Everybody looks back upon their teenage years differently–for me, this was the time that I began to truly understand the importance that music would hold in my life, and the vast majority of the music I was listening to then came from across the Pacific. Among the many younger bands I followed were those I would consider to be the elder statesmen of Japanese indie rock; Bloodthirsty Butchers, eastern youth and Number Girl would soon come to define my adolescent years, later inspiring me to buy my first guitar, the iconic Fender Telecaster I’d seen each of my idols wield onstage. Ironically, after all these years I still have trouble articulating exactly what it is about this sound these artists create, but there is a certain sentimentality, a certain meaningfulness, and an immediate sense of lostness that I can relate to, that I can feel instilled deep within the breadth of each ringing chord. You don’t have to understand Japanese to find a connection here; emotion comes across the same in any language. Much akin to their stateside kindred spirits Sonic Youth and Yo La Tengo, the band has released a few masterpieces (“Kocorono,” “Mikansei,” “I’m Standing Nowhere”) over the years which they are unlikely to ever top–they will, however, continue to release consistently great albums as long as they’re still making music. Currently, Bloodthirsty Butchers have released 13 albums, with their newest “No Album Mudai” finding them picking up where they left off with “Guitarist o Korosanaide.” Play it fucking loud.