Monday, July 10, 2023

Navel - Rainfall Flexi 7"


Hello From The Gutter (2022)

Navel is a band that I have been listening to for quite some time.  There were part of the initial wave of Japanese punk rock that I got into via split 7"s on the Snuffy Smile label.  I originally bought these splits for the likes of Broccoli, Chopper, Skimmer and Hooton 3 Car, but I walked away being fans of bands like International Jet Set, Blew, Lovemen and Navel.  Navel initially appeared on split 7"s with Travis Cut and Skimmer/. Eventually they started releasing some full length albums and I've been chasing their records ever since.

This 7", so the liner notes on a couple of websites say, was originally going to be part of a 7" released in 2000 on an American label.  I'm pretty sure I know what label that is, as I think they were going to try to put out a Chester Copperpot 7" as well, but I'll not name them right now.  It's coming out all of these years later as a flexi that was originally sold at a show they played, with the leftovers making their way out into the world.  I got my copy from Servo from Bloated Kat records, so many cheers to him for helping me out.

Both of the songs did end up on Navel full lengths, though these are early versions and different recordings.  "Rainfall" is the first track and also was on their album Heartache.  It's a midtempo song, perfectly capturing Navel's ability to write a catchy song, even when drifting into territory that some might say feels a little melancholy.  It's not too dissimilar from the album version, though to me the backing vocal harmonies are a little more pronounced on the 7".  

The second song is a quick, hardcore blast called "Bystander."  It ended up as the closing track on Navel's second album, Depend.  Super fast, shouty punk rock has never really been my thing, but it never bothers me when a pop punk band throws something like this on one of their albums.  Snuff does it all the time.  Mostly, for me, this album is another great Navel 7" for my collection.  I dig the artwork and am happy to add it to the pile of great records this amazing band as released.

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