Like so many one-time buzz bands, Fujiya & Miyagi has one trick, and it used to be able to do it well. The band’s brand of lo-fi funk mixed with elements of krautrock did have some high points. Tracks like “Sucker Punch” and “Collarbone” broke the ultra-snide monotony and landed them in a couple of high-profile TV commercials. When Fujiya & Miyagi adds some tangible energy and the right bassline to its songs, it can actually stand out and merit your attention. The problem with Ventriloquizzing is that the band really doesn’t mix it up at all, and the album really sounds like a rehashing of old releases.
Listen to “Sixteen Shades Of Black And Blue” – DOWNLOAD MP3
Starting off the record with the title track, David Best’s familiar monotone speak-sing vocal stylings sit atop the bands signature minimalist rock. Nothing new or groundbreaking, but even more repetitive than previous endeavors. “We move our arms when you pull our string” is repeated in what feels like a million times throughout the four minutes of the song. The highlights of the album are “Sixteen Shades Of Black And Blue” and “Ok,” and they don’t outweigh the duds unfortunately. Nothing is nearly as memorable as previous hits, but there’s not a big difference between the great songs and the bad ones. Either they walk a fine line well, or they fall flat — which is most often the case. If you are already a huge fan of Fujiya & Miyagi, you will probably find this record boring and won’t give it more than one listen. If you haven’t ever heard the band, do yourself a favor and start and end with Transparent Things. You’ll get all of the hits with the least amount of filler.