J-Pop Sunday – POLYSICS

TOISU! We all remember our first band, don’t we? You know, that first band we went properly mental over. POLYSICS were mine, there was (and still is) something about a gaggle of boiler suit uniformed, straight-bar sunglass wearing, energetic, synth playing loons that I found bizarrely appealing. Almost heroic! I wanted those glasses – a part of me still does – but you’re not here to read about my mis-spent youth; instead let’s take a look at POLYSICS.

Yano, Hayashi and Fumi – the current POLYSICS line up.

Quick Guide:

  • Hiroyuki Hayashi (A.K.A. POLY-1): Inspired by American band DEVO, Hayashi founded the band in 1997 while in High School. A bundle of energy, he’s POLYSICS’ Lead Guitarist, and Vocalist.
  • Fumi: Joined in 2001 after working with the band for three years. Bass Guitarist, Vocalist & Synth Operator, Fumi replaced former Bass Synth operator and “Toast Thrower” Sako Eisuke (POLY-2).
  • Masashi Yano: Yano joined in 2004, replacing Junichi Sugai as Drummer & Vocalist.
  • Kayo: Until 2010 Kayo provided vocals, keyboard melodies and synth operations for the band. She is yet to be officially replaced; however, someone has to be playing those keyboards…

Years Active: 1997 – Present
Genre: New Wave/Synth Pop/Punk
Kaito’s Choice Tracks: “Electric Surfin’ Go Go” (2006), “Rocket” (2007) & “Everybody Say No” (2012)
Official greeting: Raising your arm and/or punching the air while shouting “Toisu!”

POLYSICS in their infamous orange suits with the members – including Kayo – organised alphabetically.

In an ideal world I would hand you a copy of the band’s entire 18 album back catalogue of “Technicolour Pop Punk” – as they call it – on blank discs, tell you to listen to everything, and claim every single one to be a “Choice Track”. However, someone out there would call that piracy, I would then be arrested, and POLYSICS would lose out on much deserved money. We don’t want that. So instead I just picked three tracks to share for now: My personal favourite, their newest release, and one chosen at random from their official Youtube page. Try to guess which is which!

POLYSICS turn to photography in the video for “Rocket”.

“Rocket” feels like a mash-up of POLYSICS’ two main styles: the verses feature the band’s melodic electronic side – featuring Kayo’s softer vocals – whereas the chorus features the high energy rock persona – where the main voice heard is Hayashi’s. On paper; it’s not a song that should work: The sharp contrasts between the two styles should make the song feel jarred and disjointed, but it’s just not the case with Rocket. Somehow POLYSICS make music that’s shouldn’t mix well work to their advantage.

Even after six years I still haven’t the foggiest about the video for “Electric Surfin’ Go Go”.

“Electric Surfin’ Go Go” was the song that turned me into a POLYSICS fan. It’s so optimistic, so energetic, so spirit lifting. It’s the kind of song that should play on a sunny day at the start of a trip or an adventure, or at the very least, it’s a song that makes you want to jump up and dance. Also, that funky bass solo.

Somebody make a .gif image of Hayashi’s headphone dancing. NOW.

“Everybody Say No” is the latest release from POLYSICS. (Crap! I’ve ruined that game, haven’t I?) It’s a real foot-tapper, proof that even though they’re a man down the band is still rocking on strong, which is good news, as I want to see more from the gang. However, the even better news is that the album “Weeeeeeeeee!!!” from which ”Everybody Say No” is taken will be available in the UK – on Compact Disc! – from the 10th of June. I’ve got my pre-order in. Have YOU?

Official Site (English): http://www.polysics.com/en/
Facebook (Japanese & English): https://www.facebook.com/pages/POLYSICS/260419960659129
Twitter (99.9% Japanese): https://twitter.com/POLYSICS_TOISU
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/polysicsVEVO

Until next time!

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