W is for Win a Sheep Free
Despite having liked this band for a number of years now it wasn't until about a week ago that I found out that prolific drummer and multi-instrumentalist Itoken was a member. It seems anything that he touches is usually worth seeking out. Be it his wonderfully quirky solo releases, his involvement in Jazz-Math rockers Gnu, or collaborations projects like d.v.d. and Harpy. And the oddly named Win a Sheep Free also deserve a place on his impressive resume.
This 2004 album by the Tokyo based 5-piece (vocals, 2 acoustic guitars, drums/percussion and a VJ.) is the only release made by the now defunct project besides a 3 track EP released the same year entitled "With Little Songs". The band make some gorgeously airy sounding folksy, acoustic songs that also have a wonderful kineticism and technical dynamism to them that almost drag the band into the realms of being something bordering on Math-Rock. As a result the band sound very approachable and listenable but will probably also catch the ear of those with more discerning musical tastes.
As mentioned before the project seems to have long been put to bed and the disappearance of the bands official website which remained up until around a year or 2 ago indicates that there is little chance of the quintet resurrecting the band but the ever prolific Itoken has plenty of other works worth exploring, vocalist Sachie Yoda is still active under the solo pseudonym Yoodacoo and I'm sure the guitarists Shoichi Minato and Sho Hirai along with VJ Jun Sugai have also worked in multiple other band projects.
Anyway just enjoy this perfect summer record.