Polysics - Polysics Or Die!!!! (Cover Artwork)


Polysics Or Die!!!! (2005)


Polysics are a Japanese four-piece that combine snotty new wave with old-school video game soundtracks to create a very unique tone. As described in their press bio, they "forge their riveting music using conventional rock instruments, augmented by synthesizer, vocoder, and computer programming." What this means is everything from robot vocals to techno beats and strange blips and beeps make their way into fuzzy rock songs. No longer on Asian Man Records, the band has put together Polysics Or Die!!!!, a greatest hits-type of record that includes tracks from their back catalogue as well as five new songs. While this is some of the most interesting and strange music I've heard in a while, it doesn't always work. The band sometimes uses their technique to craft hook filled musical freak-outs, while at other times the songs just border on annoying.

Songs like "Black Out Fall Out," "Making Sense," and "Code 4" are incredibly catchy as they draw on everything from the Anniversary-styled guitar jangle and moog lines to Reggie And The Full Effect-like loud pop, and Ozma-esque harmonies. The "do do dos" from "Black Out Fall Out" alone will be stuck in your head for days while the overdriven guitars will have you rocking with their chunky chord progressions and rock solos. Sadly, Polysics can't keep this level of songwriting up for the entire release.

Some of the songs just become painful to listen to thanks to singer Hayashi's overly bratty voice that tends to squeal much more than necessary. At other points the songs just get too cheesy when they start to sound like cartoon soundtracks or carnival cacophonies. I don't think a cover of "My Sharona" that sounds like Stephen Hawking singing over a Fruity Loops beat was really essential, but hey, that's just me.

If you want to hear something that sounds like it was written by robots on speed and wide-eyed Japanese cartoon characters, or just something a little different than usual, check this out. But if you aren't a fan of electronic backings or new wave flair you'll probably want to shy away from this.