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No Buses – “Pretty Old Man”

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For anyone lamenting the end of the grungy rock scenes of the early 2000s, look no further than the music of Japanese indie-rock band No Buses.

After their formation in 2016, No Buses has slowly been making their rounds around Internet forums in the last year with the release of their single “Tic” and the subsequent Boring Thing EP. Borrowing heavily from the musical styles of Western fan-favorites like New York’s The Strokes and UK’s Arctic Monkeys, the rising band seems to be just one of many bands (see: DYGL) interested in keeping rock culture alive in Japan. Further inviting this comparison is the band’s dedication to singing in English–to this date they haven’t released a Japanese language song yet. So far in the new year, they’ve released “Trying Trying” in January, and recently they’ve returned with the peculiarly named “Pretty Old Man”.

Featuring some sweet guitar riffs, “Pretty Old Man” is one of the band’s more loosely produced tracks, and the song is intentionally more raw and free-spirited as a result. There seems to be a grimy, muddled sound present on this single compared to the racing “Tic” or head-banging “Cut My Nails”, which is only made more obvious with the lead singer’s apathetic singing. More than anything, “Pretty Old Man” is a song that will continue to inspire comparisons to Alex Turner’s own indifferent vocals as well.

Along with the release comes a very homemade-looking video of the band members playing guitar in a fancy hotel. Presumably shot with a camcorder (for aesthetic reasons), the video shows the four indifferent band members performing an awkwardly choreographed dance in a hallway and playing cards in the hotel lobby.

Even then, No Buses are still the effortlessly cool kids, the ones who are here to shake up the scene whether you like it or not.

Artist pages: Spotify | YouTube

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Li-Wei Chu

Li-Wei Chu is a recent graduate from UC Davis who majored in Cinema and Digital Media who also briefly studied film at Queen Mary, University of London. Li-Wei is obsessed with horror films (especially the ones that give him nightmares), films from East Asia, and really, any film that makes you stop and think. He loves talking about film and indie music with others. He’s also a record collector and cross-stitches when he has free time. In the future, he hopes to be able to write about film and wants to find a job in the film industry that can support his record buying habits. Maybe one day he’ll also be able to play the guitar.

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