steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion


"Harajuku No Emo Ko" CD

Dork Rock Records

Genres: indie rock, nerd rock

Dork Rock
5 Waterman Rd.
Gloucester, MA

Jan 3 - 9 2005

Tober play nerd-rock ala Weezer, except with a punchy, synth-infused pop infectiousness that recalls power poppers Ozma and, to a lesser extent, The Flashing LightsHarajuku No Emo Ko's six songs only offer a brief glimpse into the band's repertoire, but things seem about right.  "Lunchbox" and "The Benefits of a Liberal Arts Education" are pure, cheery power pop tunes; charged, infectious melodies are used alongside unconventional indie rock song structures.  The melodies aren't as instantly catchy as Weezer's fare, but they do the trick.  The band isn't trying to keep its emo subject matter under wraps on a song like "My Inability to Talk to Girls," but they thankfully avoid whininess and over-angst - "My Inability" is, however, one of the EP's weaker songs.  Overall, Harajuku No Emo Ko is a strong debut for Tober, though some more instantly juicy hooks would be recommended next time around.  Still, peppy tunes like "Liberal Arts" and "Dear Miss Laura, Love Jimmy" spell out a nerd-rock s-u-c-c-e-s-s.  And yes, the lameness was intentional.


Fun Fact: From "Harajuku is Tokyo's teenager town, a shopping and entertainment district for the young and trendy. Many small stores, boutiques, restaurants and cafes can be found in the area."  According to the press sheet, the record's title is a reference to the emo girls of the Harajuku region, who allegedly were the band's inspiration while creating these six songs.

Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 6 tracks, distributed by the label, released 2004]