Oblivion Sheep by Bakudan Johnny

Released: 22.07.06 / Label: Yarakase Records

To the moon sheep, to the moon! I love this album art, and the song title is equally epic. This band is also one that I’ve not heard from in a while, so let’s see who they are and what they’ve been up to.

Bakudan Johnny is a 5-piece band that formed 12 years ago in Hokkaido. They made some pretty large waves on the music scene and it looked like they were about to take off, but then in 2014 the band was put on hold due to health problems. They started back up in 2016 and have released two full albums since then, one in 2020 and another in 2021. Oblivion Sheep is actually the lead single from their upcoming third full album, LOVE, out August 3rd. So it seems they’ve been incredibly busy, but this is honestly the first I’ve really heard of them since 2014. So it seems the steam has been let out of the group’s sails so to speak. From what I remember they were a rambunctious rock band with killer shows and pretty wild pop-rock music. But that may have changed over the last few years. Let’s find out!

Ok, the first thing I have to get out of the way is the Hello Goodbye section in the middle of the song. Now I like the Beatles as much as the next guy, but if you’re going to use their stuff you have to actually have to have a song that’s worthy of it. This is not, and I can’t being to explain how irrationally angry that section makes me. It’s definitely going to cloud my view of the rest of the song, so I wanted to let you know up front. Now…

This is a pretty boring J-pop song that somehow gets the most fundamental parts of pop wrong. It lacks the catchy melody and hooks required for it to have any impact, the instruments are poorly arranged, and the lyrics are way too messy and cliché to have any real meaning or power. There’s a random guitar solo that meanders alongside the song without actually impacting anything. The bass interrupts the vocals with a random slap section out of nowhere. And there’s a weird empty arrangement after the first chorus where the singers play ‘pass the phrase’ for no reason. The choice to put an entire section of a popular and well written Beatles song in the middle of this track.. I mean. It’s like it’s there to try and trick listeners into believing that this band respects or has learned anything from them. They clearly haven’t.

Ok, wow. Sorry for that. I didn’t expect to be that harsh right off the bat. I should mention the things I liked about the song too…

The instruments are mostly recorded well. And they can definitely play in time together. Oh, and the cover is awesome.

On to the verdict.

Verdict: Pass

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