LIVE REPORTRED MARQUEE7/27 FRI
Rock, Straight Up
Straightener has been a work-horse in the Japanese alternative/J-Rock scene since their debut in 1998, playing in Japan and around the world. Their sound is heavy but melodic, and they managed to dish up a driving set on Friday afternoon.
The band is quite polished, certainly owing to their years playing together. There was a good amount of funk in that bass too, which actually fits the choppy guitar and straight-forward drums quite nicely. The occasional spash of live synth and keys added a nice touch as well. The songs throughout were heavy but melodic and uptempo, the kind of thing that makes you want to bob your head but not quite tap your toes. Perfectly capably written and executed, if a bit predictable.The backing tracks add a lot to the songs, giving them a layer of synth sound. Luckily this manages to land just on the right side of being too much and doesn’t overshadow the live feel of the band.
Overall the songs themselves were perfectly fine, but maybe miss the extra little spark that makes a band really stand out. The energy from the crowd was in line with this… into it but not going nuts over it. Although perhaps this is just what someone needs on a hot mid-afternoon on the first day of Fuji Rock. Something that keeps them rocking and rolling while not asking much of their energy or attention.
Interestingly enough, the song they debuted live tonight was personally one of the most interesting of the set. Maybe this means that Straightener still has a few tricks up their sleeves and their next Fuji Rock appearance might be their best to date.