Tim Krysko of Wreck The Place Fantastic reporting in with our International Spotlight. Every week (except last week, which we missed due to sasquatch attack) we're featuring updates and music downloads from bands outside the North American market. This week we're headed to Japan:

The Japanese indie music scene is incredibly huge, but still, and probably largely due to the language barrier, the majority of bands are unknown in the west. That makes the example of Eastern Youth so exceptional. This near two-decade-running indie rock band originally from Sapporo is as revered by North American genremates as those in their home country - and most of us rely on lyric translations to have any idea what they're singinging about. Many on this side of the Pacific were humbled by Eastern Youth in 2002 when they appeared on a split with Cursive released by Better Looking Records. A year later, Five One Inc released What Can You See From Your Place, the first of the band's records to be pushed to the North American audience. Now in 2006, Five One is striking again with Eastern Youth's latest, 365 Step-Blues.

Any hype this band garners is well-deserved; they're called 'legends' for a reason. Not only are Eastern Youth one of Japan's finest musical exports, but they also offer an interpretation of indie rock that's staunchly authentic to Japan. Visit Five One Inc for an ecard, and download the opening track "Make for the Waste Land" below.

Eastern Youth - Make for the Waste Land (MP3)

The band issued 365-Step Blues in March.