After presenting Mouse On They Keys, here’s another band which combined Jazz elements with a Punk attitude. However, ミドリ (Midori) sound completely different. Stilistically, they’re probably closer to US bands like Nomeansno and Nation Of Ulysses, but yet don’t sound anything like them.
I remember pretty well when I’ve first heard ミドリ. I didn’t like them. At all. They were too bizarre even for my taste, too fast, colourful, too… abject. Probably because the Kyoto-based four-piece, which unfortunately disbanded in 2010 after a seven year long career, didn’t just go about freaking out like trained Jazz musicians trying to capture the spirit of Punk, no. They’re also pretty good at writing kawaii, innocent pop songs.
It’s a weird and daring mixture and I am still somewhat surprised that ミドリ were actually signed by Sony Japan, but apparently that’s what happened. They are, however, completely unknown outside Japan and I think that’s a shame. Here’s a band which, like so many other Japanese acts, combines musicianship with a wild taste for destruction while not being ashamed to give in to their passion for kitschy, yet shomewhat noisey tunes. The results are downright magnificent. Highly addictive.
Their lead singer 後藤まりこ (GOTO Mariko) has started a solo project after the band’s demise. Here’s a live video of her performing in front of members of the FEMEN collective. Um, yeah.