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Fujiya & Miyagi

Ventriloquizzing

Yep Roc

Feb 16, 2011 Fujiya & Miyagi Bookmark and Share


As with Fujiya & Miyagi‘s previous records, Ventriloquizzing seems sonically constructed to fly under the radar. Drums maintain a steady, understated beat; the bass pushes along a linear undertow; and the lead instruments buzz, hum, and crackle. And with David Best’s vocals rarely rising above an insistent, swaggering whisper, the songs work to draw listeners into their swirl rather than burst out to make an impression.

Ventriloquizzing unfolds as more of an enhancement than an experience, as it requires little direct involvement for its subtle hooks to latch on. Lyrics are often repeated to the point where they simply blur with the music (“Let me whisper in your ear, tell you it will be okay”) though bits of cliché with no ironic subtext lose their charm fairly quickly (“It’s no good crying over spilt milk,” “You don’t know which side your bread is buttered on”).

Krautrock is a positive influence here, particularly in the pulsing, Neu!-ish beat and synth passages of the title track, with the repeated “We move our arms when you pull our string” working perfectly in this bloodless, though darkly warm, context. Otherwise, the music locks into varying grooves with synth trappings, thus keeping the spotlight on the vocals, bringing the band’s sense of humor occasionally to the fore with unexpectedly odd lyrical slices: “Licking hummus off a plastic spoon, you look ridiculous,” “He told me what the flavor was: minestrone!”

Ventriloquizzing is the sound of a band settling comfortably into its personality, though one can’t help but feel that the best moments are still to come. And, to reference a line they may consider for their next dip into the cliché bag, good things come to those who wait. (www.myspace.com/fujiyaandmiyagi)

Author rating: 6/10

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Average reader rating: 7/10



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