Civic is an indie rock/noise/shoegaze quartet from Tokyo. They’ve been around since 2004, and they’ve released just one album in that time. There’s not much about them out there on the internet, and most of what’s out there is in Japanese. Comparing their Facebook profile to a bio that I read which had been sloppily translated from Japanese to English, I know that the founding members were really big fans of Galaxie 500 and The Jesus and Mary Chain. It’s safe to assume that they were also heavily influenced by Pavement and Sonic Youth.
They started a band despite having limited musical skill. I’m not sure of this, but I think that only one of the founding members is still in the band. Tomoko plays a drum kit like what Bobby Gillespie played in the early days of JAMC. Gillespie used just a snare and a floor tom played whilst standing upright. No cymbals at all. Mimi Parker from Low also plays a snare/tom kit played whilst standing, but she typically uses one ride cymbal and one sizzle cymbal. Tomoko is somewhere in the middle of those two “minimalist and upright” styles. She uses what is, I think, a splash cymbal in addition to the snare and tom. The point is that it’s awesome.
I found out about these guys yesterday when I started writing a rough draft post about the fantastic Japanese shoegazers Boyfriend’s Dead. I had a fairly lengthy post, and when I was saving my work, I discovered that I had actually already written the exact same post nine months ago and forgotten all about it. It was kinda creepy how much my draft from yesterday mirrored the post from last June. I guess it’s good to know that I can have the exact same reaction to something that I had nine months ago.
Anyway, my research about Boyfriend’s Dead led me to Civic. The two bands released a split EP back in 2009, but I’ve never been able to track it down. Today’s song is the first song from the Toilet Monster album, which can be found on Amazon.co.jp here.
“Toilet Paper” by Civic
They don’t waste any time bringing the noise. A few bars of jangly guitar with a few short bursts of feedback squelch, and then there’s a huge wave at about 0:12 where all of the guitars and the tiny drum kit collide to make some beautiful noise. And there’s not much looking back.
The back-and-forth co-ed vocals are entirely in Japanese, so I have no idea what they’re singing about. But I love it nonetheless.
Please also enjoy the video for the song. It looks like they had a lot of fun making this: