EP Review – Rain Girls & Gentle Girls by The Korova Milk Bar (2021) (Blue-Very Label)
Back in 1994 two herberts, with daft hair, from Manchester, formed Oasis and suddenly made it fashionable to for fellas to be all ‘lad shouty’ and for the finer sex to to indulge in equal number of binge-drinking sessions.
Voila! Britpop was born and the previous dominant jangle pop sound of the last decade fell into something of a degenrative illness before dying, to a large extent, when the Postcard revival of the early to mid-2000s emerged and decided that Franz Ferdinand was the same thing as the Fire Engines and Josef K.
However, there were still pockets of jangle that seemed determined to fight the good fight against all things Britpop, lad and ladette. One such band was Japan’s Johnny Dee whose dual release Split EP with The Chesterfields (1993) and their superlative Love Compilation album (1994) went someway to giving a janglier alternative to the ‘mad for it’ minnions.
After reading an interview by the quite superb musical archaeologists at the Cloudberry Records blog, it appears that pre- Johnny Dee not only was there an act called The Korova Milk Bar, who were effectively the same band with the exception of one different guitarist, but also that Tokyo’s Blue Very Label has released a 300 limited edition vinyl run of their only EP, that band members been found in their vaults and had re-mastered.
Thankfully its very much Johnny Dee (in fact two tracks, Goodbye Flip Flap Guitars abd Bachelor Kisses appeared on their subsequent releases) with perhaps just the slightest bit more muscle and very subtle fuzz, which may be down to different qualities of production as much as anything else. Either way its just feels very analog and retro, as it courses its way through a dual pronged, perfectly 90s, jangle-pop aesthetic.
Initially, the best of the album sees Over The Manchester and the album’s true stand out, Ryouzoux, provide a sublime mix of drone laden, The Stone Roses vocal distance and the definitive lucidity of Felt style jangled riffs. Both are truly stunning late 80s style jangle, all held together by that inimitable, slightly fragile persuasion, that South East Asian acts seem to augment all their genre’s with.
The second dominant sound is still very much engulfed in the best of 80s jangle-pop as the title track and Pale Blue Sunday, take The Smiths / Andrew Marr, hypnotic tremelo riffs as a core and dance the finest of gaze sensibilities around the sound. It’s a Manchester jangle-pop beauty with an asiatic flutter.
Sometimes we get lucky when bands dig out lost sounds of yesteryear and it gets released as it inspires them to start recording again. Whether it be as Johnny Dee or The Korova Milk Bar that would be a release well worth the madness of vinyl prices !
All 300 vinyl have been sold out already, so set all your follow buttons and await the 2nd press or grab a digital copy here.