An average bloodthirsty butchers song can last as long as seven minutes. Some stretch as long as nine.
And while the butchers started out in 1987 as a rough-hewned, kill-the-vocal-cords kind of indie band, its dischordant, drawn-out songs always toed the line between brashness and hypnotism.
The guys in bloodthirsty butchers are a good 15 years older now, so it’s no surprise yamane doesn’t blare out of the stereo speakers as harshly as Kocorono or early songs such as “Modulator”.
The butchers have even indulged in a bit of quiet introspections on the not-quite instrumental “no future”. Yoshimura Hideki’s vocals are heavily processed to sound robotic, and as a result, the undecipherable singing focuses more attention on the song’s beautiful melody.
The butchers may not be as loud as they used to be — not to say you can’t play yamane loud and piss off the neighbors — but the hypnotic elements of the band’s songwriting are still in full force.
“wagamama no hitori” and two numbered tracks both sporting the title “-100%” take a single idea and pretty much stick with it for five to seven minutes at a time.
“happy end” and “nagasinanite”, the two “singles” from yamane, follow typical verse-chorus-verse patterns — only the verses and chorus have verses, choruses and bridges within themselves.
Toward the end of “kaze”, Yoshimura flashes a Sonic Youth card, hammering away at some off-kilter chords worthy of Goo.
Even though yamane has only nine tracks and clocks in at close to an hour, those long songs never feel like they’ve taken twice the length of a standard three-minute pop song.
Yoshimura and bandmates Imoriya Takeshi (bass) and Komatsu Masahiro (drums) aren’t dramatic, wanking instrumentalists. Hell, Yoshimura’s off-key warble takes a lot of adjusting, and his guitar solos won’t give Number Girl’s Tabuchi Hisako any sleepless nights.
But the butchers are good at finding a bunch of cool-sounding chords, and they know how to fit the right melody to those chords. They don’t need much fancy arrangements, and they sure know how to make a lot out very minimal elements.