I would like to give credit where credit is due. Videos are from YouTube and other sources such as NicoNico while Oricon rankings and other information are translated from the Japanese Wikipedia unless noted.

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Sement Mixers -- Kiri ga nai(きりがない)

Wow! Those Japanese prime time game shows sure bring back some memories of my earlier years in my Tokyo/Chiba stint. One of the few that I caught regularly was NTV's "Magical Zunou Power!!"(マジカル頭脳パワー!!...Magical Brain Power!!)which was on at 8 pm on Saturdays for the first half of its time in the 1990s, then it switched over to Thursdays at the same time for the rest of its existence until the autumn of 1999. It starred the popular tarento such as veteran George Tokoro(所ジョージ)showing up to do battle with their wits and thinking speed through a variety of puzzles.

I'd actually taped a few of the episodes onto VHS tape and sent them back to Toronto for my parents' viewing pleasure. Last year, when because of some major misunderstandings, we had no television for a week, my family relied on those old videotapes to keep us occupied and that included "Magical Zunou Power!!".

Believe it or not, the game shows did have their own ending theme songs although only a segment was played while the tarento talked over the music. The very first ending theme was Sement Mixers'(セメントミキサーズ)"Kiri ga nai" (Boundless), and yes, that is how the band spelled their name.

One of the other reasons that I've put this up is that the other day, I wrote about the late Tsunekichi Suzuki's(鈴木常吉)atmospheric "Omoide"(思ひで)which was the theme song for the popular TBS late-night drama "Shinya Shokudo"(深夜食堂). Well, Suzuki was a founding member of Sement Mixers. At the time, vocalist/guitarist Suzuki was 35 years old when he and 18-year-old bassist Toshiyuki Masuda(増田俊行)along with vocalist/guitarist Isao Motegi(茂木功), percussionist Takayuki Matsumura(松村孝之)and drummer Akihiko Sato(佐藤揚彦)created the band for competition on the popular TBS battle-of-the-bands program "Heisei Meibutsu TV Miyake Yuji no Ikasu Bando Tengoku"  (平成名物TV三宅祐司のいかすバンド天国...Heisei Specialty TV Yuji Miyake's Cool Band Heaven) in May 1989.

Bands such as BEGIN and Jitterin' Jinn also participated on the show, and it was the latter band that was dethroned by Sement Mixers to become the 7th IkaTen King for the next few weeks before being defeated themselves by Totsugeki Dancehall(突撃ダンスホール...Attack Dancehall). Following their reign on "IkaTen", according to their J-Wiki article, Sement Mixers were able to release one album "Warau Shintai"(笑う身体...The Laughing Corpse) in October 1990 before they broke up. Apparently, there was at least one single "Sore ga Doushita"(それがどうした...So What?)although a list of their singles hasn't been put up on J-Wiki, and that's where "Kiri ga nai" is located as a coupling song.

True to the theme of what "Magical Zunou Power!!" was all about, "Kiri ga nai" is also one fun and bouncy number. Written by Suzuki and composed by co-vocalist Motegi, it's got that some of that ska flavour which was permeating some of the other bands of the time. I also want to pay compliments to that happy trumpeter. It's kinda too bad that "Kiri ga nai" was probably subsumed under all of the tarento bantering with each other at the end of each episode. The song had its run as the ending theme between October 1990 and March 1991.

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