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Sometimes Japanese bands have English names that are just plain weird. Sometimes they have English names that are both weird and awesome.  A prime example of the latter is ARCHAIC RAG STORE. This newly debuted four member band offers a much needed fresh take on J-rock. All members are pretty young, with the average age of 20. Yokoyama Koudai (Ba), Haruka Kohnoike (Vo/G), and Okumura Shinya (Dr) were all part of a previous band called BLANKEY JET CITY. Thank goodness they adopted a new name because Archaic Rag Store sounds much cooler. Masakage, guitarist of former RAGOUT, joined in 2014.

Listening to ARS is like finally finding something to drink that is not only cold but delicious on a hot summer's day. If I had to describe their sound to a taste, it would be a mix of a generic Jpop soda with splashes of fresh indie fizz and slightly overwhelming taste of soft rock sweetness. Their song, NEXUS, is exactly like that. At first, it seemingly appears to be structured like a normal pop rock song but then the unstructured dynamics kick in and it's all uphill from there. The scattering of various instrumentals is really refreshing and interesting to listen to. Plus Haruka's voice is the perfect blend between gentle and raspy. I honestly live for the "ah"s. They're the best part of the song!

I don't think I have ever talked about idols on this blog and never intended to but I swear the vocalist looks strikingly familiar to a certain Johnny's idol. Extra points if you guess who that is!