Review: Tomoyuki Trio ‘Mars’

Tomoyuki Trio’s Voiceless Cry begins with a surge of gradually blaring static. It practically bubbles out of the speakers and into your auditory canals with aplomb. But then the guitar of frontman and Up-Tight founder Tomoyuki Aoki’s vicious guitar pierces the veil. It cuts like a razor and presents a startling, and daresay, uncomfortable contrast of mass and edge. Paired with delayed vocals that seem to be echoing from another dimension, and you have Mars.

Tomoyuki Trio 'Mars' Artwork
Tomoyuki Trio ‘Mars’ Artwork

Active since 1992, Tomoyuki-san’s brand of psychedelic rock travels upon a similar crooked axis to fellow Japanese artists Acid Mothers Temple. It touches on the scary side, a sense of peril amidst floral beauty and spacey freakouts. With workhorse drummer Dave Sneddon and Blown Out/Bong bassist Mike Vest in tow, Mars is simply a lo-fi tour de force.

The churning, blues slog Transcendentem follows. It grinds and swoops, like a massive aircraft unsure whether it should land on the ground. Tomoyuki’s lead guitar opts for minimalism, but its place in the mix is so upfront it demands the listener’s undivided attention.

With Sneddon and Vest, Tomoyuki has worthy copilots on his spacey journey to realms wild and loud…

The aptly titled Metagalactic opens with a wondrously ‘90s sounding bass growl from Vest coupled with Sneddon’s punkish drumming. It gives off a truly rip roaring Hawkwind feel and all you can do is grip the sides of your chair and hang on for dear life. Universum returns to a blues-based cosmic jam with serpentine fuzz guitar snaking in and out of rhythmic pulses, while the closer Aether burns like an angry planetoid composed entirely of feedback.

As a record, Mars keeps a singular focus. The tracks do not deviate wildly from each other and maintain a sense of consistent psychedelic chaos. With Sneddon and Vest, Tomoyuki has worthy copilots on his spacey journey to realms wild and loud. If you want more danger in your mental space journey, Mars is the musical planet you’re looking for.

Label: Riot Season
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Scribed by: Rob Walsh