Thursday, March 3, 2016

EZO - E-Z-O (1987)

Country: Japan
Year: 1987
Line-up: Masaki Yamada (vocals), Shoyo Iida (guitars), Taro Takahashi (bass), Hiro Homma (drums).

Track Listing:
1.  House Of 1,000 Pleasures  5:10
2.  Flashback Heart Attack  4:07
3.  Mr. Midnight  4:22
4.  Here It Comes  3:15
5.  I Walk Alone  3:36
6.  Destroyer  4:27
7.  Big Changes  3:52
8.  Kiss of Fire  3:26
9.  Desiree  3:31

Fletchanator's comment: If you've heard any of the 1990s albums put out by Japan's biggest glam rock band, Loudness, then you're already familiar with singer Masaki Yamada. Yamada, Loudness' third singer (1992-2000), started in this band, another Japanese hard rock group that tried to make it big in America. Originally called Flatbacker, after releasing three albums in Japan, they changed their name to EZO under the direction of producer Gene Simmons (he of KISS and giant tongue fame) and released this album in 1987 and another in 1989 for Geffen Records before being dropped by the label and splitting up.
In terms of sound, it's hard not to compare EZO with Loudness, but on some of the harder, faster songs I also hear similarities with another Japanese band, X (or X-Japan as they were known internationally). Singer Yamada reminds me of Klaus Meine from Scorpions. And then the Simmons influence is also felt, with the production (and some of the songs) sounding like 80s-era KISS. So yeah, take KISS, Loudness, X-Japan and Scorpions, mix them all together and you get EZO.
Get it while you can, because the CD goes for ridiculous money on eBay.


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