V/A - Even A Tree Can Shed Tears
(Light In The Attic)
If you’ve been following reissue trends over the last 10 years, you might have noticed that certain countries and eras have been unexamined and under-explored. Perhaps countries like Poland, Italy or Norway have proven difficult to mine for exploratory music or maybe no one’s paying attention. However, in the case of Japanese music culture, we do have an idea of the country’s rich heritage. We have seen compilations and reissues to the garage bands of the 1960’s (aka Group Sounds), Japanese ethnic music and more recently, Black Editions’ look into the 80s and 90s underground and avant rock scene via the PSF label. Despite that, there’s been little to no spotlight on the post-garage, psychedelic folk, rock and private music from the late 60’s and early 70’s.
That gets rectified here with the excellent and beautifully stirring compilation Even A Tree Can Shed Tears. The crux of the music is driven by the URC label, the first Japanese independent label founded in 1969. Underground Rock Club was specifically run as a mail-order / subscriber only label with many of their 45s and LPs pressed in very limited quantities. The focus of this “new music” ran the gamut of sparse acid rock, cosmic torch song ballads, devotionals, heady psych rock and pastoral folk. And that is what you can expect here along with beautiful sleeve design and a wonderful 12” booklet with track detail and cover scans.
Despite being unable to understand Japanese, when taking in the cosmic beauty of tracks like the wistful “Sugishi Hi Wo Mitsumete” by Gypsy Blood or the fuzzy folk-rock of “Arthur Hakase No Jinriki Hikouki” by Kazuhiko Kato or the fried and drunken folk of Happy End’s “Natsu Nandesu”, you find yourself quite moved and entranced by their melodic methodology and songwriting. Truly a rewarding listen and an excellent encapsulation of a previously unknown corner of the musical landscape. And isn’t that what a great reissue does? (Dom)
Check out a track here.