Daikaiju - Daikaiju
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Daikaiju
Daikaiju
(Reptile)

With a group name of Daikaiju, members that go by the names Secret Asian Man and Mr. Nein, and song titles that read like Japanese b-movies about monsters fighting one another, one might expect their music to sound like pure kitsch. Depending on your definition of that word, the ten tracks from the group may or may not fit that description, as they play hopped-up surf-rock instrumentals that call to mind the work by Man Or Astroman? without all the cheeseball samples.

There's a little Dick Dale, a very small smidge of 70s prog, and a whole lot of riffage. Opening with "Daikaiju Die!" (one of several tracks where the group uses their name in the title), the group rifles through propulsive rhythms and drop some heavy whammy bar action at times while keeping songs interesting with quick direction changes and a nearly unrelenting pace. By the time that "Showdown in Shinjuku" drops some even heavier, stuttering riffs that very nearly sound like a Black Sabbath homage, the group has already barreled through four full tracks.

Even with the longer workout of the album closing "Farewell To Monster Island" (which injects a touch of dub-reggae sound), the ten tracks on Daikaiju clock in under forty minutes for a lean running length. Like other bands doing similar things (such as the aforementioned Man Or Astroman?), Daikaiju isn't going to be known for their wide variety of sounds. That said, this album from the group is always on the move and is very well constructed in terms of sheer bang for the buck. If you drive a tricked-out classic car, this could very well be your summer cruising soundtrack.

rating: 610
Aaron Coleman 2005-07-21 00:00:00