Recently I was alerted to one Squid's Eye Records. Knowing my love for most cephalopods was a good way to get my attention, but even better than that was sending over the sophomore release from SE Records group Yakuza Heart Attack. II is the name of their second album appropriately enough, and is available for download at $9 via the Squid's Eye Records Store.
Ten tracks of heavy, yet catchy rhythms. The best description I could come up with is if Chromelodeon was lead by an Earthbound era Hip Tanaka. The eerie but upbeat sounds created by the synths, and live drums create a fun adventurous atmosphere. From the ominous and driving opener Beast Attack to the battle theme inspired Tears of the Judge the album definitely has it's in your face moments. Although a personal favorite of mine is Goodbye Rainbow Road, which starts off with a trapeze like playfulness, which breaks into an an eclectic piece that gives off the mood of a colorful NES era sidescroller.
Another stand out track is the pulsing Scarlet Moon. The quick paced track would be at home in any futuristic racer or side scrolling shoot-em-up. Also the surprisingly somber Mist Monster, with it's slow wispy tones would be the perfect instrumental during the most dramatic of video game scenes. The album ends as it Began though, with the strong and tense final track, appropriately titled Heart Pounding Prison. The track builds and builds into the stratosphere until it reaches the spiraling climax and then slowly fades into a stirring drum lead ending, shooting flourishes of sound every which way until we reach the opening notes once again and rise up into a final beat. The end.
The album is a bit steep at $9 but is definitely worth checking out, it has been getting repeated listens from me, and will probably make my list of stand out albums this year. Head over to Squid's Eye Records to grab a copy, or try before you taste over at Yakuza Heart Attack's myspace.