Sakanaction have a new album out the first week of August! Pump the brakes a bit…Japan’s best (and most ambitious) chart-gracing band will release a “concept album,” though the concept turns out to be “b-sides and remixes” which…hey, fresh Sakanaction is better than no Sakanaction, but let’s not go throwing the “c” word around for this. To coincide with this, the band released a video for “Years,” a song that appeared on 2011’s Documentaly. Watch it above.
“Years” is a great song, off one of (maybe the?) best Japanese albums of this decade thus far, and this video popping up almost four years after Documentaly’s release is a nice way of reminiscing about just how special that album is. The timing added to the feeling — 2011 was a tense year, and Sakanaction inadvertently tapped into the sense of anxiousness hanging over the country that year — but it still sticks out in 2015 as a deeply ambitious Japanese rock album, in a decade where a lot of bands just have to give the vaguest of sense of something (I’m picturing the ~~~~ rock ‘n’ roll!!!! ~~~~ of like One OK Rock and Man With A Mission, groups who aspire to be nothing more than loud and shouty and like before, but now!). Documentaly merged rock with dance music in a way not many Japanese bands have managed to do in recent memory, and didn’t just settle there, though they could have and come out with a very good album. Nope, they went all in on the emotional drama, and Documentaly drips melancholy and sadness but also hope. It’s a heady album designed by music nerds but delivered with the sort of ambition that gets a field full of kids jumping around. The follow up, Sakanaction, comes pretty darn close to matching it, but by that point Sakanaction had already pushed through to the big(ger) leagues, and could play huge festivals, so that album was a bit less urgent. Documentaly sounds as vital today as it did on its release day, one of the best rock albums anyone has thought up in recent years.