BY EZRA MORRIS
Thundering out of the basements of Minneapolis, this experimental garage act is a welcome addition to the Twin Cities pantheon. With only two members, the band packs more livewire energy into their drum and guitar assault than most groups can muster with three or four times the members. They push everything into the red, especially when it comes to their cathartic on-stage performances, screeching in at the maximum volume with gravity-defying acrobatics.
Check this performance at First Avenue. It’s clear that they’re on some unhinged quest to epitomize the aspects of rock ‘n’ roll that usually inspire boycotts, letter writing campaigns, and mass record burnings. Black Lips must have felt a spiritual bond in that respect when they reccomended these Japanese transplants for vitaminwater’s Uncapped series. Like the Atlanta group and Israel’s Monotonix, Birthday Suits are at their best on stage where they’re fully committed to the transcendent potential of a full throttle rock ‘n’ roll show.
Birthday Suits exist on the more punk end of the lo-fi garage spectrum. The songs are blunt, abrasive bursts of fun. If your ears blink, you might miss them. Yuichiro Matthew Kazama’s drumming style (think Gonzo Bonzo meets Animal) could guarantee him a spot backing Dr. Teeth or Jimmy Page. It’s those ferocious arena-ready rhythms that propel Birthday Suits’ best cuts. Like No Age, Kazama and guitarist Hideo Takahashi utilize their limited two-prong attack as a gateway for inventiveness. With only two elements, they experiment with their sound and end up with wildly disparate sounding tracks.
Yuichiro Matthew Kazama, Hideo Takahashi
Nice & Neat/Learning Curve/P.Trash/Crustacean