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.