Six-piece Lucky Kilimanjaro seem like a group poised to breakthrough to a weird level of mainstream notability, where an outfit can get decent placement at Tower Records and have concerts promoted above a convenience store ticket machine, but still be virtually unknown. Spurred by Japan’s massive gulf between top-level acts and legit indie artists, a weird middle level where bands that sit on major labels and make ostensibly pop-sounding music while still being far from recognizable by most. Lucky Kilimanjaro create electro-pop in a similar style to eventual Yuki collaborators Give Me Wallets, with a little pep bringing to mind contemporaries Shiggy Jr. (who exist at the point I imagine Lucky Kilimanjaro can conceivably reach…but not surpass). They are on their way, having released an indie album and actually catching the eye of Rockin’ On (with a pretty boring song), though it’s with recent number “SuperStar” that they really make the case they deserve it.
“SuperStar” finds the group’s lead singer doing his best Thomas Mars impersonation and the band going all in on hookiness. It’s a whirring number, one that knows the verses should be good but ultimately be building towards something big. The singing does all the build-up, hinting at a little drama before taking off come the chorus, repeating the title like if he says it enough it might come true. They make space for a dizzying synth solo (and a guitar bit too, though the prior always beats the latter) before doing it all over again. The rest of their recent Full Color mini-album actually sounds a touch better (only samples though!) but “SuperStar” stands out as the big direct stab at winning over a crowd, and it does its job well. Listen above.