“潮騒” Lyrics

Here are the lyrics for Shiosai. Although I didn’t immediately warm to this song when I first got Abingdon Road, it’s steadily starting to grow on me. Especially since translating it, getting a better feel for the lyrics and the emotional context and content of the piece, my appreciation of it has grown. As usual, I cannot get over his use of nature metaphors! I really like the way the whole song is about covering things up, fading away, being washed away, withering away, disappearing into the sea roar.

Song: 潮騒 [Shiosai] (Sea Roar)

Artist: abingdon boys school

Album: Abingdon Road (’10)

Lyrics by Nishikawa Takanori, music by Kishi Toshiyuki

KANJI

胸を剌す痛みと絞り出す涙で   
今僕を 洗い流して
さようなら の代わりに伏せた君の瞳が
 最後の言葉を 探していた

俯く君の横顔に 情けない  かじかんだ手を そっと押し当てて
伝えきれないコトノハが遠い潮騒と 吹き抜ける風に 掻き消されてく

不意に見せる その笑顔に 身動き出来ないまま
やけに強く抱きたいのは 別れを近くに感じていたから

胸を剌す痛みと絞り出す涙で   
今僕を 洗い流して
さようなら の代わりに伏せた君の瞳が
 最後の言葉を 探していた

どんなに声を嗄したって どんなに腕を伸ばしてみたって もう届かなくて
水面を漂を小舟みたいに ふたつに割れた 命の破片が 沖へ沖へと

何もかもを 欲しがってた 過ぎ去った作日さえも
あの日交わした約束 どれひとつ まだ果たせずにいるけど

重なり合う度に離れてゆく程に
萎んでく 僕の心は
開ききったまんまの 傷口を晒して
滴る赤い血を拭えずにいた


微かに打ち震える 頼りない鼓動が
寄せては返す波の様で
 

胸を剌す痛みと絞り出す涙も 
また君を 思い出すけど
さようならの代わりに くちずけを
見矢(うしな)うばかりの 僕の瞳は
違う応えを 探していた

ROMAJI

Mune wo sasu itami to shibaridasu namida de
ima boku wo arainagashite
sayounara no kawari ni fuseta kimi no hitomi ga
saigo no kotoba wo sagashiteita

Utsumuku kimi no yokokao ni nasakenaikurai kajikan da te wo sotto oshiatete
tsutaekirenai KOTO NO HA ga tooi shiosai to fukinukeru kaze ni kakikesareteku

fuini miseru sono egao ni muugoki dekinai mama 
yakeni tsuyoku daitai no ha wakare wo chikaku ni kanji teita kara

Mune wo sasu itami to shibaridasu namida de
ima boku wo arainagashite
sayounara no kawari ni fuseta kimi no hitomi ga
saigo no kotoba wo sagashiteita

Donnani koe wo karashitatte donnani ude wo nobashitemitatte mou todokanakute
minomuwo tadayou wo kobune mitaini futatsuni wakareta inochi no hahen ga oki he oki he to

Nani mo ka mo wo hoshigatteta sugisatta kinou saemo
ano hi kawashita yakusoku dore hitotsu mada hatasezuni irukedo

Nasanariautabi ni hanareteyuku hodo ni
shibandeku boku no kokoro wa
hirakikitta manma no kizuguchi wo sarashite
shitataru akai chi wo muguezu ni ita
  
Kasuka ni uchi furueru tayorinai kodou ga
yosetewakaesu nami no you de

Mune wo sasu itami to shibaridasu namida mo
mata kimi wo omoidasukedo
sayounara no kawari ni kuchizuke wo
ushinaubakari no boku no hitomi ha
chigau kotae wo sagashite ita

ENGLISH

 The pain that stabs my heart,
Now, with the tears that are wrung out, I am washing it away
The eyes of you who covered up your goodbye
were always searching for the final words.

The profile of you who hang your head in shame is miserable,
you softly pressed my numb hand, but the words which are too many to relate
are being swallowed up by the roar of the distant sea, and the wind that blows through me

Suddenly you showed me your smiling face, and although I was unable to do anything
I felt that we were going to part soon, and I desperately wanted to hold you tightly

The pain that stabs my heart,
Now, with the tears being wrung out, I am washing it away
The eyes of you who covered up your goodbyes
were searching for the final words.

To what extent did I scream myself hoarse? To what extent did I reach out to you? I can’t reach you anymore
Like a little boat floating on the water’s surface, the fragments of two separated lives, moving out to sea, to the sea…

Everything that I wanted has faded away, even yesterday is gone
Not a single promise we exchanged that day is still upheld

Everytime our bodies overlap, my heart withers away
to the point that we’re completely separated
I pulled away the bandages and revealed the afflicting wound,   
wiping away the trickle of red blood 
  

The unreliable heartbeat that is faintly trembling,
Like waves breaking against the shore…

The pain that pierces my chest, and the tears that are wrung out
Remind me of you again, but
The kisses exchanged for goodbyes,
The eyes of me, always left behind,
Were searching for a different answer…

 

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“From Dusk Till Dawn” Lyrics

I’m on a roll. And, as they say, yesterday’s enemies are today’s friends. Speaking of which, I think I’m starting to get a hang of Nishikawa’s lyrical style, so things should just get easier from here on out. Just as a note, in the ABINGDON ROAD version of the song, Nishikawa sings the chorus once as an intro before the regular lyrics begin.

Song: From Dusk Till Dawn

Artist: abingdon boys school

Album: From Dusk Till Dawn (’09)

Lyrics by Nishikawa Takanori, music by Shibasaki Hiroshi

KANJI

暮れてく夕映えに砂が押されて
歩き出す影が示す方へ

絶えない幾つもの出会いと別れを
繰り返しどこへ向かうのか

人は誰も 迷いながら 罪とう名の 運命を背負って
それでなお 生きる意味を 知るだろう

僕らは そう Day by Day 明日へ 続く道の途中で
Now Say It Again 君とふたりのまま居られたならいいのになー

何かを 失って 何かを手に入れて
消れてく 僕の心には

傷だらけで痣にも似た数えきれないほころびがあって
それでもまた光差す揚所を目指して

僕らはそう Day by Day 描いた 果てない未来の地図に
Now Say It Again ずっとあの日のまま居られたなら

限りある時の中で 限りない夢を抱いて
打ち鳴らす胸の鼓動が 君を呼び続ける
From Dusk Till Dawn

ひそやかに野に咲く 名もないき花びらの様に
そう Day by Day 明日へ続く道の途中で
Now Say it Again 君とふたりのまま
移りゆく世界に その足音だけを 残して

ROMAJI:

Kureteku yuubaeni suna ga osarete
arukidasu kage ga shimesu hou he

Taenai ikutsumono deai to wakare wo
kurikaeshi doko e mukau no ka?

Hito wa dare mo mayoinagara
tsui to iu nano sadame wo seotte
sore demo nao ikiru imi wo shiru darou

Bokura ha sou Day by Day ashita he tsuzuku michi no tochuu de
Now Say It Again kimi to futari no mama iraretanara ii noni na

Nanika wo ushinatte nanika wo te ni irete
Kesureteku boku no kokoro ni ha

kizudarakede aza ni mo nita hokorobi ga atte
soredemo mata hikarisuyousho wo mezashite

Bokura ha sou Day by Day egaita hatenai mirai no chizu ni
Now Say It Again zutto ano hi no mama iraretanara

Kagiri aru toki no naka de kagirinai yume wo daite
uchinarasu mune no kodou ga kimi wo yobitsuzukeru
From Dusk Till Dawn

hisoyaka ni noni saku namonaiki hanabira no youni
Sou Day by Day ashite he tsuzuku michi no tochuu de
Now Say It Again kimi to futari no mama
utsuriyuku sekai ni sono ashioto dake wo nokoshite

ENGLISH:

In the darkening sunset, sand pressed underfoot,
the shadow that begins walking indicates the direction we are moving

 Are we turning toward the cycle of endless meetings and goodbyes,
which are too many to count?


Despite their bewilderment, a person is, everyone is, burdened by the destiny called “sin”
Still, because of that they know the reason of living, don’t they? 

We are, yes, DAY BY DAY, moving toward tomorrow
On the path that continues on
NOW SAY IT AGAIN remaining together with you, it would have been nice
to live that way….

Losing something, and gaining something,
It’s being erased, my spirit
Covered in scars and bruises, there are too many open wounds to count
But even so we are aiming at a better, brighter place

As for us, we drew it DAY BY DAY, the map of the unending future
NOW SAY IT AGAIN if we could only live together forever, remaining as we were that day

Within the time that has limits, I embrace the limitless dreams
The heartbeat ringing in my chest continues to call out to you…
FROM DUSK TILL DAWN

Blooming wildly in the stillness, like the petals of an unknown flower
Yes, DAY BY DAY moving on the path that continues toward tomorrow
NOW SAY IT AGAIN, remaining in this way together with you
Leaving behind only the sound of our footsteps, in this changing world

Translating is a lot of work. Please do not reprint without my permission. Have a correction? Email me and let me know!

“and I love…” Lyrics

Here are the romanized lyrics of abingdon boys school‘s ‘and I love…’. Phew. Nishikawa is an amazing lyricist, and I really like his use of nature elements, metaphor, and way of expressing complex feelings with simple words. My favorite line in the whole song is the one about the bubble.

 Song: and I love…

Artist: abingdon boys school

Album: Abingdon Road (2010)

Lyrics by Nishikawa Takanori, music by Kishi Toshiyuki

Romaji:

Amadare ni koboeta kimi no kata ga nureru 

tsunaida boku no te wo poketto ni shimatte

sonna nanigenai yasashisa ni boku ha kidzukenakute

 

 Mou ichido kimi ni aerunara tarinai kotoba wo zenbu tabanete

ayanashite tsutsumu kasa ni nari kimi wo mukaeni yukukara

 

My love, and I love…

My love, and I love…

 

“gomen ne” tte dorekurai kimi ni kikaseta kana?

“arigatou” tte dorekurai kimi ni ieta no kana?

 

ima ha nani mo nai kono heya ni fuyu no nioi ga shita

me wo tojirutabi ni omoidasu kimi no egao mo, koe mo, nukumori mo

namima ni tayutau awa no youni   usete kioku no unabara e

 

mou ichido kimi ni aetanara karenai omoi wo hitotsu kakaete

harumoe amane wo utanishite kimi ni todokeni yukukara

boku no kokoro wo takushite

 

My love, and I love…

My love, and I love…

 

English:

The rain drops fell, and your figure became soaked

In my pocket, I close the hand that you held

I don’t notice your casual kindness 
 

If I can meet you again one day, binding up all of the insignificant words,

I’ll become an umbrella that covers you with multi-colored lights, because I’m setting out

to see you

 

My love, and I love…

My love, and I love…

 

How many times did I tell you “I’m sorry”?
How many times did I say “thank you”, I wonder?

Now, in this room where there is nothing, I caught the scent of winter

Everytime I close my eyes, it all comes back to me; your smiling face, your voice, your warmth

Like a bubble drifting on the waves, disappearing, into the deep ocean of my memories

 

 If I had been able to meet you once again, holding onto this single unwithering feeling,

Singing the sound of the first spring rain, I work my way toward you

I entrust my heart to you


 

My love, and I love…

My love, and I love…

 

Translating is hard work. Please do not reprint these lyrics without my permission. Have a correction? Email me and let me know. Thanks!

Hit the Road with a.b.s’ Second Album

I hope you all packed your toothbrushes, because it’s time to hit the road (courtesy of abingdon boys school‘s second full-length album), and I’m telling you now, by the time you reach the last track, you won’t wanna go home. (Also, I’m afraid my review became so detailed that it may require an overnight.)

Yes. It’s that good.

[Note: For disambiguation’s sake, I just wanted to say that when I say abingdon boys school in this review, I am referring to the 2007 album, and not the band. When I refer to the band, I will say a.b.s…Enjoy!]

I’ve been reading a few reviews since the album was released on January 27th ’10, and to be honest, I find them kind of amusing. Half of the tracks on the album were previously released on singles/compilations, and half of the tracks were written or completed after the boys finished their destructive European debut tour in late ’09. 

What amuses me about the reviews that I’ve read, is that people actually find fault with this release. I mean honestly…who are you people, god? Secondly, I find it entertaining how half the fans spent the whole time leading up to the release complaining about all the songs that were already released, and now all they’re doing is complaining about all the new songs on the album. Oh children, children…

I don’t know, maybe it’s just me. Generally people at large and their oh-so-holy expectations really entertain me. But, I guess, that’s not really what irritates me. What bothers me, is how people can take something that is actually perfect, and try and tear it apart. Well, they can have their opinions…and keep them, too! Hah!

Abingdon Public House

Released a whole three years after their first full-length album, Abingdon Road has a completely different feel, not only sound-wise, but energetically as well. Although being nearly as heavy as abingdon boys school [’07 album], and having a pretty dense sound-quality to a majority of the songs, Abingdon Road almost has a lighter feel. Perhaps it’s the inclusion of slower, rock-ballads such as From Dusk Till Dawn, and I love…, and (although this is stretching it a bit, I know) Kimi no Uta. Although a lot of people seemed worried that the boys are going a bit soft lately, I have to disagree, and add that I think a totally new feel is absolutely refreshing. When I want to listen to abingdon boys school, I will listen to that, won’t I? There’s no need for two of the same one.

Abingdon Public House, take 2

STRENGTH. is a totally macho opener for the album, and perfectly chosen. This is classic a.b.s metal, with lots of power-thrashing, a melancholy piano overlay, and a surprisingly gorgeous melody. STRENGTH. is also the perfect opener, in that it was the opening song on their Europe tour set-list, so we have some double-play going on. Not only is STRENGTH. a super powerful song to kick off with, it bridges the gap between their older works and their new stuff flawlessly, and over all has a very “just getting started, so wait for us to blow your mind” feel. They’re getting heavy right off the get-go, and getting you completely pumped for the rest of the album. The very first time I listened through Abingdon Road, I seriously had to laugh out loud halfway through this first song, it just seemed way too perfect.

Although you aren’t allowed to put my soul through purgatory by making me choose a favorite new composition…it would be tough not to immediately chirp up Pineapple Army! Kishi gets a chance to play around a lot, and Nishikawa uses voice-distortion for the first time, for an awesome effect. The weirdness, flawless composition, funky sound effects, and faintly mind-boggling name all come together to make this pure bad-ass fun. One of the coolest parts is the very untypical-a.b.s sound of the melody and lyrics. Plus, I mean, the subtle death-vocals, shredder guitar solo, and acoustic break? Kill me before it’s too late?! Fruit just doesn’t get fresher than this.

"Hey, guys! I have this great idea for a song title!!"

The third track, bass-heavy intro and head-bang-able ballad and I love… is another brand-new track, and another major spot-light. Somehow Nishikawa’s vocals and the elegance of SUNAO and Shibasaki’s guitar work make even this hard-rock ballad mellow and relaxing. For one of their first forays into balladry, they really killed it with this one. Something about the way that epic wail carries the lyrics is heart-wrenching, and his ‘and I love‘s are, frankly, pretty priceless.

Skipping right over JAP, which everybody already knows and loves, we’ve already gotten to the fifth song. Oh…a.b.s and their collaborations with rappers. It’s truly controversy at its best. They first tried this with remastering one of their all-time best songs, LOST REASON into a hip-hop collab with HOME MADE KAZOKU‘s Micro. Despite this collaboration resulting in an astoundingly epic piece of incredible coolness (not to mention a rock band pulling off rap for pretty much the first time ever), many people who obviously are of little understanding whatsoever, despised the song. Well, then, those people will hate SOUEN, track 5 on Abingdon Road.

Personally? It’s one of my absolute favorite pieces. First of all, the fact that they can use the same compositional medium (rapper + Nishikawa vocals, rapper raps in Japanese, N sings in English, with power-chords on guitars and a strong, driven guitar solo) and yet create two perfectly unique tracks, is pretty phenom. Secondly, well, this song is unbeatable awesomeness. That’s the only way I can put it. The instrumental melody is phenomenal, sending shivers up your spine and goosebumps down your arms. Plus, Nishikawa’s “uh uh oh oh”ing is somehow extremely satisfying, although it’s hard to say why. The vocal melody and lyrics are both amazing, and the way the rapping is used as subtle backing (more like an instrument unto itself, rather than a duet — the collab. with Micro was done as a duet). If you’re looking to draw upon your true fighting-spirit, all you need is this song. Nishikawa’s belting out the “I’ll never leave you, coz I’m a part of you…. under the pressure, makes me grow stronger….“, is not only enough to get you pumped out of your mind, but it’s also strangely inspirational.

Next is perfect, happy, rambling, easy-going From Dusk Till Dawn, which has all of the charm of a beautiful sunrise, the gentleness of everything sweet and simple in the world, an unrivaled openness in every way, and a true, innocent beauty that I haven’t heard in ages. Possibly ever. This song is so sweet, even its perfect wonderfulness can’t cause emotional trauma (yeah, it’s an ongoing problem for me), and even though you get this pressing, painful feeling of “If I listen to it anymore I’ll probably break down in tears”, you just can’t control yourself. Give in– hit repeat.

With some mellower stuff like and I love…, SOUEN, and From Dusk Till Dawn, 7th track Siren is a nice break for some dark heaviness. Driven hard-rock with all-English lyrics, and some dark mixing by Kishi, this is a great new addition to their thrasher repertoire. The breaks and solo are really intense and driven, with a high pressure edginess, and some experimental compositional aspects. These sections build up so much tension that the tempo of the chorus is kind of one of release, and a strangely bright guitar solo all help balance out the intensity of the piece.

Siren is followed by 2007’s BLADE CHORD (and the only song on AR composed by SUNAO), and Summer ’09’s Kimi no Uta. These are both really great pieces, wicked-heavy and jazzy, respectively. (Note: Kimi no Uta is also one of my favorite PVs of theirs)…

Next is another awesome track, Sweetest Coma Again, the slightly controversial cover of Luna Sea‘s song. Having only ever heard this track once, I have a lasting impression of being, well, unimpressed. However, hearing it on Abingdon Road has made a convertee out of me, and I’m now a huge fan of this piece. The vocal melody is great, and the guitar work/composition is truly awesome. This has some of the coolest guitar work I’ve heard in a while….Oh, and don’t get me started on the chorus. Truly spectacular. Nishikawa really has a knack for covering songs and making them just as good as the originals. I bet, in some way, the original artists kind of hate him.

The album finishes off with Valkyrie~Loleia Mix~, the remastered b-side off the JAP single, which is technolicious, showcasing some of the awesome skills of Kishi. Valkyrie is also stuck right between two sick instrumental pieces completely performed by Kishi (all composition and instruments). I’m really into the gun-holstering, spur-jingling, futuristic speeding-car sounds he chose to emphasize Valkyrie. Although not one of my favorite songs, I really enjoy the remixed version– it has a sci-fi action-movie kind of feel to it which makes it super modern and funky.

Final track is the gentle instrumental piece by Kishi, aptly titled Nocturne. Definitely some evening music, this is simply more of the awesomeness we experienced on abingdon boys school with the finisher, Rebirth Reverse. Somehow it seems like the saddest of all their pieces so far, mostly because for me, personally, it has that “what-plays-at-the-end-of-a-concert” kind of feeling, which, when I think about it, makes me plummet into despair. Thanks for that, a.b.s.

My overall impression? Yet another flawless addition to the a.b.s discography. Every song is a great aural pleasure, with nothing to skip over. It’s true, they’ve gone for a (slightly) lighter, more varied mix of content, but at no cost– only gain. If I ever had a complaint about this band, it is simply that I’ve often wished they had some lighter music for when you don’t feel like smashing your furniture or going flying through your living-room picture window while getting carried away rocking out to Via Dolorosa and Innocent Sorrow. To wrap things up here, I will summarize the album (currently my second most prized possession) in 2 words: unfairly awesome.

abingdon boys school profile

a.b.s Official Website

Buy Abingdon Road

Feels Good to be on the Road Again

Track-list, titles, and cover artwork have been released for abingdon boys school‘s latest DVD release. The DVD is a 2 disc compilation of their PVs and footage from their Nov. 2009 Europe tour.

Title: ABINGDON ROAD MOVIES

Cover 1

Price: ¥4,515(tax in)
Release:2010年3月17日

abingdon boys school’s international debut 「a.b.s. EUROPE TOUR 2009」complete ‘Road Movies’.

The DVD is packed with live footage, as well as off-shots of their travels and adventures during the tour.
With the second disc, you can follow their complete history of clips, with the “MUSIC CLIPS”. The second disc includes all of their PVs, released since 2006 up until the latest, From Dusk Till Dawn.

The DVD shows both live footage and PVs, for double enjoyment!

-Contents-

-a.b.s. EUROPE TOUR 2009-

“Road Movies”

-MUSIC CLIPS-
01. INNOCENT SORROW
02. HOWLING
03. Nephilim
04. BLADE CHORD
05. STRENGTH.
06. JAP
07. キミノウタ [Kimi no Uta]
08. From Dusk Till Dawn

+01-07 off-shot footage.

+Source+ OHP

Cover 2

Boosting (Ori)Confidence

abingdon boys school‘s phenomenal new album, Abingdon Road (1/27/10) is #2 in the OriCon Weekly charts! All of their releases to date have made it into the top 10 (surprisingly, Kimi no Uta has had the lowest ranking of all their releases, rounding out at #8).
Abingdon Road / abingdon boys school

It’s awesome to see that the album is already doing really well– of course that’s just what we expect from this mind-blowing second album from the super-group. I can imagine there’s quite a flurry of a.b.s fan-ness happening world-wide now, considering their European debut last autumn, and an upcoming, second Japan tour. Unfortunately having the Europe tour before the release of Abingdon Road means we didn’t get to hear Pineapple Army live. There will always be more chances, right?…Right!

+Source+

OriCon Ranking News

School’s Back In Session

School’s back in session, but this semester we’ll be getting a lesson in serious rock– courtesy of Jrock’s best-kept secret, full-throttle super-group abingdon boys school.

Although they could be called a ‘kid-band’, as they only started in 2005, there is nothing kiddie about this hardcore Jrock group. abingdon boys school, fondly contracted to a.b.s by fans and the band alike, was founded by programmer and keyboardist Kishi Toshiyuki and vocalist Nishikawa Takanori– perhaps better known for his pop-prince solo act, T.M. Revolution. They recruited guitarists SUNAO and Shibasaki Hiroshi, both of whom have worked closely with Nishikawa on his “Revolutionary” activities throughout the past decade.

However, let me say this: for anyone who came to a.b.s expecting more of T.M. Revolution’s futuristic sub-Gundam electro-pop, two words: Not. Happening. Seeing as three of the members have indeed (and do still) work together in the Mobile-Suit pop world, I think (yeah, I read the blogs too) a lot of people were surprised that this amazingly (absolutely no offense intended) fruity, and possibly the shortest pop-star in Japan, could front a project so dramatically opposite his solo work, as abingdon boys school.

Well you can put it in red marker and add a star-shaped sticker too, for the versatility of Nishikawa’s unbelievable vocal style. Whether he’s draped in supple snow-white  leather suits, or nerding out in thick-rimmed glasses and a private-school uniform, Nishikawa’s high, heady, terrifically strong wail is unlike any other. Honestly, I have to say that Nishikawa’s vocals are some of the most impressive, innovative, and mind-blowingly awesome in the pop/rock world.

Aside from the singular vocal talents of Nishikawa, the rest of the a.b.s lineup may be names you haven’t heard– but we can quite quickly decapitate that disturbance and move on, because the sooner you hear them, the sooner you’ll be thanking yourself.

Part of the problem may be that these are not blooming heartthrobs. Nor are they young, with the most-junior member scraping a mature 39. I mean– Nishikawa has this kind of aura of studliness, but let’s face it, it’s an aura. If you look at the aesthetic of today, and it’s being represented by Visual Kei hot-topics such as the GazettE and Alice Nine… and all those guys, they’re like puking good-looks. (BUCK-TICK’s early lineup was concerned about their vocalist being tall enough…they apparently never considered hiring Nishikawa, who maxes out at 5′3″.) Well, I’ll tell you, a.b.s may not look like much, but these guys know where and how to pack a helluva punch. These guys are deadly.

a.b.s is comprised of the aforementioned 4 members: Nishikawa (vo.), Kishi (keyboards, programming), SUNAO (guitar), Shibasaki (guitar). The other two necessary organs that make a band breathe and pump blood properly, drums and bass, are supplied by session musicians. And by session-musicians, I mean that these two musicians have a pact with holy deities so advanced and beyond us, that they can’t really officially join bands. Although these two backing members are mysterious strangers to most of a.b.s‘ non-Japanese fan-base, let me try and shed a little light.

Bassist IKUO, who can slap and pop so hardcore you practically want to die, is an extremely in-demand figure in Jrock. In summer ’09 he tore a hole of throbbing thick-stringed bass madness on GACKT’s Koakuma Heaven. And that’s just one name– wherever fame has been mixed with Jrock, IKUO has probably been at some point or another. Any guess as to where GACKT picked this guy up? Possibly on a certain [b]ass-kicking (forgive the inexcusable joke) album that rocked the custom-shredded socks of the Jrock kingdom in 2007…

However, the drummer, who incites the greatest rage of curiosity within, is carefully hidden, his face turned at every sneaky shot during TV performances and lives. You see a sharp cheek and some wild long hair, and that’s about it. His name is Hasegawa Kozy, and he has surpassed being “the drummer” and become “the drums”. Hasegawa Kozy has worked with pretty much every influential Japanese pop and rock band ever– and guess who has him now?

The mastermind behind the project, as it were, is really Kishi Toshiyuki, programmer and keyboardist, who splits most of the compositional duties with guitarist Shibasaki. ‘Programmer’ ‘keyboards’ yes– turn tables.

NO, just don’t even say it. Turn-tables in a rock band? Gundam-suited pop princes in a rock band? Yeah, I know. No, no, no, I’m not trying to rope you into some kind of weird sub-trance group…This is rock– no, this has transcended rock. Turn-tables. And rock. These oh-so-questionable turn-tables spin a.b.s into a whole new arena than the other rockers out there– turn-tables allow for incredible mixing both on stage and in the studio. Kishi adds layers of intense effects and remixing to the already heavy hard-rock style double guitars. You can hear the mixing, but Kishi’s taste is impeccable, and by the end of the first song, it’s all you’ll be talking about.

Not only that, but this is pioneer work as far as Jrock is concerned. Few to no bands up until this point have been interested in mixing turn-tables and rap elements with rock. However, since a.b.s has seen a spike in popularity in the past two or three years, many notable Visual Kei and rock bands have been inspired by them. This includes D’espairsRay who, in 2009 released FINAL CALL, which was produced by Kishi; and girugamesh, whose latest album, NOW is all rap and turn-tabled-out.

On top of the unique music, their image is incredible. However, it’s sort of like, what’s with the getup? What’s in a name? The name abingdon boys school comes from the name of the school in Abingdon-On-Thames, England. The story goes that Nishikawa, after some research, chose the initials a.b.s, partly because he likes sports cars and the initials corresponded to automatic-breaking-system, and partly because when spoken with a Japanese accent, the pronunciation (ee bii essu) is very similar to that of the word “Ebisu”, which is the name of the town where the band was founded.

Abingdon School

However, after some further research, they discovered the school, which is renowned for being the birthplace of famous British rock band Radiohead.  Since the four members [of a.b.s] would all be in the same year at school, they agreed that it would be a fun image to all be school boys together once again. Therefore the image is in keeping with this ideal– the members dress in private-school uniforms (with an a.b.s badge, of course), and one would be hard-pressed to find any one of them devoid of some good old tartan.

As mentioned earlier, the band is only 5 years old. Started in 2005, a.b.s runs alongside T.M.Revolution’s solo projects, to which Nishikawa, Shibasaki, SUNAO, and occassionally even IKUO devote time both in composition and touring aspects. So in all that time, what were the boys up to? Good question, really. It wasn’t until 2009 really that a.b.s took on a full-time project quality from the members. From ’05-’08 they had only released one full-length album and 4 singles, however, ’09 saw the release of 4 more singles, their participation in the major V-Rock Festival in Tokyo, and an intl. debut with their hit European tour. January ’10 saw the release of their new album, Abingdon Road, in March a DVD of music clips and documentary footage from the Europe tour, and a nationwide Japan tour.

As well as having done the OP song for the ultra-popular anime series D Gray Man, many of a.b.s’ singles have been used in shows and anime. This has been credited to a personal love of anime and video games by Nishikawa. Nishikawa claims that he’ll never make a song for a series he doesn’t like, but if he likes it, then the game is on. But it doesn’t stop at anime. a.b.s has been invited to work on several memorial albums– Nishikawa belted out stay away for fictional punk rockers THE BLACK STONES on the Love for Nana ~Only 1 Tribute~ album; their cover of Luna Sea’s Sweetest Coma Again was a hit on Luna Sea~ Memorial Album, and their cover of Buck-Tick’s DRESS absolutely stole the BT cover album: Parade~ Respective Tracks of Buck-Tick.

Check out the original:

a.b.s‘ discography may be relatively small, but it is growing as the band is expanding and growing themselves. Each song is a powerful tornado of musical experience that is, quite frankly, unlike anything else in the music scene today. Their utterly unique sound and image set them apart from the mainstream influx of 20-something cutie-boys, and their devotion to amazing music elevate them among the ranks of long-standing classic favorites. Do yourself a favor and pick up their hot-off-the-press album Abingdon Road, released January 27th ’10.

Class dismissed.

Official Website

Official Fan-club (A.B.S.F.C) [Japan only]

Further reading

For a full list of related links, click