The main talking point when dealing with Soutaiseiriron is usually the band’s relative mysteriousness. Japan Live runs down the band (translates to “Theory Of Relativity” in case you wondered) and their secretive ways pretty well, but here’s the Sparksnotes version – group boasts very few publicity shots, a blank MySpace page and make it clear they don’t want any photos taken at live gigs. Why all the shrouding? Who knows, but it isn’t necessarily a bad idea…everyone hates jj now that we know who they are. Should have stayed a mystery!
What’s funny about Soutaiseiriron latest singe is how right-in-the-open musically it is. For a band acting like they record several stories beneath the Earth, they sure do sound clean on “Miss Parallel World.” None of the guitars sound remotely lo-fi, and Etsuko Yakushimaru’s vocals get star treatment. So despite all the hush-hush, Soutaiseiriron make clear, great music. “Miss Parallel World” cruises along on a sinisterly perky guitar line, making way for Yakushimaru’s near-spoken lyrics. She doesn’t sing as much as she calmly instructs on the verses, and her voice has a strangely hypnotic effect, like staring at flashing sign for too long. Then the chorus hits and stuff gets jarring – after a pretty build up, the song suddenly stretches out as she repeats “parallel” several times. Much like the accompanying video of a night drive filmed upside down, “Miss Parallel World” comes off as really pretty but also somewhat offsetting (in a compelling way). I don’t think they need all the mystery…but I have to admit their latest has it in spades.