J-Rock: Hinto – かなしみアップデイト

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I randomly stumbled across three of the former members of Sparta Locals new band HINTO while watching some old Japanese music videos today . This is incredibly exciting because Sparta Locals were one of my favorite J-rock bands growing up and they decided to call it quits back in 2009.

After listening to a few of their singles it seems like HINTO calls back on a lot of the sound and ideas that Sparta Locals were known for. We still get the really cool lead guitar parts and really intricate and melodic bass lines, but in a cleaner and more produced package.

HINTO’s かなしみアップデイト (Kanishimi Update) or “Sadness Update” from their new record NERVOUS PARTY is an upbeat and dancey track that showcases the band’s playful songwriting as well as their incredible precision and skill with their instruments.

While the track feels very loose and free it sounds like each instrument is very calculated and deliberate, which helps build up this really mechanical groove. And because the recording is so minimal and clean, you get this subtle Math-Rock element. The verse breakdowns illustrate this brilliantly. Abe Kousei (vocals) sings with a really laid back but tight tone, while the drum and bass hit around it. Very reminiscent of Zazen Boys style.

In the video the band plays on what seems to be the top of a parking garage in Tokyo, presumably. The same shot is maintained the whole time but as it progresses the band members switch instruments and clothing. I really like the subtlety of it all, it’s kinda cute and quirky and it doesn’t get in the way of the audience just enjoying the track for what it is. Which in the end makes it just really really cool.

You can check out more HINTO from their website and purchase their record NERVOUS PARTY outside of Japan from CDJAPAN.

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  • Michal

    Any suggestions for bands to check out welcome! :)

  • Hitoshi

    Thanks a lot for sharing this Michal. Never heard of Hinto or Sparta before but really like the song. I’m looking forward to more suggestion in the future.

    • Michal

      Thanks so much Hitoshi! I will definitely make a post on Spart Locals then! :)

  • Helena Hope-Carter

    This band is great! At first I was like – what a weird sound but listening to a few more songs and then listening again I really like their sound! This is the sort of band you really just want to listen really carefully in nice headphones and that sort of uplifts you. It would be interesting to see more music recommendations.

    My suggestion for a band I go to for a similar reason (although the emotions they evoke are more varied in their positivity and the sound is very different): School Food Punishment. They are my 2nd favourite band (first is Scandal if you want to know)

    • Michal

      So true what you said about listening to this on Headphones. You can discover so much more if you really listen. Thats what I really love, its so minimal but has so much depth and value.

      Awesome! Thanks for the suggestions! I will check them out and maybe write about them.

      • Helena Hope-Carter

        That’s okay. If your looking for suggestions I’ll also say Shiina Ringo and, separately, her band Tokyo Jihen. She’s a crazy genius with some rock-jazz fusion going on and her own weird singing style. But your more likely to have heard of her than School Food Punishment. I also like YUI, who you’ve probably heard of.

        And on the subject of headphones; I shed out some money (less than beats I must say, and without the bass crushing everything) on some good headphones over the summer after always having had pretty cheap ones and every sound in my music has really started fascinating me. Can’t stop listening to music and I relish finding new stuff like this which is just great to listen to. Thank YOU for theis suggestion.