Nippon Cinema has reported about the new teaser and website for Ryuichi Honda's GS Wonderland, which tells the story of a fictional rock band called The Tightsmen during the Group Sounds (GS) wave that swept Japan during the 1960s. As indicated by both the clip and the psychedelic, eye-bleeding website, the film seems to be emphasizing the fashion and style of this era but the music seems to be getting some attention: Jun Hashimoto and Kyohei Tsutsumi, both of whom composed music for GS bands such as The Golden Cups, The Dynamites, and Ox, have written 10 new songs for GS Wonderland. Chiaki Kuriyama, and Ittoku Kishibe, who was a member of The Tigers, both star in the film.
The GS wave started after The Beatles came to Japan on June 29, 1966. Later in the year, bands like The Mops, Golden Jaguars, and The Tigers began popping up all over the country with their own take on both British rock and American rock and R&B. The bands recorded many originals, which mercilessly aped their influences, as well as unique and occasionally oddball covers of popular songs from the United States and the United Kingdom. The GS wave eventually died in the face of harder psychedelic sounds in the late 60s but the style yielded some fantastic music. Some of the best of this material appeared on the Cult GS Box, a limited edition 6 CD set released by Solid Records in 2000, but there are numerous other less expensive albums and compilations on the market. Once can only hope that GS Wonderland balances the obvious visual appeal of the cultural moment with the unique character of the music, which remains vital and interesting some decades after its creation.