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World Music CD Reviews Asia & Far East

Brush

By Bruce Miller
Published April 27, 2007

Brush!?
Shadoks Music

A flip through this early ’70s Japanese psych ultra-rarity’s booklet shows no less than 15 people involved, yet there’s no key member anchoring any of it, making it seem almost like a compilation. It’s a dream come true for anyone seeking the roots of recent Japanese bands like Ghost, Maher Shalal Hash Baz or LSD March. There’s everything from minimal organ pieces to sloppy garage-rock assaults to harpsichord-fueled gorgeousness. While this, like much Japanese rock, mirrors the West, there’s something exaggerated and naïve about it. To the folks in Brush, piano driven, tantrum-fueled avant-jazz makes perfect sense beside a sparse folk tune. A sitar-driven instrumental finds a home next to hippy nonsense about haircuts so sloppily played it would make Big Brother And The Holding Company blush. Strange and revelatory, this reissue fits perfectly alongside Amon Duul II’s Yeti, anything by Les Rallizes Denudes and Xhol’s 1972 masterpiece, Motherfuckers GMBH!