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Angry! - 80%

Vim_Fuego, August 8th, 2004

Let's see… Three Japanese girls playing punk. Great! Another Shonen Knife–type, happy poppy punk band, right? Japanese girls are all sweet, innocent and demure, right? Wrong!

The racket these three girls produce is about as far removed from Shonen Knife as The Exploited is from Green Day. Imagine a faster Fudge Tunnel with harsher female vocals, and you'll be somewhere near the mark. This is music stripped back to it's barest skeleton, as dangerous and tough as the titanium remains of Big Arnie's original Terminator incarnation after it's run in with a blazing petrol tanker. The riffs are enormous and used sparingly. Each song seems to be built around one huge riff, and follow a fairly consistent pattern– the riff stomps through the introduction, then the whole band spazzes out, with the vocalist ranting and groaning over everything. From time to time the odd minimalist solo is dropped in, just to break things up a little. It may sound formulaic, but it's anything but.

The lyrics? Oh dear, the lyrics… These make Lawnmower Deth seem positively Shakespearean in comparison! "I knocked my ass/but I didn't have pain/but I had a tail!/oh, my god!/why have I bear's tail?/I wanna dog's tail" (Hip Tail) or "More eat hat fat, eat hat fat/fortune cookie agreeable to me" (Eat Hat Fat). While the lyrics are absolutely laughable to English speakers, they're spat out with venom and conviction by Kaori Okumura. She sounds permanently pre–menstrual and pissed off, and you would honestly not want to ask her what she means when she's screaming "I'm not you, you're not I/live in somewhere/die in somewhere" (I Know), you'd just accept it. Her throaty roar on "Iron Woman" would make even a seasoned shouter like Billy Milano envious. It seems like the band must have written the lyrics in their native language and translated everything literally with a dictionary. It fits the music perfectly though.

This may be a very difficult album to find, but if you want to find something different from the run of the mill, which gives you a small insight into the Japanese psyche, then this is well worth the effort.