The Blue Hearts

Blast Off!

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One of the world's strongest markets for rock, Japan has its share of home-grown rockers. But because of the language barrier -- most of them record in Japanese -- few or none have been able to attract any attention in the U.S. In 1991, the obscure Portland, Oregon-based Juggler Records released this little-known CD by the Blue Hearts, a Japanese punk band recalling the type of reckless fun that characterized the Ramones, the Clash and Generation X in the late '70s. From a commercial standpoint, the fact that the lyrics are in Japanese wasn't exactly helpful, but it's hard to miss just how spirited and invigorating the CD is. Blast Off!, which contains English translations of the song, is well worth checking out, although finding a copy may prove difficult.

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