rock. Golden Week For The Poco Poco Beat is dramatic, over joyed, strange, and mainstream all within the same breath. The Suzan aren't exactly pop princesses but their not punks either...somewhere amongst cultural reference, tropical marimbas, and jangly guitars is this band drowning in their eccentricity.

From the jazzy tropical vibes of, "Home," to the dark moodiness of, "Ramble," Golden Week For The Poco Poco Beat is a diverse and fascinating listen that proves music is a global phenomenon. Kudos to Fool's Gold for finding these girls and bringing them to the US...this is the kind of music that opens minds and broadens horizons and it's awesome. Quirky and somewhat random, The Suzan are easily one of the most interesting bands to come across this desk in a long long time.

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