steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Many Birthdays

"35 Minutes" CDR

Red Cake Records

Genres: indie pop, indie rock, lo-fi

band website

Mar 29 - Apr 4 2004

Many Birthdays is an obscure indie pop band based in Japan who run their own label, Red Cake Records, and have recorded two albums (a third is forthcoming).  I don't know much else about them, though their eclectic, catchy style is certainly a compelling one.  These eleven songs all share a similar pop sense, but vary widely as far as song structure goes.

"140th Dream," for example, is positively exhilarating - its revving guitar line works really well with the simple yet effective melody.  "Ditch Effort (Snail Song)" has been subtly injected with country and folk leanings.  "A Day in the Life of Maufie" is based largely on an electronic backbone, sounding somewhat akin to Le Tigre and Ladytron35 Minutes' variety is one of its best assets.

While there are a few 'lesser' moments, for the most part, this is a pretty fun disc.  It isn't homogenous at all, yet it all shares a fine sense of heartwarming pop catchiness and listenability.  Put simply, 35 Minutes is a very enjoyable album - and there's nothing more to say.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 11 tracks, distributed by the band, released 2003]