No, Geisha Hit Squad isn’t a new and upcoming anime taking Japan by storm and soon to hit the phones of youngsters around the world after a three month subtitles translation delay due to the effects of the new coronavirus outbreak. Actually, this is a diverse indie project straight outta Atlanta, Georgia from Mr. Eric Jennings
Eric’s musical history extends further than a Dragonball backstory. He grew up in a southern home in eastern North Carolina listening to the likes of motown, gospel, disco and funk. You know, the typical adolescent of the 70’s with fros, the original flared jeans (not that poser 90’s reinvention) and roller skates. After hearing the late Jimi Hendrix’s rendition of “Star Spangled Banner” over the radio, it opened up young Eric’s eyes to another world of music. Going to school in a multicultural area, Eric was soon grooving to new jams and genres that the 1970’s afforded: AC/DC, Neil Young, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and more. This started him down the path of exploring his psychedelic side (no acid… yet).
The 1980’s and 90’s provided more in the way of influences with REM (a clear influence when listening to Eric’s melancholic croons), Peter Gabriel, The Cure, Joy Division, etc. and he soon found himself wanting to create his own music rather than tour alongside other acts. And this is what he did, a one man, Trent Reznor type effort where Eric masterfully plays all instruments.
With the release of his latest project, a 2020 EP entitled Act 1, he ups his sounds and game to a new level. It’s a pretty eclectic ride with chill down-tempo acoustic vibes, funky bass lines, discordant jam rock riffs, psychedelic guitar grooves and more all encased in this six-song EP!
Upon first listen, I was immediately drawn to the catchy guitar riff intertwined with almost chaotic sounding backing synths and bass in “Ghost.” This song and “Vacuuming in the Dark” are very unique in that you’ve got a steady, groovy beat during the length of most of the song, yet the mood of the music and singing fluctuates pretty radically and sometimes dissonantly as the song progresses. The chaos may be off putting if listened to just once but it grows on you and shows it’s actually a unique way of layering the tracks. Eric’s very Michael Stipes influenced, yet distinctively unique vocals holds it all together, especially the flawless harmonies he creates. It’s all very catchy, fun and unexpected!
I particularly enjoyed the melancholic mood of “How Can You Say” and “Broken Ladder.” The three part vocal octaves in “How Can You Say” and steady acoustic strums bring back a “One Foot in the Grave” Beck vibe. “Jeremiah” has some abrupt, yet fun tempo changes and total kick-ass bass lines. If patient enough to give it a few listens, you’ll pick up on the nuanced sounds and will thoroughly enjoy Act 1. I sure did! Check out Geisha Hit Squad’s stuff below:
Official Website: https://www.geishahitsquad.com/