Sound — 8
The electro-pop quartet of Fujiya And Miyagi sound like no one else as they take a handful of music styles and condense them into one. Based in Brighton, England, the band shows influences of '80s new wavers the Human League in their multipaned synths, krautrock's Bauhaus in their beads of psychedelic rock, and scalloped electro-pop patterns and shiny fragmented molecules emblematic of modern eclectic's Fischerspooner. The band's latest effort Lightbulbs has the earthy folk qualities of Jesca Hoop with an arsenal of club-inspired meanderings. Tracks like Knickerbocker and Pterodactyls are shackled by rows of funky-lined beats played by bassist Matt Hainsby and drummer Lee Adams, as ligaments of rippling synths by Steve Lewis and fuzzy guitar strips from lead singer/guitarist David Best fill the melodic swells to the brim. F&M's tracks are multi-purposed being able to serve both club-goers and individuals alike as the songs speak to listeners on both an intimate level and on a wide scale. The band's constellations of sonic bursts, laser-light blazes, and tight bubbling dance beats have a friendly nature even when they turn solemn like in Rook To Queen's Pawn Six as Best's vocals become as sinister and numbing as Leonard Cohen. The band's draconic textures show an earthy texture producing a wilderness of bushy synth-textured guitars and sound effects that have a creamy foaming in Goosebumps and a zealous groping in Hundreds And Thousands while anchored by an explosion of sounds and a spill canvas of fragmented pieces scattered arbitrarily. F&M's tracks are more than a generic brand of club music. They put much more of themselves and the world around them into their songs, which gives their album Lightbulbs significance on a large scale.
Lyrics — 7
Fujiya And Miyagi's lyrics vary from the poignant to the abstract and profound like the completely illogical versing of Knickerbocker as Best muses along, Hans Christian Andersen plays musical statues / To don't take it out on this world by Adams Apples / Sprinkling hundred and thousands on a knickerbocker glory / I saw the ghost of Lena Zavaroni. The phrases seem meaningless at face value but they fit so well into the music for Knickerbocker that its eccentricity goes unnoticed. Other lyrics may hit home with audiences like in the title track when Best reflects, If today is the same as yesterday / Tomorrow will be the same as today. And the catchy phrasing of Pickpocket which relates to real life conditions, Why do you do the things that you do? / You know you shouldn't put your hands in other people's pockets / Pick, pick pocket.
Overall Impression — 8
F&M's album Lightbulbs is a kaleidoscopic blur of sounds and prismatic effects creating a flowing stream of picturesque clusters with synth-vibed rustling and complementing creases. The band's music is a derivative of so many different styles from krautrock and electro-pop to new wave and avant-folk. They condense these formations to amass a style that is truly indicative of their own. Their songs are an amiable blend aimed at constructing a modern psychedelic rock alloy that bridges decades of music into one room. The album is not one style alone, but an attractive conglomerate that has something for everyone.