Japan's Must-Read Magazine

The Bands of Japan: Icon Girl Pistols

“I think everyone has been shot in the heart by an icon girl at some point. Then there are some people who shoot their icons. It’s a strange world.” – Shinnosuke Shirakura

The oddly melodic yet frantically energetic sound? That originated when Shirakura discovered Ken Fukuda tapping chopsticks on tin cans in the alleyways of Tokyo in 2008. The pair spent their time jamming and writing, and soon had a great collection of songs that they were performing live. Soon the gravity of their sound attracted fellow bandmates Christopher O’Reilly and Takashi Hasegawa.

In 2011 Hasegawa “spontaneously combusted” and the line-up was augmented by Stuart and Goldflash. The genetic origins of their sound are enjoyably difficult to pin down. Lyrically the music is Japanese but it is sung in a fun and impish way that transcends any need to understand the language. These guys are not rock icons yet – but barring a loaded pistol they have a decent shot.

JP: Wow, these guys rock, and the tracks we reviewed were uniformly quality.  “Elephant’s Tail” is a restless bit of garage rock heaven, with catchy chords and winning vocals, while the acoustic “Neon Glass Pledge” has a winsome jazzy feel that had me wishing it was a bit longer.  Nothing else to say really, except these guys are already taking off; their newest album “Goodbye Donuts (Hey, Statue of Liberty)” is now available on iTunes (and some of their older stuff is available for free download at Last.FM and elsewhere).

Daniel: There is a really good chance that this Tokyo-based group is going to be the first band you come back to once you finish this book. Their appealing rock sound, like the Arctic Monkeys by way of the Jam, on top of upbeat lyrics you just want to sing along with (even if you don’t speak Japanese) will cast a wide net with audiences all over the world. I’m pretty sure that once you’ve been hooked by the tracks here, you’re going to want to visit their website to download more.

The Icon Girl Pistols Are: Shinnosuke Shirakura (Guitars / Vocals), Ken Fukuda (Drums), Christopher David O’Reilly (Bass), Stuart, Goldflash


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