Musica Transonic

Hard Rock Transonic

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Some albums give you exactly what you expect from them. Pair a title like Hard Rock Transonic with a supergroup that includes Acid Mothers Temple guitarist Makoto Kawabata and Ruins drummer Tatsuya Yoshida and is led by High Rise bassist Asahito Nanjo, and what else could you hope for other than raging rock & roll? Musica Transonic has a generous number of albums available, but most are Japanese imports. This one came out on the French label Fractal, which makes it a prime choice for European newcomers to the group. For casual fans it also represents a good investment. Maybe it doesn't top some of the albums on PSF, but it sure is a good chapter in the group's story. Completely and relentlessly focused on hard rock, it features eight short tracks, all propelled by the extremely overloaded bass of Nanjo. Kawabata takes extended solos that would have made Jimi Hendrix stare in awe back in the late '60s. In this trio, the real surprise is always Yoshida, as he keeps his playing much more straightforward here, accepting the "rock jam" ethos and having fun with his role as timekeeper -- quite a change from the ultra-fast, complex parts he plays in Ruins tunes. These instrumental pieces are primitive (they often consist of a single riff) and raw, but the players' virtuosity and exciting delivery make them first-class extreme rockers. The artwork is deliberately vulgar, with the amazon woman drawn on the cover being answered by psychedelic nude shots of Japanese girls in the booklet. But, hey, it's only rock & roll.

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