Month: March 2011

There is a frog in my house

There is a fucking frog in my house. It is croaking incredibly loudly, presumably searching for a mate.

Well, it ain’t gonna find any in this house.

I want to save this frog, throw it back outside to the lands from whence it came, because the poor thing is going to dry up and die in this house, like numerous other frogs before it. But goddammit, I can’t find it.

Shocking Lemon – Everything In My Life

Wham, bam, thank you ma’am. Thanks for boning me in the ass for another academic quarter, science classes. Science, I love ya, but I gotta admit, you’re hard to learn sometimes, hard to read. You give me enlightenment, but also a lot of stress. When you complain about rednecks not being your friend, you got no one to blame but yourself, buddy.

That said, I now get a week long respite from school. It’s Spring. Which means it’s time to catch up on sleep, boredom, and music. When I’m doing work to prep for next quarter.

While digging through my increasingly dusty collection of shiny discs back home, I unearthed this thing, still shrinkwrapped:

(Nah, that’s not my copy. Was the only larger image of the cover art that I was able to find online.)
Shocking Lemon’s EP, Everything in my Life, released back in 2003. I’d imported my copy about two years ago, but as I recall, I got it right when I was about to leave for college and never got around to opening it.

Though I should’ve opened the thing a long time ago, I was still reluctant to break open the shrink wrap today. Partially because I love shrink wrap and keeping it on things. It’s probably horrible for the environment, but it tells me that something is pristine, untouched, new. I’m loathe to buy used crap for that reason — there’s no damn shrink wrap. Indeed, unshrink-wrapping and opening a CD/DVD case for the first time comes a close fucking second to experiencing the actual work on the disc.

But yeah, I did ultimately get to listening to the actual music. Not the greatest thing, but not bad. In terms of Shocking Lemon’s discography, it just felt more like a by the numbers work plugged in to release something for the sake of getting something released as a stopgap between albums. Everything in my Life was preceded by Sometimes Alone in 2001 and followed by Solvent Echo in 2007, shortly before the band’s breakup. Absolutely fantastic pieces of work, which shamefully, seem to have gone unnoticed, even in Shocking Lemon’s native country of Japan. These guys just never broke through.

Which is a damn shame, because consistently, the band had a knack for churning out some insanely catchy, adrenaline-inducing guitar riffs, and some great drumming. In terms of Shocking Lemon’s earlier stuff, including Sometimes Alone, I’d describe their sound to have been kinda grungy, while their last album had a transcendent, beautiful, alt-rock feel that I can’t really place with arbitrary genre words.

Everything in my Life I originally purchased as a last resort because at the time, I just couldn’t find the fucker anywhere online (though a quick Google search shows that for better or worse, that is no longer the case). No torrents, no MediaFire uploads, which is a situation that is hard to come across, and perhaps an enviable one for bands.

Perhaps its lack of illicit availability underscored it’s lack of essentialness. The EP is a decent listen, but it just can’t stand to the likes of Sometimes Alone, or Solvent Echo. I’m not exactly sure what goes on in the science of making something catchy, but none of the riffs in this collection of songs could quite stick in my mind. The songs are just kinda lost in a fuzzy, 90s-derivative haze. There’s a bit of a lack of energy, I can’t feel the sweat and the finger-strumming that seem so tangible in their other works. I can’t comment on the lyrical content. There’s the occasional spamming of Engrish I can pick up (Shocking Lemon’s songwriter has always been all about dat Engrish; see lines “no pain trance continue” and “I want to dive lost mind”), but other than that, I have no idea what’s going on. You can certainly sense a subtle shift in their style though — it’s as if this EP can be considered as noodling around to find a direction develop in the years leading up to Solvent Echo.

But yeah enough of my words. For those few completionists who are still looking for Everything in my Life, here it is via MediaFire. I’ve turned against full album uploads, but for a non-international band that’s been defunct for a while, can’t hurt to have a few more people out there hear their stuff.