07.12.2009, Words by Charlie Jones

Crime of Love

What do 73785600, 1229760, 20496, 854, 2.33 and 9.3% have in common? Any ideas? Its pretty simple really. No? obviously the answer is that they’re all ways of expressing the exact amount of time that has elapsed between me tracking up Comanechi’s debut album ‘Crime of Love’ on Windows Media Player tonight and seeing them live at Tales of the Jackalope in 2007.

Back then, the Dalston two piece, consisting of the trash talking, visceral duct tape-wearing Akiko Matsuura and spaced out neo-grunge staggerer Simon Petrovich, were a chaotic explosion of great vengeance and furious anger. Their ascorbic and frenzied defence of punk rock sliced through the comfortable froth and slick electro that dominated the Vice party. I even heard Akiko scream “you fuck off, you buy a fucking donkey!” at a drunken fool who dared to question the quality of the noise exploding out from the stage. I liked them so much that I went online the next day and ordered a t-shirt from their website. The thumbnail was of a naïve cartoon drawing of two young Japanese children. Perfect, I thought. It arrived. I saw to my horror that the bottom halves of these children were completely naked and displayed, in hideous detail, a little penis and hairless snatch. The name of the band was proudly displayed underneath this little treasure trove of indecent exposure, suggesting that the band would only want it to be viable merchandise if you accept the vaguely paedophilic content. Which is pretty provocative. And provocative is good. I like provocative music. And ‘Crime of Love’ really provokes. Interestingly, it doesn’t just shock and it isn’t just aggressive. It’s an incredibly hard album to define because it incorporates so many influences and styles without one ever predominating. Although Death of You is as bitter and driving and fierce as the Ramones in their pomp, it is not simply a punk song. With the advent of the refrain “you are my lovely sunshine, you are a retard” it descends into a dirge of sludgy stoner rock before changing up again as Petrovich launches into a frantic Lee Ronaldo esque solo. This, all in the space of three minutes.

In Close Enough to Kiss, Akiko does her best Kim Gordon impression but the chorus really comes from the leftfield and could almost be described as ethereal and melodic. Why? is forty five seconds or hardcore noise making that Lightning Bolt would be proud of. Lunatic is simply a brilliant song. I could go on, because there’s so much that I like about this album. Sure, at times it’s derivative but it offers a ridiculous amount considering its only thirty-three minutes long. There’s a really keen sense of experimentation at work, as punk and hardcore blends with doom and stoner rock, grunge, and no wave.

Their reputation definitely belies the complexity of music, and in fact, I think the weakest songs on the album – Rabbit Hole and Crime of Love – are the ones that prior to listening to this album I would have identified as having the Comanechi sound. I don’t really believe their brashness and, whatever Akiko reckons, there’s something charmingly naïve about her lyrics, particularly in My Pussy, where she laments “the next day I left him a boiled egg, I remember he used to love boiled eggs”.

Comanechi on myspace

‘Crime of Love’ is out now.

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