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OOIOO - Nijimusi CD (album) cover




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siLLy puPPy
PSIKE, JRF/Canterbury, P Metal, Eclectic
4 stars When it comes to putting the GRRRR in GRRRRL rock, nobody has quite done it as well as the Japanese group OOIOO whose moniker is basically code for giving the middle finger! If that's not punk ass bad enough for ya then the bizarre mixtures of sound that these gals crank out should convince you. OOIOO has been the off and on again side project of Boredoms drummer YoshimiO but after nine albums that date as far back as 1997, perhaps this should qualify more as YoshimO's main gig since Boredoms hasn't released any new material since the early naughts. One of the reasons for the six year delay in a new OOIOO album is because guitarist Kyoko died in 2015. RIP :(

Following in the footsteps of the Boredoms trajectory, YoshimiO has steered her OOIOO project into very similar arenas that incorporate the wildest aspects of noise rock and punk attitude with cosmic streams of psychedelia, jittery math rock angularities and experimental adventurism however OOIOO somehow has drifted into its own little nook of the musical world where it has sit snuggly alone since its inception despite each album taking on its own distinct personality. It's been six long years since this group has released anything new and with 2013's venture into Indonesian gamelan prospects on "Gamel" it has been speculated by true fans if any new OOIOO product would emerge after Kyoko's early demise but finally in 2020 it is so.

n i j i m u s i / に じ む し ( i n - English / b l e e d i n g ) finds this unconventional project breaking the silence with another slice of avant-rock that drops the pretense of ethnic flavors in favor of returning to the guitar roots of its past. Starting with " n i j m u s i " which sounds like a short snippet of a murder scene from a John Zorn soundtrack, we get screams, pummeling percussion and guitar chaos but with " n i j i m u " OOIOO of yore emerges with a Boredoms styled psychedelic groove along with a hypnotic beat, Japanese cheerleading chants and freaky swirls of noise flittering all about. Yeah, the girls are back! It's also apparent that the interesting stylistic approach of past albums like "Gold & Green," YoshimiO and friends are back to that classic layering effect where all the parts seemingly exist in their own universe but cosmically connect to create a greater sum of the parts.

Always following the band's already established traditions are the zigzagging effects of maintaining a groove while improvisational chaos is somehow tightly controlled into order but then set free and thus allowing a new development to emerge. Whether it's the funky guitar rhythms of " n i j i m u " in flight with stubbornly independent bass lines and busy jazzy drum rolls or the bizarre avant-garde freeform jazz-rock of " j i b u n " which disperses interesting delayed guitar effects along with a bass and a plethora of percussive sophistication, n i j i m u s i / に じ む し shows a back to basics approach where it eschews the overly rich production that has been more present on the more psychedelic albums and lets the girls showcase their math rock sensibilities with plenty of stop / start freneticism and angular abstractness somehow kept on a leash.

Never leaving their sense of humor far behind, my vote for one of the most hilarious track names in rock history has to go to the teeheehee eleven minute " Walk for "345" MInutes, While Saying "Ah Yeah!" with a "Mountain Book" in One Hand, Until a Shower of Light Pours Down" which takes the entire album's ideas and allows them to unfold at a casual pace rather than the punk infused freneticism that the shorter tracks unleash. This one starts out math rocky of course with off-kilter time signature and polyrhythms slowing unfolding into ever greater intensity and the type of track that allows the hypnotic effects build at a snail's pace until crescendo glory is allowed to explode like Tokyo when Godzilla is having a really bad day.

The secret of OOIOO is in how they manage to unleash the greatest noise and chaos factors that they can muster up but somehow corral it into manageable chunks that are well digestible however OOIOO states it best in their own words that they create sounds for no reason. These sounds come and go and disappear into the air like a sent as soon as they materialize and that atonal phrase that hold the meaning of words that existed before the advent of language are wonders of a vortex pulsing with life. Well, how could one possibly come up with a better description than that? All i can say is that i've been a fan of this band for many years now and while i consider the over-the-top percussion rich masterpiece "Taiga" to be the pinnacle of this band's creative charm, the truth is that these GRRRRLs continue to charm the pants off of me with creative twisted illogical musical constructs that somehow add just enough smooth operating elements to make it all work.

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Posted Monday, February 3, 2020 | Review Permalink

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