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Friday, Sept. 22, 2006


Ni-hao! "New-hao!"

Originally comprising two bassists and a drummer, all-female Kyoto three-piece Ni-hao! have traded their basses for a keyboard and sampler, giving their expansive noise-pop a greater electronic edge on their second album proper. Take "Ni-Hao! Makes New Sound," which has the three female members doing just that while singing the title over a smorgasbord of warped snippets of pop, hip-hop, rock and electronica. Literally full of bells and whistles, "New-hao!" sees band members Red Ariko, Green Leo and Blue Yukari, who also fronts the group Limited Express (has gone?), test out every function on the sampler and keyboard on these nine hyperactive songs, giving them a fantastic innocence.

Album closer "Hysteric Teacher," which borrows from Beck's "New Pollution" and steals the chintzy intro to The Vapors' "Turning Japanese," sees the trio gleefully shouting simple lyrics while turning out a wonderfully jumbled mess of danceable indie rock. Like the rest of the album, it's quirky, cute and fun.

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