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Eastern Youth - 365-Step Blues (Cover Artwork)

Eastern Youth

Eastern Youth: 365-Step Blues365-Step Blues (2006)
Five One, Inc.

Reviewer Rating: 3.5


Contributed by: AubinAubin
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Despite being relatively unknown in North America, Japan's Eastern Youth has slowly built a fanbase throughout North America on the strength of their contributions to the Eight Teeth to Eat You split and following tour with Cursive. On paper, the band looks like a particularly difficult sell: li.
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Despite being relatively unknown in North America, Japan's Eastern Youth has slowly built a fanbase throughout North America on the strength of their contributions to the Eight Teeth to Eat You split and following tour with Cursive.

On paper, the band looks like a particularly difficult sell: little touring in the United States, lyrics sung exclusively in Japanese and a sound that can't be easily or accurately pigeonholed. Despite that however, the band's second real North American full length release is not just an interesting and creative look at melodic hardcore from a foreign perspective, but a strong and memorable album in its own right.

The music is primarily influenced by Dischord acts, particularly Fugazi and Jawbox, as well as the anthemic and rhythmic qualities of early U2. Though it may be difficult to imagine the angular qualities of Washington D.C. post-hardcore meshing with the soaring U2, the band manages to intelligently and comfortably inject these sounds in their songs.

Of course, 365-Step Blues is not simply an amalgamation of these sounds, but equally influenced by what seems to be traditional Japanese sounds and chord progressions. In my first listen through the album, certain melodic passages seemed more than a little jarring, but after subsequent runs through, the unique sounds began to sound more effortless and complimented Western influences adeptly.

An excellent and promising band and another in a series of strong Japanese imports, Eastern Youth is occaisonally difficult for the Western ear, but ultimately rewarding and exciting music.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
poonk (September 10, 2007)

I didn't even know that the org was aware of the existence of eastern youth...

Anyway, this album is good – but as others have said, do yourself a favor and pick up What You Can See From Your Place. You won't regret it.

pure_west102 (August 12, 2006)

This album, in my opinion can not stand next to What Can You See From Your Place?
The production value is about equal, but the mixing is different, the vocals are louder, but I think it calls for that.
This album is as intense as their other releases, but in a far different way.
See these guys live and every album will make sense.
These guys dominate genres they have no interest in being a part of.
Read an interview w/ them (particularly last month's AMP) and you'll see what they're about.
In my opinion, this album isn't that strong, but can not go without merit in its heartfelt intensity.
Eastern Youth is a band that should be respected artistically and enjoyed by music lovers in all countries.
If you want to really check out Eastern Youth though, I highly recommed their first release from this label, What Can You See From Your Place.

el_war (May 3, 2006)

jesse and jesse's brother were the ones who turned me onto eastern youth. i've been studying japanese the last year, and actually got to talk to yoshino for a bit in japanese at the san diego show.

after seeing them again after four years, what can you see from your place?, their first fiveoneinc. record, is as much a new record as 365 is. many of the lyrics on those two albums speak worlds of truth to me, and i'm glad i can understand more and more of them each day.

although they don't carry the same sound as the earlier, only-japan albums, they show a big evolution in their sound, i feel.

jet-man, a bonus track on 365, is from don-quiote, a japan only release that came out inbetween ...your place and 365, and is becoming one of my favorite eastern youth songs.

myspace.com/easternyouth has a handful of great songs, and i'd also gladly share my favorite songs with anyone. my email is michael.warren at gmail.com

feeeding5000 (April 6, 2006)

Will, did you read the MRR interview w/ the Formaldehyde Junkies? It was pointless...Someone should review that EP.

Jesse (April 6, 2006)

They're way bigger than Fugazi is in the states. They're not just indie legends, they're like Modest Mouse. They really are pretty mainstreamed without trying to be.

awkward (April 5, 2006)

i dig this band.. but this album didnt impress, only the first track was memorable after first 2 listens. i absolutely love an older song by them called "tatoeba bokuga shindara", i have no idea where that is from though. it's so damn catchy.

Anonymous (April 4, 2006)

Silent Storms,

This band sounds nothing like Envy. So I guess you're saying "well this other band from the same country that plays completely different music is better!" But that's dumb. That's like saying "The Formaldihyde Junkies are way better than the Lawrence Arms!" Two different music scenes.

-Will

feeeding5000 (April 4, 2006)

I've heard of them, but only in a passing reference. It does sound interesting, so I may try and find it.

SilentStorms (April 4, 2006)

Can't they just post one song that I can listen to again and again, terrible marketing. And I hate marketing, belive me!!!

But u don't.

SilentStorms (April 4, 2006)

I can't download their shit! That makes me indifferent, cuz I know they're not as good as ENVY!

ElVaquero (April 4, 2006)

they're not stadium-level, but they're definitely indie legends on par with Fugazi's influence on modern rock bands. you can definitely hear their tough in newer radio friendly stuff like Asian Kung Fu Generation and The Back Horn

ElVaquero (April 4, 2006)

Eh, the album really isn't that spectacular. A lot of the songs are three thousand times better live.

Funny that you call them promising though when they've been around for almost twenty years and released like eight albums.

fistchode (April 4, 2006)

They're playing a small punk club around where I live. I think stadiums is a bit of an exaggeration. They're not Ken Yokoyama or anything.

Jesse (April 4, 2006)

Well, I listened to the track, and while it definitley feels a bit more like their older stuff, their Japanese only albums are much better.

It's a shame this band isn't bigger. They've been around since 1988 which is funny that they cite Fugazi as an influence. The reason they don't tour the US is that in the US they play small clubs and in Japan they sell out stadiums and have TV specials. These guys are legends. They're huge. They have 10 albums out in Japan.

I think we need to have an Eastern Youth awareness month.

Jesse (April 4, 2006)

My brother moved to Japan, and introduced me to this band. I'd be eager to see how this release is. This is actually their third release available in America – they had another album released on 5-1 Inc too.

Their last album on 5-1 was sort of a disappointment. It doesn't sound like the rest of their stuff at all. How Aubin describes this album sounds like their other American full-length, which is sort of disappointing. The stuff they released in Japan is super intense melodic indie rock with tons of awesome key changes and upbeat tempos.

If anyone wants, I'll send them a couple of really good tracks over AIM.

My AIM: Jesse Raub says

fistchode (April 4, 2006)

One of my new favourite bands. They're playing close by soon, but since this is Japan, it's been sold out for a long time. My friends actually laughed when I suggested we could still buy tickets.

Anonymous (April 4, 2006)

U2 have never made a single good song, but I'm still gonna check this out.

-Will

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