I’ve now seen Osaka Street Cutter perform live twice—first at Scene Stand, more recently at Radio last Friday night, as they opened for the Self-Proclaimed Rockstars and Modernist. Their sound is understated but impressive, and much like SPR, there’s a lot more to it than you’ll get from hearing it only once.
The crowd filled in as Osaka kicked off their set, starting with “Macy’s Beachway,” and following up with “Simple Things.” This is one of the first songs that intrigued me about these guys—it starts out slow and reminds me a lot of Keane or Belle and Sebastian, and then switches gears and becomes more up-tempo. If you see them on stage, chances are you might miss what makes Osaka unique: their music is founded both in vocalist Jimmy Farina’s emotional lyrics, and bassist John Godfrey’s love of music theory. They consider this a “perfect juxtaposition” of art and science, and is definitely best experienced when listening to the cd. Preferably while drinking an awesome beer, as I am now. This is great music to chill out to.
The next 4 songs on Friday night were “Coaster,” “Stucco,” “Wreckless,” and “Shapes.” All are solid songs, and all are off of 2011’s Consensual Reality EP. That’s the one with the foursome posing in chicken suits outside of Mayflower Poultry, a chicken slaughterhouse in Cambridge. As Jimmy says, “We wanted to make the best album cover ever,” and they may have succeeded. Or, as John says, “We know we’re doomed.” The happy/sad interplay of the album cover works well alongside their songs, which they describe as “happy-sounding music with depressing lyrics.”
Friday’s set finished up with “Good Morning Jimmy” and “Train Song,” both solid tunes that will hopefully be on an upcoming album. If you’re seeing Osaka live, you can expect some great audience interaction, storytelling, and fun tunes. Godfrey warns that onstage, he often becomes a “lousy comedian.” He’s a better musician, let’s put it that way, but these guys are very laid back, and clearly want to make sure the audience is having a great time. The acoustics and stage set-up at Radio leave a bit to be desired when you’re trying to discern lyrics and hooks, but Osaka is definitely worth seeing live. And the good news is, they are planning to hit the road this summer, possibly heading as far out as NYC to play with “like-minded” bands…not sure if that means bands that are also into wearing chicken suits, but we’ll have to see.
Aside from John and Jimmy, Osaka Street Cutter is Adam Salameh on drums and Dan “super cool” Garrity on guitars, bass, and apparently anything else that they need played in a given song. You can download Consensual Reality from bandcamp.com, and you can hear “Stucco” on an upcoming Mutiny on the Microphone podcast. For more local music news, reviews, and interviews, hit up www.mutinyonthemicrophone.com, and be sure to find us on Facebook and Twitter for up-to-date info on shows, contests, and other fun stuff.