Angel'in Heavy Syrup - II (1993)
One of the more unique and melodic bands to arise from Japan's famous noise-rock scene, Angel'in Heavy Syrup (named after canned fruit) specializes in a drawn-out, retro psychedelic style. The all-female quartet formed in Osaka in 1990, produced by Jojo Hiroshige, a heavyweight amongst Japan's noise rockers. Despite "guitar terrorism" being music critics' favorite phrase to describe him, Angel'in Heavy Syrup's sound shares very little in common with that of their producer's.
The band draws heavily on progressive and psychedelic rock while working in a number of jazz influences as well.
The jazz and psychedlic roots especially point to influences by Soft Machine and Gong. Most Angel'in Heavy Syrup songs are epic and meandering, often layering sheets of guitar noise over entire songs - perhaps the heavy syrup coating the angelic melody. The band's vocal sections give way to stretched-out instrumentals with plenty of complicated lines from both guitarists and somtimes accented with liberal helpings of improvization. Nakao and Toda often act as the other's complement; while one forges ahead with the melody, the other plays contrasting parts ranging from improv to noise freakouts. Vocal sections feature bassist Itakura, whose soft, airy tones recall British female-fronted dream pop and shoegaze bands from the 1980s and 90s. For listeners more familiar with such groups, a comparison to Lush is not far off the mark. Takahara completes the quartet on both drums and flute, and while her presence on percussion is not commanding, her polyrhythmic flourishes set her style apart while tacking on an extra touch of jazz. After being founded by Itakura and Nakao, Mandrake Yoko joined on drums in 1990. The band was singned to Hiroshige's own Alchemy Records, and their debut Angel'in Heavy Syrup I appeared in 1991. A record deal with Subterranean shipped the album to the US in 1992. Soon after, the band's first lineup change brought Takahara in on drums and added Toda on guitar. This culminated in the 1993's Angel'in Heavy Syrup II, which further refined their ethereal style. The band recorded two more albums, both continuing the Led Zepplin album naming trend, with IV landing in 1999 after Takahara's departure. Angel'in Heavy Syrup has been largely silent since, aside from the issuing of a best-of in 2002. With Toda and noise artist Masonna recording together as Christine 23 Onna and Itakura taking up residence in Belgium, Angel'in Heavy Syrup appears to have fallen into indefinite hiatus status.
1 Introduction I / Naked Sky High 7:58
2 Crazy Blues 10:07
3 Kitto Aeru Yo 9:07
4 Introduction II 2:18
5 I Got You Babe 3:35
Bass, Vocals – Mineko Itakura
Guitar – Fusao Toda
Guitar, Vocals, Glockenspiel – Mine Nakao
Percussion – Tomoko Takahara
Recorded at Omega Sound (Osaka), January 1993.Label:Alchemy Records– ARCD-055
>Angel'in Heavy Syrup - II (1993<