365 Days, 365 Files: bloodthirsty butchers – happy end

bloodthirsty butchers — the name alone sounds like trouble.

In reality, the butchers are one of the most respected bands in Japan. They inspired two tribute albums — one on a major label, the other on an indie label — and they’ve opened for the likes of Beck, J Mascis and Rage Against the Machine. After more than a decade of being a trio, they recruited Tabuchi Hisako as a second guitarist when her tenure with Number Girl ended.

When bloodthirsty butchers released yamane in 2001, it had been six years since the release of the band’s previous album. I never learned what accounted for the Lucinda Williams-like pause in the band’s career.

The butchers tend to write long-winded songs that disguise their grand ambitions. The way main songwriter Yoshimura Hideki nests song structures within each other gives the impression a song doesn’t stretch as long as it does.

yamane had the distinction of being the butchers’ most mellow album. Oh there’s still the rough playing of their early work, but the tone is scaled back, almost melancholy.

"happy end" was one of two singles which preceded the album’s release.

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