Maguma Taishi - Maguma Taishi [7-inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Maguma Taishi

Maguma Taishi [7-inch] (2013)

Asian Man Records

Maguma Taishi are the supergroup featuring Hideo Takahashi and Matthew Kazama of the Birthday Suits, Mike Park of Mike Park, and Paddy Costello of Dillinger Four. This eight-song, self-titled 7-inch has been billed as being based off Japanese hardcore and while these songs retain the energy of the Eastern sonic blasters, there's more going on here than pure mimicry.

For one thing, Park doesn't shred his vocals like GISM or Disclose. Rather, the vocals are blown out, running red lines at all times, like so many Bay Area garage rockers. Also, unlike so many thrashcore bands, Park can't help but inject some melody into the vocals, which gives the songs a certain depth despite the fun and silly lyrics in songs like "Dachsund Suicide" and "You Gotta Be the Best." Interestingly, Park's vocals seem higher pitched and the most savage yet, making him almost not sound like himself at all.

The band shift from pure punk thrash on "Yopparai" to an almost poppy jangle on the title track. Likewise, "Gomena Gerry San" starts and stops in traditional d-beat style, but because the riffs come first and foremost, the song has an identity above just bland screaming and ripping. These tunes might be silly, but they rock, too.

Apparently, Maguma Taishi was recorded in one day with enough time left over for eating sushi, drinking, swimming, bike riding, and eating BBQ. The lo-fi nature of the release makes that apparent, but it also gives the record a savage charm that has been mostly erased in this age of digital recording. This might be a fun one-off, but with maybe two or three full days, the band could record a full-length that is equal parts rocking, fun and perplexing.