detroit7 is a Japanese punk/garage rock trio formed in Tokyo in 2001. They are Nabana Tomomi (vocals, guitar), Kotajima Nobuaki (bass) and Yamaguchi Miyoko (drum). Nabana, who performs barefoot, sings in (heavily-accented) English as well as Japanese. detroit7 is best described as Nirvana meets The Stooges.

Selected discography:


Vertigo (2003). Debut EP. 6 tracks. Choice cuts: “Owari wa Hajimari”, “Ordinary Madness”,”Beautiful Song”. Other good cuts: “Oh, My Marmalade”, “Adam”, “Awa no Hikari”.

“COME ON” (2004). Non-album single.

1 LOVE (2005). 11 tracks. Choice cuts: “Inside”, “HOWL”, “Ibitsu na Hana”. Other good cuts: “This Side Of Paradise”, “SHOT MY RIGHT TEMPLE”, “Ordinary Madness”, “Golden Globe”, “Burn American Flags”, “1LOVE”. The rest: “2:27 am”, “Raymond”.

Note: “Ordinary Madness” originally appeared on Vertigo.

detroit7 EP Vol.1 (2005). 5 tracks. Choice cuts: “LOVE&CONFUSED”, “Taiyou wo Tokashita Umi”. other good cuts: “Beautiful Song”, “Baby in Galaxy”, “Rakurui”.

Note: “Beautiful Song” was re-recorded from Vertigo.

detroit7 EP Vol.2 (2005). 5 tracks. Choice cut: “BUZZ OFF”. Other good cuts: “KISS THE MOON”, “To be Free”, “GRACIAS”. The rest: “Merry go round”.

“Rape Me” (2006). A cover of Nirvana‘s song from In Utero (1993). Featured on the Japanese Nirvana tribute album All Apologies.

GREAT Romantic (2006). 13 tracks. Choice cuts: “Ibitsu na Hana”, “Akai Hana”, “Yume no Haza Made”. Other good cuts: “Hitori Gochiru”, “Kono Itoshiki Sekai”, “Owari wa Hajimari”, “Beautiful Song”, “Raise High!”, “Hello, ELVIS”, Mahou Tsukai Sari”, “This Love Sucks”. The rest: “Riverside Waltz”, “Who’s makin’ HOT TUB?”

Note: “Owari wa Hajimari” was re-recorded from Vertigo, while “Beautiful Song” originally appeared on detroit7 EP Vol.1.

Third Star From The Earth (2008). 5 tracks. Choice cuts: “IN THE SUNSHINE”, “Cry for the moon”. Other good cuts: “microphone drives”, “Watering!”, “FATMAN BLUES”.

Black & White (2009). 12 tracks. Choice cuts: “WHY?”, “STOOGES”, “COLD HEAT”. Other good cuts: “TORCH SONG”, “DDD”, “ZELDA”, “Owaranai Uta”, “MR. KATO ON THE ROAD”, “DOWN BEAT”, “24HOURS”. The rest: “LOVERS FIGHT”, “LOUIE LOUIE”.

Note: “LOUIE LOUIE” is a cover of the 1963 classic by The Kingsmen.

NUDE (2010). 12 tracks. Choice cuts: “JOY”, “Samidaru Kimi”, “Nounai POP”. Other good cuts: “BREAK”, “LIFE”, “I know I don’t know”, “Sad Summer”, “Is this love?”, “Furueru Sora”, “Sounds of Time”. The rest: “Discocactus”, “Largo”.

“HERE I AM” (2011). Non-album single.

Selected videos [available to view in the U.S.]:

In 2012, detroit7 was reborn as DetroitSeven. However, I am unsure if the band is still active since the 2011 single “HERE I AM” was their last release.

Band links: website/Facebook/Youtube

My thoughts… detroit7 blends the influences of Detroit proto-punk and Seattle grunge into their own raw sound driven by Nabana’s powerful riffs and distinctive vocals. Nirvana by way of The Stooges isn’t all that crazy since Kurt Cobain himself was, in fact, a huge fan of Iggy Pop‘s influential band. What punk lover isn’t? My first taste of detroit7 was with their 3rd full-length album Black & White. I have to admit that I was, at first, drawn to the amazing photo of Nabana Tomomi on the album’s cover. Sure, her beauty lured me like a siren calling out to nearby sailors, but detroit7‘s enchanting music made me a fan! Oh, and even though detroit7 turned in an awesome cover of “Rape Me” for a Japanese-only Nirvana tribute album, some English-speaking fans might find Nabana’s substitution of “r” and “l” sounds distracting – in that particular song. If so, listen to “TORCH SONG” (from Black & White) for one of the best songs Kurt Cobain never wrote!

Read my original post on MHE (here).