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Fujiya and Miyagi - Light Bulbs

Released on Deaf Dumb and Blind, 9/9/08

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Contrary to what the name invokes, this group is not from Japan and they’re not a duo. The group is comprised of Brighton, UK’s David Best (vocals, guitar), Steve Lewis (synths), Matt Hainsby (bass) and Lee Adams (drums). The group are self-proclaimed fans of 70s Krautrock groups and 80s synth-based bands.

The result, like their name, is not exactly what you’d expect from that description. Sure, there are a lot of synths and Best’s breathy vocals recall Germany’s Can. But once you get passed the tongue-in-cheek opener, “Knickerbocker” as Best whispers over and over “vanilla, strawberry, Knickerbocker glory,” the album really kicks in with “Uh” where a funky bass line you’d expect from Parliament-Funkadelic dominates the stereo. It’s actually quite refreshing. The group even gets close to a pop hit with “Sore Thumb,” which has infectious guitars and a great hook.

For those looking for a great album to dance to, yet something that has some depth and some classic melody, then this is definitely the album. Also, it should be noted, that Best’s humorous lyrics give the music a nice, lighthearted feel, creating a friendly atmosphere. And for a debut album, this group shows a lot of promise. It’ll be interesting to see where they take this.