Release Date: Sep 9, 2008
Record label: Deaf Dumb & Blind
Genre(s): Rock, Electronic
UK foursome gets wordy, stays objectiveBrighton’s Fujiya & Miyagi glorified everyday objects on their singles collection, 2006’s Transparent Things. Lightbulbs shows the same attention to sonic detail as its predecessor, but the four also love words as much as objects. Lead single “Knickerbocker,” as well as “Pickpocket” and “Pterodactyls,” glide as effortlessly off the tongue as their Krautrock-influenced, minimal pop.
F&M have added intriguing textures to the Krautrock of 2006's Transparent Things: from the title track's powerballadry to the subliminal menace of 'Dishwasher', in which vocaliser David Best reassures a loved one that 'when you are premenstrual, I will play chillout compilation instrumentals' over the bass line to Bauhaus's 'Bela Lugosi's Dead'. .
Fujiya & Migayi are masters of introversion. Shunning the neon limelight of their electro-pop contemporaries, the Brighton four-piece seem content to keep their understated Krautpop in the shadows, lest an unhushed vocal or unmuted guitar disturb the neighbours. While rarely straying from the motorik template of 2006's superb Transparent Things, Lightbulbs does occasionally make a departure - Sore Thumb's gentle Italo-disco funk is a particularly welcome development, while Goosebumps' oscillating organ is reminiscent of a pop-art Radiohead.
As the first full-length debut of Fujiya & Miyagi (their 2006 release was actually a compilation of songs from previously released EPs), Lightbulbs shows the Brighton Brits attempting to prove themselves as much more than a pseudo-Japanese novelty act. That's not to say that Dave Best and the gang have toned back their deadpan sense of humor. Nonsensical non-sequiturs, scatting onomatopoeias, and tongue twisters still dominate the lyrics, and the wry James Murphy-esque speakeasy delivery is still evident, but now the pep has been downplayed slightly to make for more mellowed grooves.
England's Fujiya & Miyagi stirred up a lot of buzz when they released their 2006 record Transparent Things, and it's likely that talk won't subside any time soon. Their new disc is an engaging collection of laid-back dance-friendly tunes that would work well blaring over the Gap's sound system and at your weekend house party. The band pour on the fuzzy keys and light but effective drumbeats, while their odd lyrics and talkish vocals keep you engaged though wondering what the hell they're saying.