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Something Off Trend: TAWINGS “Invisible” And “UTM”

Early on in 2018, Japanese bands have been having a good go of it internationally. This mainly comes via festivals and festivals that are part of gatherings that are really giant tech gabfests. The biggest name would be X Japan, set to appear at Coachella (same font size Django Django, congrats Yoshiki), yet the real movement is happening with younger groups. Kyoto’s Otoboke Beaver head to the desert too, while group’s like CHAI head to SXSW. One of the group’s also heading to Austin? Tokyo trio (formerly quartet) TAWINGS, who play scuzz-adjacent rock (but not too much) tipping into new wave. Their latest single came out earlier this month, and it establishes the group’s own sound within the group of bands heading to the States later this year. Which isn’t to say they are shifting the paradigm — plenty of bands in Tokyo have melded unsettling surf-rock guitar with monotone lyrics, they just couldn’t afford a flight to Texas — but they do it well, creating an unnerving atmosphere on “Invisible” (above) building up to a muted release that clashes well with the shambling around it. Better still is the basement lurch of “UTM,” which balances creepiness via its playing and something more poppy with the hook. Listen below.