Boom Boom Satellites and Tokyo Bliss

I was glad to see that my last post on Boom Boom Satellites exposed the group to people who may not have heard of them otherwise. Like I said in that post, if you really like the group, I suggest you seek out their records. Some of their albums are available on iTunes and Amazon, and there’s even a US-targeted Greatest Hits called Over and Over that you can pick up too.

In case that last post didn’t sell you on the group, I’m going to try one more time. Like I said in my previous post about the group, I’m not comfortable sharing any of their complete albums even if they aren’t available in the states. I believe that they’re going to be released here someday, and I don’t want to cannibalize those sales. So instead I’m going to share five choice cuts, five great songs by Boom Boom Satellites that you can’t get in America. If these awesome tunes can’t convince you that Boom Boom Satellites aren’t a band worth getting into, then I’m done with you.

Boom Boom Satellites
Rise And Fall
This is from Full of Elevating Pleasures, the band’s 2005 album, and the last that had any kind of experimental or abstract feeling to it. I bet the fans who love their early work saw this as the album where things fell apart, I feel it as the album where things really came together. They were still experimenting with their sound, but they were taking those ideas and concepts and plugging them into a more conventional pop structure. “Rise And Fall” showcases this the  most. While most of BBS’ work more mainstream work is heavily rooted in guitars, this song is built almost entirely on drums and it creates and explosive and manic feeling that is unique and powerful. I love it.

9 Doors Empire
Both of these songs are from On, their 2005 follow-up to Full of Elevating Pleasures. This is when BBS stopped being an experimental electronic band with rock influences and became a full-on electronic/rock band. These are ready-made stadium anthems, designed to get audiences’ blood pumping and feet moving. These songs are proof that a band can change their sound to appeal to more mainstream audiences and not lose what makes them unique in the process. Does this stuff sound like early BBS? Not really, but it has that essence of their earlier work. And it really rocks.

Caught In The Sun
These are both from To The Loveless, their 2010 record, and their last album that isn’t available in America. I feel that these two tracks best foretold the sound the band would move forward to with their latest record Embrace, much more layered and diverse. On is almost nothing but fast-paced rock, excellent but somewhat exhausting. These songs show the band’s ability to let their music breathe, embracing the quiet moments more so that when they explode into a frenzy of drums and feedback it sounds even more amazing.

Damn I love this band…

…allow me to indulge for a bit…

I spent much of my time in Tokyo walking the streets of the city with my headphones on. Walking around the streets and alleyways late at night, listening to Embrace, it made the city come alive.

Near the end of my trip I would make it a nightly ritual to get on a train near midnight, right before most lines shut down, and travel as far away from my hotel as  I was comfortable with. Then I would put on my headphones, crank some Boom Boom Satellites and start the walk back. Sometimes it would take hours. I didn’t care. Between the beautiful sights of that magnificent city and the music that was pulsing through my ears, I didn’t care. To me, the Boom Boom Satellites are a soundtrack to those nights, the best nights of my trip, some of the most peaceful and perfect nights of my life.

When I close my eyes now and listen to their music, it’s almost like I’m transported back there. Back to the bright lights of Shibuya, the parks of Ueno, and the amazing skyscrapers of Shinjuku. It’s a bittersweet feeling in many ways because it just makes me long to return to that city. But that’s impossible for now, and since my memories and these songs are the closest thing I got, they’ll have to do.

So yeah, for me Boom Boom Satellites represent a very specific time and place, a time and place where I was more happy and relaxed than I’ve ever been. So I guess I’m a bit biased when I say they’re one of the greatest bands on earth.


4 Responses to “Boom Boom Satellites and Tokyo Bliss”

  1. Drain says:

    So completely envious you and your trip to Tokyo as that is my dream destination. One day, I will make my dream come true and I will go there and I’ll definitely do what you did with the midnight walk and hopefully I’ll have bought some Polysics stuff so they can be my eternal reminder 🙂

  2. Stephen says:

    Bless you for posting more Boom Boom Satellites. Man, I can’t get enough of this. After your last BBS post I picked up the To The Loveless CD/DVD/USB set. My wife may divorce me because I won’t stop playing that damn DVD, but it might almost be worth it.

  3. Bibulb says:

    That was a gorgeous personal note to this. Thanks.
    I remember hearing them for the first time on the trailers to the CGI “Appleseed” movie, and thinking “Dive for You” is kinda badass. Good stuff.

  4. Jason K says:

    Yeah, once again I discovered them when I worked at the music store from 98-01 with a buddy of mine. We would drive to Orlando to go cd shopping (sigh) and we would pick up imports and more. And then a few years later they made a track with Chuck D!

Leave a Reply