Back in April, I bought an EP from indie-pop outfit BOYISH. Inside the flimsy packaging was a little comic that explained the band’s origins – to sum it up, albeit without the cuteness of the actual doodling, the members of BOYISH saw a band called Teen Runnings (who we love) and it inspired them to make music. This, immortalized in a silly drawing, is important, because it is an example of more and more Japanese bands taking inspiration from other Japanese bands. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter where new acts draw inspiration – as long as the end product is good, we shall rally around it – but seeing young groups turn to groups in their city helps to foster a scene, which lack of is one of the problems in Japanese indie music today (though it is moving in the right way for sure).
Something tells me TALON and Young Agings also caught a Teen Runnings’ gig sometime in the past year and decided to make music similar to it (or, to be fair, they listened to Times New Viking or something). These outfits teamed up for a split EP called Summer Fudge, which serves as the debut release for the label Fantasing. This is summer garage rock, steeped in distortion and at times sadness, but still ultimately conjuring up images of boardwalks and seagulls. TALON’s contributions zip by, blasts of rock clocking in at just over a minute (the longest goes on for 1:43), with the emphasis being on how the instruments wrap around one another, the vocals on songs like “Kids” and the jangly “So Kindly” being near impossible to hear. They sound like they were recorded in a sea shell. TALON definitely possess traits found in Teen Runnings – the brevity, the vocals being kicked into the lower layers – but it’s Young Agings who really bring them to mind. The two tracks they offer up on Summer Fudge are proper songs with more audible vocals – although not by much, as the singing on songs “You” and “Unconsciousness” get fuzzed out a bit – like every song Teen Runnings’ have done. Young Agings are a little cleaner, but the influence is clear (or an insane coincidence). Get it here, or listen below.