Back in 2016, I was surfing Youtube, and found a random live video by the garage punk rock band “ROCK-A-CHERRY”. They were really cool. Just listen to this great song! Hear the sloppy guitar solo! And the lovely voice crack at 0:35! (see the video under the paragraph) I immediately loved their music and cool careless style, and later I found out that they had released an album (“ロッカチェリー白書”) in 2013. Cool! Would be so fun to hear! But: this album couldn’t be found anywhere.
“ロッカチェリー白書” by Rock-A-Cherry is a very obscure album, which made me obsessed. I must find it!! After going through the usual streaming services and video sites with no success I went straight to the source and asked the band themselves if they had the album:
But no, I couldn’t get the album. I had to wait. And wait again. The band seems to have become less and less active with time, so we probably won’t see any download links or Spotify releases any soon. Since Rock-A-Cherry started in 2006 they haven’t released anything else than a split single in 2011 and this album. Their website hasn’t updated since 2017, their last tweet is from 2020, and the group’s bassist has “I used to do ROCK-A-CHERRY” in her Twitter bio, so I guess the band is no more.
I continued my search by asking a few record labels associated with the band, and some people on Rateyourmusic and Discogs, I looked through tweets, Facebook posts, blogs, and a whole BBS site (?) gathering fans of the band around 2010, but no album was found. The only audio I could find were a couple of catchy live clips and one demo on Youtube. I also found out that the singer/guitarist has another band called “FLASHLIGHTS”, that happens to have an indie rock album out that is pretty good. Suddenly I got an email, from a person I had contacted earlier – with download links to all of the album’s songs. Wow! Was all the pain worth it? Yes, because intense internet research leads to much more than the final result. The oversharing of the Facebook era lets me research on more things than I should be able to. As hard as it is to find an obscure 22 minute album by a Japanese garage rock band, as easy is it to find a million silly tour and studio images by the same band. I know so much now.
Here’s the full album uploaded:
How is the album? It’s raw rock’n’roll and punk rock. I don’t have the lyrics, but if we can trust this random blog they’re like this: “I like the lyrics of Rocka Cherry. Spicy, but delicate, aesthetic, non-flirtatious, clear-cut, and above all free. My heart is stuffy with a purely pretty maiden pattern that makes everyday frustration into a spicy candy and spits it out in a pop!” All nine songs are nice – catchy, melodic and short. The sound is very punk, in a modern way where it’s both clean and raw, like they had a great studio but didn’t care too much about the final polish. Sometimes the vocals are unusually loud, other times they’re unclear. The drums are kind of buried by other sounds. And I LOVE IT. Their whole vibe is effortless: when other punk bands try to sound like old school punk and get an artificial punk sound, Rock-A-Cherry sound authentic, because they are authentic. I guess this music is what comes out of you if you’re whole-heartedly punk with both feelings and actions in 2013. It seems like they care about music, but not about perfection, which makes me happy, because perfectionism means lesser things get made, and I already feel there’s too little material from Rock-A-Cherry out there. What ultimately make them memorable (and make me search for their album for 4 years) is their timeless songwriting skills. They can’t fool me with sloppy performances and a laidback style, because I hear that they’re great at what they do. Also the guitarist has a lovely voice.
Now, watch this funky intro dance: