Hurry Up Mode

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Hurry Up Mode, Buck-Tick's debut, has had a history of reissues, but there's no hiding the fact that, a couple of decades after its release, it is not so much a musical statement as a musical artifact, a relic of '80s pop/rock glory. When compared to the band's later output, this is not as strange as Pantera's glam beginnings or Ministry's first album, but anyone looking for more in the vein of Mona Lisa Overdrive or Juusan-Kai Wa Gekkou is likely to undergo a serious head-scratching session. For a musical artifact, however, Hurry Up Mode isn't half bad -- it just takes some time to allow the catchiness to take hold. And of catchiness there's plenty to be found -- more so, in fact, than on many sleek and faceless J-rock records of the 2000s, and even on Buck-Tick's own later, often overblown albums. There is nothing overblown on this record, other than the fact that it is one big kitsch-fest, of course. Early J-rock gods Boøwy are the most obvious influence here, and how could they not be; Buck-Tick, like their mentors, rip through a set of speedy, sunny, and energetic tunes, riding the power of reverb guitars and those unforgettable '80s big drumbeats. But they do it with a dose of new wave, borderline punk vigor -- foreshadowing their later, more radical developments -- and they also have some prime quality hooks. A couple of listens, and there's no getting the addictive chorus of the title track out of one's head, especially since the band uses English lyrics wherever it counts. So, for the historically minded, or those who just want some catchy guitar songs, Hurry Up Mode is a great find, although it won't score anyone any points in the fashion or good taste departments.