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Old Kicks Made New: The Fax’s “Cool Me”

Allow me to take you back in time for a second…when I moved to Japan in 2009, one of the most reliable labels in the Kansai region was Second Royal Records. Looking back on it, they boasted one of the most loaded line-ups of artists in Japan — Hotel Mexico, Halfby, Handsomeboy Technique, Turntable Films, it goes on. In recent years, though, they were a touch more quiet, putting out a smattering of releases but not quite at the pace of yesteryear, and not quite as apt at highlighting great new talent. But late 2018 has been a bit of a resurgence, and Kyoto’s The Fax deliver with “Cool Me.” If the dog barks at the start don’t give it away, this one’s a little on the wonky side, without devolving into pure goofery. It’s a bouncy bit of rock, springier than most indie-pop (even the stuff Second Royal has put out before) but retaining moments of reflection. Always nice to be introduced to a band that you are interested in seeing evolve from here. Listen above.