Tokyo four-piece DYGL are set to follow up the release of their latest single “Bad Kicks” with slots secured at the South by Southwest festival (SXSW) in Austin, Texas later this month.

DYGL’s new single “Bad Kicks” has proved to us again that the band are perhaps better built than any other within this Japanese indie rock generation, although I knew from the beginning that DYGL had a head start, with brilliant early works like “Let’s Get Into Your Car."  Back then, however, no one could guarantee that such talent would be consistent. Their later debut album, “Say Goodbye to Memory Den,” though it received critical acclaim, appeared to be heavily influenced by producer Albert Hammond Jr., the guitarist of the Strokes.

After a 10-month wait, the new single represents a bit more of DYGL’s dynamic, much to my delight.

The vocals of Akiyama have evolved massively, with the singer /guitarist displaying better control of a delivery that is sexy, masculine, and in-your-face. The guitar sound is wild and unconfined when paired with the crispy bass line but the two still come together seamlessly.  Steady beats spiral upwards and bring everyone to a higher elevation. In the short two and half minutes I felt like I was taking a madcap roller-coaster ride and the best part is I don’t need to wait in a long line to take another spin.

“Bad Kicks” was produced by former member of Test Icicles, Rory Attwell, who has produced notable bands including The Vaccines, Yuck, and Palma Violets. In an earlier interview with CLASH Magazine, producer Attwell admitted that his take on making something sound good was to try and convey as much of the experience of seeing a band live as possible. This methodology seems to have been applied to the new single so perfectly that you could easily fall in love with the song’s lo-fi, elastic texture – almost like leather. In fact, one of the band’s early names happens to have been “Leather.” The track is said to have used analog recording technique, which could have contributed to the fuzzy yet genuine timbre as well.

B-side “Hard to Love” carries on the live-like audio effect in a heart-warming ballad with a somewhat 60s vibe.  Something that is always welcomed in the cold winter. Unlike predecessors on the debut album, however, the instrument part lacks variation by comparison.

I would indeed yearn for an encore chorus with the audience for this song though. If that day ever came, I wouldn’t miss my chance.

The single “Bad Kicks” was released on iTunes Store, Apple Music and Spotify on February 28th.

DYGL will be playing two showcases at SXSW and two sold-out gigs with Beach Fossils when they return to Japan towards the end of March.


AUSTIN 3/15 Maggie Mae’s (10-10:40pm)

AUSTIN 3/17 Esther’s Follies (12-12:40am)