Showa 90‘s dark, dystopian view is full of shocking, scary stories pulled from the shadows of Japan’s outwardly perfect society, but in true URBANGARDE style, they’re perfectly balanced by instant pop jams like ‘Kuchibiru Democracy’, ‘Shinjuku Mon Amour’, and ‘Coin Locker Babies’. URBANGARDE has never made a secret of their desire to challenge their audience through thought-provoking entertainment, and should we feel guilty tapping out feet to the cool chorus of ‘Coin Locker Babies’?”


Showa 90, much like URBANGARDE’s other releases, is equal parts intelligent social commentary and musical experimentation. An overabundance of both, however, makes this concept album something truly special. Even for those who can’t speak Japanese, the songs are all so expertly composed and performed that language is no barrier to experiencing all of the album’s emotional intensity. Those who are able, however, would do well to give the lyrics some long, hard thought. Though cryptic at times, they paint a troublesome picture of a world not guided by its own actions, a world in which no one is truly free to think for themselves. Showa 90 is both an important warning siren for all of Japan and, somewhat ironically, one of the best albums of 2015.”


Showa 90 is firmly entrenched in various forms of ear pleasing pop then yes, you should at the very least understand or get a feeling of what this group is conveying in their songs. The bonus is that it’s all so well crafted that you may not even know that it’s happening… In the end Showa 90 is an excellent example of wrapping music with a message into an easily digestible package.”

Selective Hearing: