Record review: Made In Japan – Tame All Those Thoughts (2013 LP)

There are some genres that can go either way, and dream-pop is one of them. Often lumped together with similar sub-genres shoegaze, dark wave, post-rock and a whole lot of other words that don’t mean much, dream-pop is an oft-maligned genre. As purveyors of said genre, Made In Japan’s second album walks a fine line between making me want to write vaguely musical terms like “soaring instrumentation” or “haunting melodies”, and dig out some old punk albums as an antidote to the mind-numbing tedium of having to listen to it. If your idea of an entertaining piece of music is something that sounds like it should be played in a supermarket (and not a good one), then you’ll love repetitive opener ‘Community’. There’s a touch of Local Natives throughout, but at every point throughout listening to this album, you will be ready and willing to receive a dose of something heavy, something meaningful, something emotive, something anything, and at no point will it deliver. While it’s all perfectly executed, it’s all way too contrived for comfort. The nine-minute ‘Follow The Fool’ tries to breathe some much needed life into proceedings half way through and succeeds to a certain extent, but there’s an urgent need to involve some crunching guitar effects at some point, à la My Bloody Valentine; anything to pack a bit of punch. Back to the drawing board lads, and dream up something a bit better. (Independent)

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