Any band that’s got enough sand to come out under the name “Beautiful People” and number their albums a la Zepplin has got my flag to wave if they want to. But that sweet moniker shifted (search the words "120 days + Sade" for the real scoop) around the time they left the reindeers and Laplanders behind, turning to the land of the rising sun. Japan. Where they’re big. Very.
For a band that has breached the decade mark and answers the “Number of Venues Played” question with an infinity symbol, they’ve yielded surprisingly few studio albums. Two EPs on the Public Demand imprint, then initially reaching American shores via the Vice Records-sponsored and eponymously named LP of ’06. Which makes 120 Days II (Splendor) all the more important, interesting, sweet… you choose the adjective. You now ask: “To have ridden a rail so long and ululating they must’ve made a few friends along the way?” Yea. Of course. They’ve worked with Serena Maneesh, Bygdin and Masselys… and now as evidenced by the production credit on "Dahle Disco," II’s first single, fellow nordman LindstrØm.
And that’s a good cut, don’t get me wrong. But there’s much, much more on II. There’s the big energy of "Osaka"—which calls to mind Primal Scream’s frenzy-inducer "Swastika Eyes;" and, there’s white wine material like “Spacedoubt” which is what one might experience if LCD Soundsystem checked his irony at the door and got together with Germany’s ’70s starchildren Tangerine Dream to redux Vangelis’ soundtrack to Bladerunner. Deep breath. Breathe. Breathe. Seriously though, whether they’ve been together for a week, a decade or three, this is a group at a dead sprint and in such form that my bright-eyed Swedish secretary INGA bubbled: “superlative.”
But most of all remember: They’re rambunctious and they’re huge in Japan. -Blitzberg