URBANGARDE has released a set of new music videos connected to their latest album Showa 90.
Known to fans worldwide for pushing boundaries and provoking discussion of social issues, URBANGARDE launched Showa 90 in early December with the militaristic, anti-war video “Kuchibiru Democracy” (“Lips Democracy”), which many Japanese TV stations refused to air because of its intense imagery.
“Heisei Shibou Yuugi” (“Heisei Death Game”), shot in a low-fi, voyeuristic style, follows 3 young girls — gravure idols Rei Kuromiya (also of LADYBABY and BRATS fame), Aoi Yagawa (Maison Book Girl), and Hinano Shido — who deal with loneliness and isolation in the hectic Tokyo metropolis.
A dark and frank dialogue section inserted in the middle of “Heisei Death Game” features the voices of four girls discussing depression and self-abuse, including cutting their own skin to deal with difficult times. Author and media commentator Go Yoshida interviews female performer Ano (from Yurumerumo, or You’ll Melt More), idol singer Maki Itou (linQ), model Hano Hanayo, and AV actress Sakura Shiraishi, whose cheery public images are a stark contrast to the disturbing subject matter.
URBANGARDE released 2 more videos in December, the high-energy “Shinjuku Mon Amour,” which includes live concert footage, and the playful and biting “Love Letter Moyu”.
Heisei Shibou Yuugi (“Heisei Death Game”)
Shinjuku Mon Amour
Love Letter Moyu (Burning Love Letter)
Kuchibiru Democracy (Lips Democracy)
URBANGARDE SHOWA 90 Track List
01. Kuchibiru Democracy (Lips Democracy)
02. Love Letter Moyu (Burning Love Letter)
03. Coin Locker Babies
04. Shinjuku Mon Amour
05. Shijin-Gari (Poet Hunting)
06. Hako-Otoko Ni Kike (Listen To The Box Man)
07. SHOWA Kyujyu-nen Jyuni-gatu (December in SHOWA 90)
08. Aikon Aika (Icon Elegy)
09. Zombie Powder
10. Heisei-Shibou-Yuugi (Heisei Death Game)
11. All Doubt Nippon
Vocals: Yoko Hamasaki
Vocals: Temma Matsunaga
Guitar: Shin Zeze
Keyboard: Ohkubo Kei
URBANGARDE is a self-described “Trauma Techno Pop” band, mixing male and female vocals, outrageous performance-art visuals, and daring social commentary. After completing three independent albums, they released their major debut singles “Skirt Kakumei” and “Tokimeki ni Shisu” from Universal Music Japan in 2011, followed by their first major-label album release Mental Hells. URBANGARDE’s 2012 album Geiger Counter Culture achieved the number 10 position on the daily Oricon chart in Japan and made the top 25 on its weekly chart.
In 2012, URBANGARDE ranked in the top 5 J-Pop artists on the French TV program “Japan in Motion” (NOLIFE TV) and made their French live performance debut at Toulouse Game Show (TGS). URBANGARDE returned to France in 2013 for Japan Expo and released their greatest hits compilation Koi to Kakumei to URBANGARDE, featuring the song “Tokai no Alice.”
URBANGARDE’s Utsukushii Kuni was released in June 2014 by Tokuma Japan Communications, featuring artwork by renowned Japanese painter Aida Makoto. The same year URBANGARDE released music videos for “Sakura Memento” and “One-Piece Shinjuu”. In 2015, URBANGARDE released the single “Coin Locker babies” and made their USA debut at A-Kon in Dallas, TX.
URBANGARDE’s latest album, Showa 90, was released on December 9, 2015, featuring the anti-war song “Kuchibiru Democracy”.