[Alexandros] : live review from JAPAN NIGHT in TIMM : Tokyo Oct 2014
There’s a bit of teeny screaming going on as [Alexandros] hit the stage.
The band are no boy band though and their Emo infused guitar crank has, in their home country, crossed over into the black clad teens as much as the screamers.
Four albums in and with their Japanese tours and stadium shows selling out [Alexandros] are big news in the Japan. They ooze a confidence and deliver their songs with a stunning display of tightness. It feels like [Alexandros], like most of their fellow modern Japanese bands, must rehearse every minute of every day because there is no hint of a mistake in their powerful, rushing, 21st century take on the power of metal, the speed of punk and the dark heart of goth all colouring their overriding and very obvious pop appeal.
They are unashamedly ambitious. And ambition is not a dirty word for the band in the high speed, fast forward of modern Japan- a place where saying that trying to hit the big time is an honest appraisal of their motives. Not for them the pretending that all this is for the common good- this is naked smash and grab. They formed the band to become rich and famous and it’s this oddly refreshing take on the rock n roll treadmill that makes them oddly loveable. They can talk about Oasis and Michael Jackson in the same breath and it makes sense- they love their pop and their love their controlled noise and sing in Japanese.
It’s a tough trick but [Alexandros] walk on just the right side of the equation between pop and the noisenik rush. There is plenty of Emo or Emo affiliated music that is, after all, pop music in black clothes and [Alexandros] are no different than anyone else when it comes to this genre. They have the melodies and the sheer determination of a pop band but also just enough firepower in their guitars to tip over into the rock that would easily work at the major rock festivals in the west with their intensity and their energy.
Originally called Champagne they had to change their name because the French wine trademark threatened a law suit, their new name saw the rise to the big time.
They built their homegrown reputation with supports with a varied bunch of band including Muse, Primal Scream, and Kasabian and they have had their adventures abroad playing “SXSW” in the USA and “THE GREAT ESCAPE” in England.
At the moment though it’s Japan that’s paying the bills with a sold out sold Budokan stadium show last March as well as top ten albums in their home country but they have set their sites on the rest of the world and are coming for you.
There are lots of homegrown hopes that the band can translate this success abroad and they certainly have the live show and the songs to do it. In 2014 people care little about international boundaries and language barriers and it’s easy to imagine [Alexandros] slipping right into the Emo slipstream with their Japanese background a huge advantage in a scene of identikit bands.