I had an epiphany while driving today and listening to this album. It’s Husking Bee from Japan and “Anthology” is their greatest hits. Let’s start by me telling you I’m a fan of this band, although I think their music videos give them no justice. They broke up in 2005 and the three videos I dropped in are from their three eras. Beginning, middle, and end.
I was thinking about how in work, business, or whatever you want to call what I do, the best person for the job always works out the best. Here’s a super-round about way of explaining this.
I popped in this CD which basically is a chronological greatest hits, it starts off with their pop punk songs. Imagine something akin to an older Green Day album (1ooo Hours), it was younger, high energy pop punk. Edging on the skate sound, they had an east bay punk thing going on, but from across the pacific. I remember reading an early album review and it said these guys rocked.
But back to the story, I fast forwarded some of the early mid-90s songs and then got the later 90′s songs from Put on Fresh Paint, which got some distribution here, through Doghouse records (ironically, these guys owed us money for years for the advertisement they put in GR for this album!) The songs begin to shape up a little. They go from being youthful punk to being a bit more mature in punk. The songs begin to get organized. They do a key thing that I think changed them for the best, they had Mark Trombino engineer and produce them. To me, it’s a turning point that shaped them into a much different band.
Track 16 comes on from a later album, and their sound become crystal clear. They’ve arrived. It’s about the time I got to interview them. It’s as if #23 was in his prime. Perhaps they trust Mark Trombino more (who drummed in Drive Like Jehu – one of the greatest bands of all time) and they add a guitar player to become a quartet (like Drive Like Jehu – btw, I took that photo that’s used on their myspace page and on many others!). The guitars now sound like brothers (much like Drive Like Jehu’s Rick Fork and John Reis), you can hear how they tandem, intro, weave, and harmonize together while they still work into punkish songs. It’s as if they grew up and their sound progressed. With as many similarities for just an album with DLJ, I wonder how much influence Mark T had on this band. Was it too much? Did they capture some of the DLJ magic?
Mark T. produced them until their end in 2005, and their last album changed a bit again. Their sound goes a bit away from punk, and they’re turned into more of an emo/rock band, and now they’re legends. A covers album by Japanese bands is coming out later this month. I wish these dudes were still around playing.