Like most artists who set out to create a novel sound all their own, Cö Shu Nie are hard to put in a single box. While the group definitely falls under the wider category of Japan’s post-hardcore movement, simply describing them as such would be reductive; they combine the technical skill and unpredictability of revered predecessors of the genre, like Ling Toshite Sigure, with the catchy hooks and smart sequencing of groups like School Food Punishment. Nearly every Cö Shu Nie song is imbued with a layer of electronics and strings on top of an already bursting combination of guitars, bass, and drums, resulting in an intentional chaos that makes the band consistently engaging. And the group’s generally unstructured compositions, as well as their penchant for songs that come in under the three-minute mark, result in a dynamic, dense sound that allows for the keen listener to discover something new each time. Cö Shu Nie’s latest EP, Aurora, is a short release, but it provides a good overall sampler of the band’s sound: Album opener “Character” is a glitchy, chaotic assault to the senses that’s improbably also very catchy, while “Budou” further solidifies the comparisons to School Food Punishment, and also Gesu No Kiwami Otome — yet at the same time, the layered style and upbeat tempo gives it Cö Shu Nie’s signature flair. “Asura” falls much more into the Ling Toshite Sigure side of the band’s dual inspirations, with a sprightly, sporadically deployed guitar riff that turns into an overwhelming show of technical skill before an abrupt end, all in barely over a minute. A contemplative, solemn, piano-led reworking of Cö Shu Nie’s previous EP’s title track, “Asphyxia,” closes out Aurora, ending the short but intense release in the unexpected tone of a sweet whisper.
Published as part of Foreign Correspondent | Issue 1.