It seems that every time I check out the club scene in NYC The Suzan have a gig somewhere. If they are not playing the Ace Hotel they’re at the Knitting Factory. If it isn’t the Bell House it’s Union Hall. Okay, granted these places aren’t Madison Square Garden but it means these ladies from Tokyo have been surviving and making a considerable amount of music in the city that never sleeps. The Suzuki Sisters Rei and frontwoman Saori started things rolling in 2003, and as the story goes after they sent some of their tracks to a Japanese indie label, they were told to form this female quartet and be ready to hit the road—a kind of success story that all indie bands dream about. The Suzan don’t like to be called a Japanese band. They consider themselves an international group who happened to be born in Asia. Even though their music differs from groups like X Japan and Puffy Ami Yumi, they are part of a growing Asian indie movement that is seriously taking root in New York.
Their new released album, Golden Week for The Poco Poco Beat, presents the listener their unique sound. There is a little bit of 80’s new wave, garage and surfer rock. The CD is as refreshing as a summer cocktail: a little spicy, not too sweet, goes down nice and smoothly. On the whole it has a very varied sound that showcases The Suzan's versatility and above all, their creativity. Saori does a great job with the vocals. She can sound as gentle as a kitten but can bark at you like a dog. The first track off the CD “Home” sets the groove in motion. Smartly constructed with its rhythmically pleasing xylophones and cool vocals, it proves to be the CD’s best piece. “Ha Ha Ha “ is a kind of 50’s pop tribute. It's a cutesy, concise and catchy tune.
Golden Week for The Poco Poco Beat is a bit quirky and edgy; however, it’s easy listening to and seemingly unpretentious. The Suzan continue to capture NYC, and in a city that either makes or breaks you, that in itself is a great success.
Karin Andrea Halliwell