Fantasy Core

Since the mid-’90s, indie rockers have been fascinated with what is christened J-pop (Japanese rock and pop) because of the genre’s readiness to dive into sci-fi weirdness and the gawk-worthy sight of kids from places like Kyoto and Tokyo wearing the clothes, playing the chords and channeling the attitude of Western punk and indie. Fantasy Core fits the mold with the light saber-like toys they bring onstage, not to mention their obvious familiarity with the Killers’ songbook and style of dress. The Nagasaki-based band’s new album Nagasaki Atom features an anime hero grabbing a falling missile on its cover.

You could write Fantasy Core off as a novelty if they weren’t so damned good, with serious Sex Pistols chops and Clash-like intensity (in their delivery, at least; we’ll admit we have no idea what they’re saying). They’ve worked hard to become stalwarts on the Nagasaki scene and are working harder to build a following in the U.S., playing five South by Southwest festivals in as many years. In the clash of cultures that comes with J-pop’s influx into North America, you can be sure Fantasy Core is a band to be appreciated for sheer talent. 8 p.m. Walter’s, 4215 Washington. For tickets and information, call 713-862-2513 or visit
Wed., Jan. 9, 8 p.m., 2008


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