Formed in early 2003 by previous Inari members, TAKU (bass) and TJF (guitar, vocals). Features Machikara members, Machiko (guitar, lead vocals), Eri (bass guitar, vocals), and Hanako (drums).
Played mainly 'remixed' versions of old Inari and Machikara songs, but possessed four of their own Japanese punk rock songs written by Machiko and TJF titled, "six past f***ing midnight", "We will never forget", "Sakura" and "Falling".
Their sound is original and experimental, often using guitars to emulate the sound of Japanese instruments such as the koto and shamisen. Machiko's voice sounds the most beautiful, unlike her typical Shonen Knife / Ramones sounding voice in Machikara, and she skilfully emulates a traditional bunraku voice to off beat punk rock. Machiko sings most vocals in NRE, but is accompanied by TJF in songs, "We will never forget" and "Falling".
Quite surprisingly, the music only contains a hint of punk rock, and most of the music seems quite carefully composed and constructed. The guitar riffs show an obvious progression in Machiko and TJF's guitar style and TAKU's bass lines could stand alone on a drum and bass record.
However, NRE only played 2 public concerts at the Sydney Japan Foundation nighttime concert in Sydney during 2003 before slowly disappearing with punk rock band, Oil and NEVERGIVEUP. All members have since returned to Japan, marking the end of Inari, Machikara, and NRE.
Yoko's review: NRE was a good band and it's a shame that they didn't last long at all. I heard 3 of their songs and only just recently heard a recording of 'Falling'. "six past midnight" is a fast song about sneaking out late at night and just fooling around as if the sun would never rise again, and is a fun song with no real meaning. It's their poppiest song and I guess that it would have been the first song NRE wrote together. Then, all of a sudden, "We will never forget", is a hardcore and emotional song about racist sentiment, discrimination, the atomic bomb in Japan and recent murders amongst Japanese school children. It's an incredibly dark song and I can't help but compare it to Inari's "Save the World". The song portrays the image of a young girl dying of radiation sickness who experiences these evils; discrimination because of her looks, violence at school and at home, and exploitation by a westerner. It's disturbing and on second thoughts sickening, but it's not exploitative and instead turns out to be an extremely emotional opinion of modern day society which has been chained down by past evils such as WW2. I admit to crying during the chorus of the song. "Sakura" is another song about a girl, but it's about a girl who uses her beautiful appearance to tease older men and then exploit money from them, much like the 'mutual dating' which has been liberally publicized in the media recently. Like the well known metaphor of the sakura, her beautiful blossoms soon fall, symbolizing her loss of innocence, but her blossoms never grow back. The imagery is almost poetic, yet it's also another very realistic song. Their final song is called "Falling", which almost sarcastically calls for hope in a time of a rapidly declining economy and social system. It references teenage suicide, hikkomori, betrayal and dying sad and lonely, and the song ends in a way which almost indicates that NRE won't last much longer.
Both of their performances were energetic and sincere, and as you can guess, my favorite song is "We will never forget". It's a song which has caused me to bleed so much, yet mature in a way which I would have never anticipated before. NRE belittles Inari and Machikara, and it was a wonderful parting gift from both bands.
NRE I LOVE YOU!
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