“Only this is Rock” Keiji Haino has said of new studio album You're Either Standing Facing Me Or Next To Me. “Treat what I call rock like breaking the seal of old manuscripts.” Since his beginnings in 1970 as the vocalist of the band Lost Alaaf, Haino has spread his work across multiple genres, pushing the limits as a tireless explorer of free-form experimentation. It was with the intense psychedelic soundscapes of Fushitsusha, formed in 1978, that his live set earned a formidable reputation. The band’s debut, released by legendary Tokyo label PSF Records in 1989, was a live album that, together with its 1991 follow-up, were described by now-defunct Stylus Magazine as “some of the most incredible performances ever committed to tape”.
For this latest release, Haino returned to Tokyo’s legendary Gok Sound Studio with guitarist Masami Kawaguchi (New Rock Syndicate), bassist Shingo Nauke and drummer Toshihiko Katano as Keiji Haino and the Hardy Rocks - a project they formed in 2016. You're either standing facing me or next to me consists of ten cover songs of some of the most covered songs in the history of western popular music (plus a cover of his own with ‘Black Petal’). In true Haino fashion, expect the unexpected with complete structural reworks, and creative turns only the master of dark textures could ever conceive.
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