PAINTBOX: Cry of the Sheeps: 7″

This is a US pressing that was previously released on CD by HG Fact out of Japan back in 2001. Paintbox are one of the most original and powerful current bands out of Japan. Pigeonholed, they are not. They mix it up and swing their mighty bat with their blend of punk and metal influences. I don’t remember what issue my review of the CD was in, but I definitely have more to add. For starters, the vinyl version that I bought is pressed on red. The collector geek in me is giddy about that! The minus is that it does not include a lyric sheet. Not that it would help, since only a small percentage of the world’s population reads Japanese besides the Japanese. That includes me, who was raised by immigrant Japanese parents who do not speak English and was forced to attend Japanese school for three years. I spent a month and a half in Japan as a child. All I can do is speak a freakish coagulation that I call Japan-glish. When spoken to, I understand certain words as long as the person is speaking slowly. But what you miss out on and I will provide here are the cool English choruses. The title track has the wonderful chorus that goes like this: “Cry of the sheep, fly on the ship.” With all that is sung in Japanese, I really want to know how the chorus plays into the song. Track 2, “Big Ant,” has the chorus that goes “Viva la viva la viva la traverring go, Viva la viva la viva la traverring good.” Is the song really about an ant? The third track, “Betsu Mirai,” translates into “Alternative Future.” I didn’t know for the longest what the title of the third track was called since it was written in Japanese on the CD version. Another thing you don’t get on the 7” that is on the CD is the song that I have no idea what it’s called since it’s written in Japanese that is a bonus track. It’s their reggae song that has their vocals manipulated to sound like the Chipmunks. The lyrics endlessly repeat “Bivouac, bivouac, bivouac in my house, bivouac bivouac, bivouac in my home. Reverse, returned, reverse in my heart, returned, reverse, returned in my soul.” Now, that is deep! Do I understand it? No, but I believe that is some encrypted message to the gods. Either buy this 7” or go get the CDEP, which is still available. Shit this good can’t be made up! If the manic music fiend Jimmy Alvarado hears this and doesn’t shit a blue Twinkie like he said I would do about the band Mezklah (Hey, Jimmy! Are you going to burn a copy for me?), I really don’t know him.

 –don (Prank)