By Declan Roberts (@DeclanMR)
Former frontman of psychedelic punk outfit Screaming Tea Party, Koichi Yamanoha, returns to the fray this week with a new album and a new pseudonym: Grimm Grimm. His debut, Hazy Eyes Maybe, kicks off in sporadic fashion with ‘Kazega Fuitara Sayonara’. The track sounds, in the best way possible, like a jam in a year 8 music classroom, with cymbals and cowbells popping all over the place. The result is mesmerizing and surprisingly calming, helping to mentally prepare you for what is to come.
‘Teleportation’ is a blissful pysch-folk number that impresses, with Yamanoha’s reverb-treated vocals blending together with summery guitar picking reminiscent of The Tallest Man on Earth. The title track meanwhile is akin to taking a trail through a dreamy meadow scape. The summer vibes continue into ‘Last Word is Mine’ as we take a ride on a sun-kissed instrumental, whilst Yamanoha’s vocals on ‘Tell The Truth’ play out in a glorious haze over textured piano.
The album does have a couple of forgettable moments. ‘Driving Overflow’ flows in the same vein as ‘Tell the Truth’ but with the piano swapped out for guitar, while the toxic punk sludge of ‘Knowing’ feels out of place. But all is not lost thanks to the thrilling conclusion of ‘Walk into the Cold Water with You’. It is the first and only upbeat delight on the album. Throw the gorgeous vocal performance into the mix and you can’t help but feel that summer has arrived.