Crystallize is a contemporary classic in the shoegaze genre, a mighty feat for an album released on a Japan-only CD in 2011. MBV and their ilk were hugely popular in Japan in the early 90s, and this influence dominates underground rock music in Japan to this day. With no concentrated PR campaign or the like, Crystallize has developed a considerable following, often considered to have jumpstarted the shoegaze revival of the early 2010s. There is little information about the artist known as Tokyo Shoegazer, but they are known to have performed as part of many popular Japanese groups such as Presence of Soul, acid android, 101A, and Plastic Tree. “299 Addiction” starts us off at max volume, full-band thrash cut through with guitars that alternately sound like a cool Dick Dale tune or a spooky haunted house theremin. “Just Alright” begins with relatively unadored alt-rock chords, buried vocals and propulsive drumrolls giving this track a bit of extra adrenaline. “Bright” is appropriately titled, a bit of overdriven drama that reaches for the hypnogogic heights of Loveless. The jacket features new artwork by Chloe Manson, also includes an obi strip with the original artwork. This record was remastered especially for vinyl, and this is the first time it is available on this format. Limited to an edition of 400 copies on clear blue colored vinyl, so you’d better move quick.
- indie exclusive clear blue colored vinyl pressing
- includes obi strip
- limited edition of 400 copies
- music label: Graveface Records 2019
reviewed by NEW YORK SKYGAZER 09/2019