Angel'in Heavy Syrup was an all-female Japanese psychedelic rock band formed in 1990 in Osaka. Emerging from the Japanese noise rock scene, they were influenced by krautrock bands such as Amon Düül II, but drew primarily from psychedelic and progressive rock, resulting in their characteristic ethereal neo-psychedelic sound. After the release of their last album in 2002, the band appears to have fallen into indefinite hiatus status.
5.0 out of 5 stars.... Heavy, twisted, and oh so gorgeous....
This album is truly beautiful. Heavy sonics and way spaced grooves with ethereal femal vocals. All the songs are sung in japanese. The singing is stunning, and these long jammy tunes are the perfect backdrop. Highly reccomended to anyone who enjoys psychedelic music at all.
~ A shimmeringly lovely piece of Japanese neo-psychedelia, the third album by the all-female quartet Angel’in Heavy Syrup is as delicate and insubstantial as music can get before it tips over into formless ambient waves of sound. Although these lengthy pieces have extended instrumental passages, all of the music sounds composed in a traditional sense.
There’s little if any improvisation here. The 11-minute opening track, “Breath of Life,” is like classic Can in its organic-feeling ebb and flow, before it finally explodes into an almost Hendrix-like solo by lead guitarist Mine Nakao toward the end. That outburst and the swirling, wah-wah-enhanced “Bokudake-ga” are about as heavy as this album gets, but even the latter song has a lightness of feel that makes it skip and twirl where other bands would simply lumber.
The rest of the album is considerably more fragile-sounding, with bassist Mineko Itakura’s wispy vocals floating over an ether of guitar noise and gentle percussion, like My Bloody Valentine playing in a room next door to a sleeping infant. Even “Water Mind,” which features drummer Tomoko Takahara doubling on fusiony flute and works up a supple groove akin to some of Gong’s jazzier moments, remains sweetly graceful. The American edition of Angel’in Heavy Syrup III includes an eight-minute bonus track, “Introduction I: Naked Sky High,” taken from the previous Japan-only release Angel’in Heavy Syrup II.
Studio Album, released in 1995
1. Breath Of Life (11:09)
2. Flower And Dream (6:00)
3. Thirsty Land (7:18)
4. Bokudake Ga (3:38)
5. Water Mind (5:17)
6. Introduction I-Naked Sky High *
* The new lineup held together long enough to record their third album, Angel’in Heavy Syrup III, released in Japan in early 1995. Later that year, American avant-rock distributor Charnel Music started a new label, Circular Reasoning, for the express purpose of releasing this album in the United States; as a bonus, the label added “Introduction I: Naked Sky High,” the opening track from Angel’in Heavy Syrup II, which had never been released in the U.S.
- Mineko Itakura / voices, bass
- Mine Nakao / guitar, voices
- Fusao Toda / guitar
- Tomoko Takakura / drums, percussion, flute