ell, the Japanese have done it again. After exporting the talents of noisemongers like Boredoms, Acid Mothers Temple and the lovely Melt-Banana, they’ve offered up another band for the taking, and again, it’s one that pushes the boundaries of what you can do with a whole lotta noise.
Tender yet violent is how Oita, Japan’s Xinlisupreme view their music. While that might seem like a contradiction, Murder License is surprisingly both of those, yet at different times. The title may not exactly ring of the sensitive and caring type, but between the noisy bits, ambient and tranquil moments are featured to balance out their extremities. The hard noise (the stuff that sounds like your door is being hammered in by Orcs) is extremely heavy and the fact that there are only three responsible for it is remarkable.
The title track emphasises the drums to an excessive and distorted level, yet aside from that, the majority of what we have is sweet melodies, thanks to a synth that swoons like Yanni’s at the helm. It kind of flows with the Neu!-ish motorik beat (albeit drenched in layers of hard distortion) in a very forward and direct motion. Some vocals even appear, yet it’s hard to decipher whether the words being mumbled are of any importance at all, since you’d have to strip every layer off to get a clear understanding of what is being said.
Like the first track, the rest of the EP is a flurry of white noise. “I Drew A Picture Of My Eyes” is less driven and focuses more on punishing the listener with a powerful abundance of sound and frequencies. “Sakae” does pretty much the same, only louder and heavier. The rest of the tracks are less threatening and appear to search more for a melody instead of a blinding sense of pain. “Front Of You” maintains a steady machine gun beat with a monster of a bassline driving it through a rainbow of psychedelia. “I.T.D.O.O.M.” and “Nameless Song” are both nice and quiet moments that embrace the sensitive side of a band that is very much Jekyll and Hyde.
This is a band that has their own agenda and appear to do whatever they want to do. If Murder License is a good example of where they intend to go with the rest of their oeuvre, then I’ll be listening—albeit with sound turned down a bit.
Reviewed by: Cam Lindsay
Reviewed on: 2003-09-01