Although I ended up buying the American version of Husking Bee's Put On Fresh Paint LP, I was able to find the Japanese version of their follow-up Four Color Problem. It's especially gratifying as the artwork on the American version of this album is just awful. This Japanese version looks so much better. Again, I hope to add the Japanese version of Put On Fresh Paint to the collection someday (As well as their first album Grip - so if you ever see either, let me know!).
Four Color Problem is the last Husking Bee record that I really liked. It was the first album to bring on second guitarist Kazuya Hirabayashi, but his vocal contributions are mostly limited to some background singing here and there. By the time Husking Bee's next album came out, Kazuya was the lead vocalist on about half the songs and my interest in the band plummeted.
But at least on Four Color Problem, things are pretty good. It kicks off with one of the best songs on the album, "#4." It's an octave heavy rocker with impassioned vocals and a stellar chorus. The album is filled with Husking Bee's trademark bouncy, popped up punk sound. There's always a little more pop than punk and this band has always been one that can avoid the trappings of some of the cheesier moments of the genre. I'll never really understand what happened to Husking Bee after this record. They essentially became a completely different band. But from Grip to Four Color Problem, they were pretty damn great.
Husking Bee "#4":
(Something funny, whoever uploaded this to YouTube used the American artwork, the artwork is of a promo CD from the radio Station WPSC, which was the college station I was music director when this album came out. Someone must have stolen the stations copy at some point...)
Husking Bee - "Sketch":