mini muff records

Journey by Czecho No Republic

Released: 23.03.24 | Label: mini muff records

Czecho No Republic is a 4-piece pop rock band who have been on the scene in Japan since 2010. Their current line up is:

Masami Takei on vocals and bass, Shotaro Yamazaki on drums, Kazuki Sunagawa on guitar, and Mai Takahashi pulling triple duty on guitar, synthesizer, and vocals.

If you’re a fan of Dragon Ball you may already know some of their music from the ending credits of Kai and Super. I however, have somehow never actually heard them play before, so this is a real treat. I have some idea what to expect after reviewing the side project Living Rita. But let’s give this track a listen.

Oh wow, I was not expecting a fade out. What an interesting track this turned out to be! The general structure and music is most definitely pop rock, but the sound is really something special. It’s got a roughness and playfulness I really enjoy. The break into digital drums in the second verse is also kind of out there, but somehow fits perfectly within the track. And then there’s the early-2000s style break-down that reminded me of Sum 41 for some reason. Great music here.

The lyrics are pretty forgettable, but I think the groove and energy of the track are the real heart of the track, so it’s forgivable. I can definitely see this going on to my work out playlist. What a great introduction to the band!

Verdict: Worth your time (3.5/5)

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Twinkle Star Girl by the quiet room

Released: 22.07.20 / Label: mini muff records

Some beautiful artwork to start the week off! Not so sure about the name of this track, though…Twinkle Star Girl seems like the name of an anime princess type character.

the quiet room is currently a three-piece rock band from Ibaraki Prefecture. I say currently because they’ve been through three drummers since the band started in 2010 and there used to be another guitar player, so who knows how it will change in the future. Looking at their discography it seems like the band is crazy busy. They have releases every year since 2011 and they’ve done a ton of competitions and tours. Those competitions eventually landed them with a pretty successful label in 2015, so it seems like it worked out. This track leads into their 2023 national tour, coming up in January. Let’s hear what kind of song they’ve come up with.

Well that wasn’t rock, or the kind of song I would expect given the cover, but I love it! It’s much more of an alternative-pop song with a couple world grooves thrown in for good measure. The band definitely knows how to write a song. The whole thing is designed for the vocals, so the instrumentals are left in the background most of the time. Which is fine, because the singer is fantastic. Definitely much more of a pop style, which is perfect for this track. The song is about a character helplessly falling for a call girl, the ‘twinkle star girl’ from the title. I won’t go into translations here, but it’s funny and really well written, which is rarer than you’d think in Japan.

When the instrumentals do get a chance to take the lead they do a great job, the double time guitar solo at 1:50 is killer. (As are the Radiohead inspired choked chords at 2:24. Nice.) The flying guitar solos throughout, and the chorus parts work perfectly together to create motion and pad the top end of the mix. Ending the song with a bass solo section is a nice touch as well. The drummer plays well here too, but seems a bit robotic in comparison to the other parts.

The production is also incredibly well done and deserves a shout out. Everything sounds amazing, and the mix is just right for the genre. Incredible work. I’m actually hoping for a music video for this one. I’ll let you know if it drops.

Verdict: Must listen. (4.3/5)

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