Published Jan 01, 2006The mark of a good band is that the music speaks for itself. In Asobi Seksus case, the music certainly says more than guitarist/vocalist James Hanna does.
"This is just what we like. It all happened pretty naturally. We pretty much knew when we made this record that everyone was just going to talk about My Bloody Valentine anyway, so we just kind of said, fuck it. Despite Hannas defeatism where press is concerned, he doesnt need to do much explaining. His bands second album, Citrus, is receiving consistently great reviews for a reason, and its not the bands clever manifesto.
Asobis core duo of Hanna and Yuki Chikudate (organs/lead vocals) met at Manhattan School of Music, where Hanna studied classical guitar and Chikudate took piano. Their self-released debut was picked up by Brooklyn label Friendly Fire it caught some attention, but the album was more of a warm-up than a grand entrance. "The first album, it wasnt even really an album that was the first group of songs we ever wrote, Hanna says.
In terms of sound, My Bloody Valentine is by far the simplest explanation; while the comparison is undeniable, it sells the album short. Citrus is not just a throwback record its dreamy, layered and noisy, but it sounds fresh above all. One could argue that the band joins the recently released Serena Maneesh and Lansing-Dreiden in a small-scale shoegazer revival, though three loosely similar albums do not a movement make. "We played a couple shows with Serena Maneesh. Theyre Norwegian so, you know, it kind of limited communication. So much for the consortium.
What really defines the band is their commitment to making great songs with strong hooks. "Thats kind of our thing, Hanna confirms. "We always just try to make sure its a good song before we make noise or layer it or whatever. Thats our main goal.