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Eyes On The Prize: Uchuu’s “Sign”

Writing mostly about “indie” music – “indie” here being vague, but best summed up as “being relatively under the radar” – leads me to expect a certain type of sound most times I cue up a new band’s song. Again, defining what that style sounds like is ultimately sort of futile but it tends (emphasize that word) to come off like a record label didn’t hire a scientist and an advertisement guru to come up with it. Tricky, yeah? Basically, I rarely expect the artists I write about here to necessarily be aiming to be the next big J-Rock phenomenon, instead trying to grab attention through their own style and merits.

Uchuu and their song “Sign” throw a huge, shiny wrench into those perceptions. From the opening vocals, which seemingly want to fill up a baseball stadium, Uchuu aim at replicating the sound of modern J-Rock with a few touches of their own sprinkled over it. This group pledges allegiance to Kansai’s techrock scene, the mini-world highlighted by √thumm and Nuxx. Whereas those artists take the hyper-electronic sounds of Perfume and turn them DIY, Uchuu work the other way – their whistling electronic sheen surrounds verses and a chorus screaming out to be on the Oricon charts. It can all be a little too dramatic for my taste at times, but this major-label-sheen-by-way-of-non-major-label-group vibe does bless “Sign” with a professional approach and catchiness usually dreamed up in board meetings. For all of this “J-Rock” boogie-boo, Uchuu really just stand in the middle between indie and major sound, “Sign” being a song that probably wouldn’t appear in a cookie commercial but remains a bit more marketable than Nuxx’s latest stuff. Listen below.

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