Nisennenmondai - Neji/Tori
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Loosely translated to "Year 2000 Problem" (remember the thing that was going to be a serious global issue, but wasn't?), Nisennenmondai is three Japanese girls who make a hell of a racket. Neji/Tori is a full length release that collects two of their EPs that go by the respective names in the title of this album and finds the three banging away with repetitive, noisy, post punk instrumentals that wallow in distortion, lo-fi fuzz and occasional vocals.

Names of songs on the release include "Sonic Youth," "Pop Group," and "This Heat," and although those titles provide some insight into their sound, one could also toss in names like Lightning Bolt and maybe even Big Black (coated under two gallons of hiss). So yeah, these three (apparently tiny) women can let loose with some serious noise, and they let the listener have it in doses that range from only a minute up to almost ten. The aforementioned "Pop Group" kicks things off, and unlike the title suggests finds a drum kit banging away with the meters in the read while a bass line doing the same swerves around denting up the joint as a guitar that sounds like it's covered in tin foil bleeds things dry. "This Heat" continues the assault, as quick slivers of guitar and sharp hi-hats rip through a quiet opening section before the rhythm locks into a lumpy breakbeat and the guitar starts dropping scalding bursts over it all. It really doesn't sound much at all like the group referenced in the title, but certainly haunts the same world.

The second half of the release (Tori) is filled with Japanese song titles and moves as a slightly leaner (and a bit cleaner) direction, with locked-in no-wave sections that are built more on subtle rhythmic shifts and smart interplay than sheer overwhelming force. "Ikkkyokume" finds insane reflections of delayed guitars splaying out over ever-more-frantic bass and drums before the whole thing melts down, while "Kyuukohan" locks into an almost krauty pattern before again letting loose with a frenzy. As mentioned above, the recording quality is low and only adds to the bleeding-together quality of the music as a whole. Based on the above, you'll probably know whether this is your sort of thing or not. For me, it's an interesting debut, but I hope they hone their sound a bit before their second release.

rating: 610
Aaron Coleman 2008-08-14 20:54:10