SINGLE REVIEW: Polysics – You-You-You

I am not one for buying singles, particularly considering how expensive they are in Japan, but this latest release from Polysics was an essential purchase, as it came with a DVD featuring four of their tracks from their last live show in the UK at London’s 93 Feet East on Monday 1st May 2006. And I was there! Ergo, you can see me and my buddies jumping up and down like big sweaty sillies screaming “KAJA KAJA GOO!”. The actual tunes on the single aren’t half bad either.

In fact, the title track is perhaps their best air-punching pop-punk techno-laced anthem since Black Out Fall Out, which is high praise indeed. With its infectious synth hook, punchy drumfills and Hiroyuki Hayashi’s rooftop calls, it’s upbeat stuff. As the chorus breaks, a robot voice sings “You You You” – perhaps in response to Now Is The Time!‘s I My Me Mine – and the synth soars, before launching into a winning guitar solo. Hopefully it will become a crowd favourite and a cornerstone of future setlists (I’ll be smiling if it pops up when I see them play in Nagoya on December 9th).

The quality doesn’t dip too far with the following track, むすんでひらいて (Musunde Hiraite – something about tying up and opening), but this is an all-together different beast. Here, Hayashi’s high-pitched squeaks and screeches are matched by a deeper moodier voice, as blips and pops play over grimy guitar. It feels like a trip to the funfair, as it flits between ghost trains, wurlitzers and carousels while stuffing its face with candy floss and marshmallows. It is perhaps a little too bizarre to fit on a future album (even for Polysics), but works perfectly as an individual wacky track.

Finally, there’s a remix of Walky Talky by Holger Czukay, former bassist with German ‘krautrock’ band Can (Wikipedia knows all). It seems like pretty standard stuff at first (a different beat here, a new sample there), but it launches into an uncharacteristic ambient interval. When it comes out the other side, it drags remnants of ethereality with it that smother the rest of the track (pretentious? Moi?). It’s an unusual effort and more interesting than your typical end-of-a-single mix, for sure.

Dare I say it, but You-You-You may be better than any of the tracks from Now Is The Time!, and if it is indicative of what is to come from Polysics’ next album, then I will buy it the day it is released. Promise!

8/10

> > > Polysics (Official Site), Sony Music

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