Since I have been accused of favoring female recording artists, a selection this month from the underfed and infuriating band of young men who, for reasons known but to Amaterasu, marked themselves for eternal ridicule by calling themselves...wait for it...
"Bump of Chicken"
Perhaps it was the result of a dare--or a death threat from a yakuza-linked former manager.
Cursed with the music world's most ludicrous moniker, this quartet of lads from Sakura, Chiba have persuaded a lot of otherwise sane individuals to listen to them strum themselves silly ever since they were 14 year olds playing "Twist and Shout" and "Stand by Me" at their middle school's Culture Day celebration.
I say "infuriating" because boys from Bump of Chicken need a decent producer, someone who can tell them:
"Look guys, if you want to disassemble someone else's work--then cobble the fragments together--fine. Just make sure that what you put together at the end is a song...PLEASE."
Bump of Chicken's 2005 hit "Planetarium" is an illustration of the band's enervating failure to appreciate the craft of derivative songwriting. The source material for "Planetarium" is obviously the Who's "Amazing Journey"...
[The Bump of Chicken lads are huge Who fans, it seems, using "A Quick One (While He's Away)" as their intro music at their concerts.]
However, unlike Okuda Tamio, who raided "Won't Get Fooled Again" in order to produce "Jetto Keibu" for Puffy, the lads neither steal enough to reassemble into an identifiable song--one that in the days before sampling would have been considered legally actionable, Okuda-san--nor use the material as a springboard.
"Planetarium" starts out with variations on the initial theme "Amazing Journey"--and stays with variations on the initial theme of "Amazing Journey." One keeps waiting for it to kick into gear...but the transition never comes. The song sounds slack and unfinished...and because it has been released, it will always sound so...which is too bad because the boys of Bump of Chicken are rather likable.
March's song is "Planetarium" by Bump of Chicken, in the column on the right or here.