To say that the engrossing sound of the shamisen in the Yoshida Brothers’ music makes their style traditional Japanese would be wrong. Likewise, saying that their movement towards Western music moves them away from traditional Japanese music would also be wrong. If anything, the merging of traditional Japanese instrumentation with rock, blues and even house-style songs has escalated the sound of these Japanese brothers into something greater than either of its parts.

The band’s newest album, Prism, has finally hit our side of the Pacific, and it is well worth the journey. The album opens with the pounding drums, distortions and flutes of the Yoshida Brother’s cover of Radiohead’s “The National Anthem” and takes the listener on a journey of strange and wonderful songs, each with their own unique genres and instrumentation.

Some highlights of the album include the haunting female vocals on “One Long River” and the blindingly fast shamisen riffs on “Hujin.”