スーパーカー (Supercar)


[スーパーカー (Supercar)]

(Taken from the Sony Music Japan website. The tone has a very spin doctor feel to it, but it nonetheless describes the band quite well.)

The sound of Supercar may not be as flashy as their name implies, but the foursome has a knack for making something commonplace seem extraordinary. As for speed, they certainly raced through 1999. In that one year alone, they released one original album Jump Up, and two outtakes albums OOKeah!! and OOYeah!!, toured Japan to sold-out houses twice, played a special promotional gig for hip clothiers Bathing Ape alongside Cornelius, and then sped off to New York City to commence work on their forthcoming full-length. Whew!

Fortunately, the pace of the Japanese quartet's beguiling music isn't nearly as breakneck as their rate of productivity. Their sophomore masterpiece Jump Up, released in March of 1999, glistened with bittersweet melodies and artful layers of guitar noise that recall Lush, the Cranes, and Jesus and Mary Chain's classic Psychocandy. According to singer/guitarist Nakako, their distinctive sonic dichotomy "comes from our love of loud music on one hand, and our love for melodies on the other. We try to stay true to both and balance them out."

Supercar infuse singles like "Jump" and the chart-topping "Sunday People" with an inimitable naivete rarely witnessed in such a popular group. Yet as journalist Hiroshi Sugiura has observed, the quartet is distinguished by more than just their innocent delivery and unaffected playing style. "What makes Supercar special is that they threw away all cliched notions of 'purity = having a spiritual composure,' of being the specially chosen, [instead] playing their music with a coolness synonymous with vacancy."

Part of Supercar's aesthetic success stems from their "ordinary country-grown" roots in the Aomori prefecture, far north from the constant clamor of Tokyo. It was here that the youthful band first took shape in 1995. Bassist/singer MIKI, who was born in Hachinohe City, placed a simply-worded Musicians Wanted ad in a magazine. Guitarist JUNJI, who attended school in MIKI's home town, responded. In turn, he recruited his childhood friend Nakako. The trio began to write songs and record rough demos, and after securing the talents of drummer KoDAI whom the boys knew from middle school Supercar was born.

The quartet garnered wider exposure with the release of their debut single, "Cream Soda" released in September, 1997. Back then, the group's median age was just barely over 21, but today even MIKI gets into the clubs without a fuss. "Cream Soda" was followed in short order by "Lucky" (a duet between MIKI and Nakako, who typically split vocal duties) and "Planet". All three singles featured prominently on their April 1998 premiere CD Three Out Change. Another highlight among the album's nineteen tracks was "Drive", which was subsequently chosen to roll over the closing credits of a youth-oriented late night TV show.

Supercar's ascent to stardom accelerated with the March 1999 release of Jump Up. Along with the hits "Sunday People", "Jump" and "My Girl", their second album carried their moody, experimental spirit to new extremes on the contemplative "Talk Talk." The CD was a rousing success, climbing as high as #2 on the domestic charts. In May, as a bonus incentive for the 10,000-plus fans who attended their sold-out shows, they compiled a limited-edition collection of outtakes entitled OOKeah!! That August, they reissued the disc, with additional tracks, for national release, concurrent with another disc of unreleased material, OOYeah!! At the same time, they were tapped for a coveted opening slot, serving as the main support act for a hotly-anticipated Tokyo concert by Pavement.

Early in the year 2000, Supercar have been hard at work in New York City, completing their soon to be released 3rd album Futurama. In a change from previous recording efforts, this time around the band who've previously expressed admiration for dance-rock hybrid acts like Chemical Brothers and Primal Scream have been experimenting with working methods more familiar in the world of techno, exchanging electronic files with outside collaborators rather than working exclusively in the studio. The album will include tracks like "Fairway" and the current single "WHITE SURF style 5."