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Tokyo, Tōkyō, Japan | SELF

Tokyo, Tōkyō, Japan | SELF
Band Rock Punk




"CD Review : I Psydoll (Planetghost)"

Back in 2003, I reviewed a couple of Psydoll's self-released CDs, The Daughter of Dr. Neumann and A War In The Box. At the time, the only way dwellers on planet Earth could obtain the band's outpourings was by contacting Psydoll themselves in Japan. But now, thanks to the Planetghost label, Psydoll product is more widely available.

Those two early DIY releases are out again in combined form on this 14-track album - which means there's now no excuse whatsoever not to have Psydoll's glorious weirdness in your life.
It's a pleasure to revisit Psydoll's music in its lavish new packaging (although it's only fair to point out that the band's original DIY packaging was pretty lavish first time round) and plunge once again into the surreal world they effortlessly, naturally, create.

Sometimes, Psydoll sound like a bizarre mating ritual between Kraftwerk and Motorhead; at other times they sound like folkie troubadours from the future.
Their musical vocabulary is wide; their ideas tumble out in a torrent.
They employ mashed-up electronics and thrashed-up guitars, delicate acoustics and brutal slabs of treated distort-o-sound.
Sometimes, they do all of this in the course of one song. And yet, always, there's a pop sensibility at work, which ensures that although things get loud and brash and defiantly punkish at times, you're never more than a few bars away from a lilting refrain or catchy chorus.
But if it's noise you want, they've got that, too.
So, let's cheer for the return of favourite tracks.

We kick off with the songs first released on The Daughter of Dr. Neumann - such as 'Faraway', featuring that round-and-round harpsichord motif which makes the song sound like a cyberpunk Stranglers.
Then there's 'Machinery Lemmings', which riffs furiously, the vocal coming in like a nursery rhyme phoned in from outer space, and 'Theme For Psydoll', which in '03 I described as 'a march-of-the-robots anthem with a heavy heavy heavy low-down bassline, as if someone had filled Skinny Puppy up with hallucinogenics and then asked them to lead the Easter parade', a description upon which I certainly can't improve this time round.
A little further down the tunestack, we find ourselves among the tracks originally available on A War In The Box, all as groovy as they were when originally released.

One of Psydoll's more baffling titles has been made slightly more comprehensible - 'The Ship of Steel/The Screw of Glass Work' becomes 'The Iron Battleship With The Screw Made Of Glass' (well, I did say it was slightly more comprehensible) - but the tune itself is still the atmosphere-laden electro-ballad it always was.
The alternative version of 'Theme For Psydoll' is also here, a glorious collision between a slamming industrial rhythm and a neat, melodic pop song.

When I first encountered this slice of weird genius, I said 'it's as if Madonna had suddenly experienced a moment of madness (no, make that sanity) and recruited Laibach to make her next album for her.
Well, Madonna still hasn't seen the light, but who needs Madonna when we've got Psydoll?
There's one new track here, the mad and delightful 'Rose, Rose, Rose', which sounds like Napalm Death trapped inside a vending machine.

Nevertheless, amid the heavy-duty guitar riffing, the bleeps, clangs, crashes, loony samples and speedfreak beats, Psydoll manage to pull off their trademark trick of making the whole thing sound like a pop song.
By the time the track slams to an unceremonious halt, you'll find yourself wondering why this music isn't in the top 40. On Planet Psydoll, I'm sure it is. - Uncle Nemesis

"Amen + Co-Exist + Psydoll + Black Spirit Guage"

Robbo reviews the eclectic mix of bands that hit the Brickyard with their big wall of sound

"And now for something completely different" says the announcer at the start of Monty Python shows and Psydoll are just that 'completely different'.
Another three piece rock band you might think, but hang on one of them's a girl ... and they're all Japanese! What's going on here?
And so it begins ... Crunching, crashing electronica of the heavy metal kind: The sound track to many a late-night manga marathon. This J-Pop for the Nine Inch Nails generation.
The cute as button Neoki, in full Cosplay dress, hangs on to the microphone and her portable keyboard, then sings out in a haunting fashion. The Japanese lyrics all going beyond the audience, but that doesn't matter it's the sound and feeling that counts and this has loads of (un)feeling to it.
Ucchi stands literally to Neoki's left, playing guitar, stood rock still. Looking like an extra from Bladerunner he brings the guitar to life and death through the whole set.
To Neoki's right, stands and jumps and dances Loveless, percussionist extrodinaire. With electronic drum pad, cymbal, tom tom and theremin he keeps it all together with electronic beats and the eerie wooo of the theremin.
There maybe no spoon, but there's very definitely Psydoll. - BBC Cumbria website

"The report in a free PDF magazine "The Mick #16""

Throughout both records, they carry themselves well, providing more than enough new ideas and dalliances with depth and expectation for anyone to take them seriously.
They’re serious contenders if you like your Pop and Goth mixed together with the electro content simply there to serve the big idea, and their melodies will easily win you over. - Mick Mercer


-Albums,Mini albums-

# Illumidia (Japan only) (Tyrell Morgue,1997)
# Psyberdoll (Japan only) (Tyrell Morgue, 1998)
# Lake/Rose, Rose, Rose (Japan only) (Tyrell Morgue, 1999)
# The Daughter Of Dr.Neumann (Japan only) (Tyrell Morgue, 2000)
# A War In The Box (Japan only) (Tyrell Morgue, 2002)
# I Psydoll (Planet Ghost Music, 2004)
(I Psydoll is a compiration album which from the tunes of "The Daughter Of Dr.Neumann"plus "A War In The Box ",and the song of "Rose,Rose,Rose"as a bonus truck)
# 10spyglasses (Psydoll Products, 2009)

-Singles and EPs-

# Fragments (Japan only) (2003)
# Sign (Japan only) (2004)
# Stories (Japan only EP) (2005)

-remix albums-

# Dance with PSYDOLL (Psydoll Products,2008)
# P.S...BTW (Psydoll Products, 2011)



Cyberpunk band PSYDOLL consisted of vocalist Nekoi and guitarist Ucchi. Nekoi's involvement in the Manga industry plus the duo's shared love for Japanese animation and SF films provided the inspiration for their sound and soon they are making demos.

In January 1998 they make the transition to a live band, performing extensively in Tokyo's venues.

Digital percussionist Loveless joins in the Summer of 1999, augmenting their sound and live performance.

Word of Psydoll spreads worldwide and they start gigging outside of Japan.

-2001,May........Anime North Convention in Toronto, Canada

-2003,April......Beyond The Veil Festival in Leeds, UK

-2003,November...Mini tour at UK venues

-2004,January....1st album for worldwide distribution, "I PSYDOLL"

-2005,July.......Headlining gigs in UK

-2006,October....UK tour*

-2007,October....UK tour*

-2008,August.....Electro Prague Festival in Praha, CZ as a headliner with tour for Germany

-2009,May.........2nd album, "10 SPYGLASSES"

-2009,July.......WWW festival,Amersfoort,Holland with tour for Holland

-2009,October....Withby Gothic Weekend, with additional numbers of tours at UK

-2010,July.......Advik Anime convention in Praha, CZ as a solo performance

-2010,October....Halloween Goth event at Manila,Philippines

-since 2005......Monthly group event called Machine Magic in Tokyo, Japan

(*Many of the tours and gigs consisted Psydoll to be the headliners)

Psydoll continued to demonstrate their inimitable sound with a live show that fulfils all your sci-fi manga fantasies.