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AAA Music | 12 December 2019

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MATORS OF MIYAZAKI – Human Resources

| On 16, Apr 2013

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With a band name like Mayors of Miyazaki and a press release promising short and sweet, you’d be forgiven for thinking ‘Human Resources’ is a sunshine-y little ditty, possibly by some otaku indie-pop outfit. The smiles are there, yes, but brace yourselves for the one-and-a-half minutes of hyperdriven strangeness.

Mayors of Miyazaki do have sweetness, with high-pitched male/female vocal harmonies cooing a pop melody that brings to mind The Subways or Blood Red Shoes. However, the instrumentation here jacks up the power of both bands into amalgamation of crushing, stabbing distorted guitar riffs, a sludgy, churning bass, and stiff, pounding drums that break into tempo changes with sledgehammer force and deceptive ease. If you are familiar with the gleefully twisted pop bludgeonings of Exit_International (a personal favourite of mine) you might find yourself in vaguely familiar territory. Despite the brief nature of the track, they still manage to fit a post-chorus breakdown and an outro that sounds like someone gave Sunny Delight and a box set of anime to Crowbar. The frenetic tempo changes and shifts between lighthearted punky strangeness and genuinely heavy are handled with deft skill, and small additions like the opening noise reminiscent of a cartoon spacecraft warming up and the sudden chirpy “I’ll get you” all go towards this single’s quirky charm. However, the true appeal lies in the fact that once you get past the total weirdness, you are forced to admit that this is a genuinely good song. Technical skill, an ear for a hook of laser beam speed and intensity, and a surprising mastery of heavy breakdowns, all wrapped up in a retro arcade game aesthetic that makes it far enjoyable than the annoyingly deadpan approach of today’s crop of “math-rock” (a genre I have yet to appreciate fully) bands.

Not sure how I’d fare with a more sustained release, but as a stand-along track it’s really rather enjoyable, even if I’m left unconvinced of the band’s longer-lasting listening appeal on the back of it. It’s short, it’s sweet, it’s got bags of ideas and will bring a smile to the faces of many listeners, who, like me, enjoy the occasional dose of technicolour fun and frolics in their heavy music.

Katie H-Halinski