Yoshiro Iwashima (vocals)
Masato Takashiba (bass)
Hideki Hasegawa (drums)
Label: Vital Plant Ltd.
Catalogue number: VPL-10121
Format: 7" EP
Bitrate: 320 kbps
This is the first of two entries aimed to showcase the talents of some of the few bands featured on the "Process of Evolution" series of compilations that actually released anything apart from their contribution on said compilations.
"'Kakuseiki'" is the first EP of SURREALISTIC MEN and was the third released of the Vital Plant Ltd. imprint - a short-lived subsidiary of Explosion Records which focused on the Japanese goth scene of the time. The rest of their meagre (quantity wise) but interesting output included the GARA 8" and ZOA:s debut 12". Apart from releasing this EP and appearing on the first "Process of Evolution" album, SURREALISTIC MEN also put out a self-titled flexi and also had a track on the "Only You Collection" cassette on Conneca Records, alongside greats such as LIBIDO, BARDO THÖDOL and ARLEQUIN (as well as the BARDO THÖDOL side-project CASE OF CYTHEREA).
Focusing on this EP, "Kakuseiki" stars off with the awesome title track, with it's sharp, rotorblade guitar riff and pulsating rhythm section makes for a really impressive goth/post-punk anthem. No idea why the track title is in quotation marks, but that's the way it appears on the sleeve.
The next two tracks are of a somewhat lighter character; much sparser in texture and employing a far more airy and spacy guitar sound. Both tracks are quite good, but "Dark" in particular stands out due to it's clever usage of an instrumental chorus. In addition, the use of delay pedals on these tracks seem to foreshadow the early visual kei movement which was to rear it's head a couple of years down the line. In fact, the guitarist of EX-ANS, Yukino, was actually a bass player for SURREALISTIC MEN for a short while.
In summary; this is a great EP that I think should be of interest to fans of Japanse goth and post-punk as well as folks into the early visual kei scene. Please enjoy and stay tuned for the second installment of complementary posts to the "Process of Evolution" series.