Incoming: Comanechi (AU Magazine, Issue. 62)
December 29, 2009, 11:57 pm
Filed under: Features | Tags: , , , , ,
MEMBERS: Akiko Matsuura, Simon Petrovitch
FORMATION: Hackney, London. 2008
FOR FANS OF: Black Sabbath, Melt Banana, Sonic Youth
CHECK OUT: Debut Album, Crimes Of Love, out now on Merok

So you have a stocking to fill, but what do you get for the music fan who has everything? Why not try a couple of new-fangled sub-genres? Some Neo-Shitwave-Substep for those early morning commutes. Perhaps some cross-over Anti-Wonk-fi for the modern city gent. For the on-the move executive, a handy travel-sized introduction to Post-Spazz Opera-core, and…well are you getting tired yet? For little Akiko Matsuura, Comanechi’s resident drummer, vocalist and walking one inch punch, the answer is simple -“Comenechi! It’s how you say, pure”.

Big, brash, bold, frenzied and rudely awesome, Comanechi’s brand of bad-taste punk stupefies as often as it electrifies. Oscillating between heavy grunge, sludge metal and riot grrl scuzz, their perfectly realized debut Crimes Of Love subsumes the listener into AkikoWorld – a garishly-lit interzone of broken hearts, cheap drugs, great parties, degenerate art, sex obsessed fashionistas, shit-or-bust nihilists and one deceased cat. Sooner or later the listener is spat out again, the proud owner of a chloroform hangover and a tender back entrance. Utterly depraved debauchery is the effect; cathartic bliss coupled with septic shock. It is as Akiko puts it, pure. No Afrobeat hybridization here, just the sound of ruthlessly distilled insurrection.

“I want music scene not to suck, you know?”. She may have a scrambled take on the English vernacular but when it comes to the universal language of Punk Rock, Akiko’s a lingual Liberachi. “I love the attitude of Punk. Comanechi is real; we didn’t have enough money for pedals to make a different sound, or a big studio. I’m from nothing, no rich family, no rock star parents, and no connections in London. Music you hear in taxis… it has nothing in common with me”. Spoken like a true old hand – the enduring appeal of making Punk music for this and a thousand generations to come. If you don’t understand the world, better just to bash the fucker over the head. It’s all about empowerment; “I feel on stage it’s where I belong, I’m confident, happy, I can express myself. I love it”.

Of course, behind every great woman there’s a great man. Harbinger of burning Peavey amps and un-evolved, sinful riffage, guitarist Simon Petrovitch defecates abominable slabs of noise that would penetrate 11 inches of reinforced glass, and you’ll think he’s discovered the meaning of life. “He’s passive but in a really good way” remarks Akiko, “He just lets me be me. We’re opposites in every way. I couldn’t have another Akiko in the band, I’d just fight with her!. For a time now, the twosome has been a tape-hissing wrecking ball systematically flattening the Greater London Area in concentric circles.

Put simply, Comanechi are an act with a firm grasp on the artistic power of puerility, and with a dedicated autodidact in Akiko they look to an array of transgressors for inspiration, leaving the music rich with reference points, all muscling for prominence within the splurge. “I like Richard Kern (Photo eroticist and documentarian of New York’s bare-brick underbelly), Yayoi Kusama (Japanese sexual surrealist), my brother, who got me into Nirvana, and Bruce Lee!” In terms of taboo-embracing iconoclasts, though, there’s only one man for Akiko “I love John Waters’ films. The stories are fucked up and its kitsch and colourful, cool, low budget but inspired”, which could be a succinctly rendered blurb on Comanechi’s sound.

In between fronting London Noise-Rock Band Pre and supporting The Gossip, The Klaxons, and Siouxie Sioux And The Banshees with Comanechi, Akiko has an increasingly lucrative sideline in the shape of next-gen shoe gazers The Big Pink, with Crimes Of Love released on the Merok label, founded by Milo Big Pink. “It isn’t punk but its something I can show my parents. I’ve never really explained exactly to them what I do over here and, like, how messy I get, I dunno if they even know what Youtube is (there are videos, it does get messy). The Big Pink played Summer Sonic (Japan’s Glasto) and they saw me on these huge monitors from really far away and they cried’ she beams.

The band name is in reference to iconic gymnast Nadia Comaneci, who perfect ten’d the shit out of the 1976 Olympics. So it’s like a symbol of feminine power, right Akiko? “It’s the pervert point of view”. Come again? “It’s like she was only 14 but she’s wearing these skimpy clothes and all these people watched her and admired her body – pervert point of view. Like, I wear skimpy clothes on stage too”. It seems that the next time he spots Akiko on a monitor; Pop Matsurro will have a very different excuse for a good cry. John Calvert

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