Ghost of Matsubara (GoM) is a veritable Nagoya institution. Comprised of three of our community’s most well known personalities, it’s no wonder they enjoy such grassroots support. But Tom, Mike, and Tak are not just genuinely good people; they are also damn good musicians. The music this trio produces reflects a wide spectrum of influences from hard rock, to grunge, to punk, to alternative. What starts as a ballad may quickly give way to a hard-hitting, head bang inducing shred. There is a delicate balance to how it all fits together, and they maintain it with expertise. If Nirvana, Anthrax, and The Decemberists all spent a night making love under the cherry blossoms, the resultant offspring would look a lot like GoM.
Their evocative lyrics infuse their music with reflective nuance and provide an effective counterpoint to the hard edge of their instrumental work. With a lineup of wholly original songs, GoM’s sound is more interesting, engaging, and complex than the overwhelming barrage of intelligence insulting, over produced, sales-driven acts being piped at you through your TV tubes these days. All that they do musically is supported and enhanced by the energy that they bring to their work. These guys love to make music together and, particularly when you see them live, playing to a house packed with their friends and supporters, they display an infectious commitment and a deserved confidence. They feed off of one another and the love of the community around them. The result is an atmosphere that crackles with positivity. When the band isn’t locked in the flow of the music, they are interacting, trading friendly banter with the crowd, and making the whole scene feel welcoming. I have never seen such friendly and supportive slam dancing before, and doubt I ever will again.
GoM is also a prolific group, updating their YouTube channel and Twitter feed regularly with recording sessions, solo performances, insights regarding life in Japan, and investigations into what’s going on here in our humble Maruhachi. You can also check out their website, ghostofmatsubara.com for info, multimedia, free music, and shwag. They dropped an album last year, entitled From The Ashes Not Yet Cold, which is available on their Facebook store in hard copy with full artwork and lyrics. You can also download it via CDBaby, iTunes, and Amazon. They followed their debut album up by releasing a new single, ‘Into The Sun’, for free through CDBaby and ReverbNation.
If you aren’t familiar with GoM yet, the way to fix that so you can one day forgive yourself is to check out one of their live shows. Keep July 20th free for something special, and on October 19th the guys will host a Halloween show at R.A.D. in Sakae. I smell a costume party! Rumor has it that they’ll be inviting a couple bands in from Tokyo and Osaka as well. Just get there, whatever it takes. You can thank me later. – Ian Roth
Halloween Live, October 19th at R.A.D.