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Friday, Jan. 9, 2009



LAZYgunsBRISKY — "Catching!"; Jonny — "Cake Album"

Staff Writer

Typical. You wait an apparently interminable period for a decent new grrrl-punk band (it's been at least three months!) and then two turn up at once.

News photo
News photo

Tokyo band LAZYgunsBRISKY color their Stonesy rock riffage with a grungy element that sometimes recalls Hole or PJ Harvey. By and large, though, their new minialbum (which follows 2008's debut album "Quixotic") features power chords and playful, harmony-laden vocals over solid rhythm, with a touch of bad-girl angst thrown in for good measure.

The CD booklet includes such ingenious lyrics as "AiyaiIyaiYAILIEYAiai . . . Mm . . . Mm . . . " and photos of the girls blowing gum bubbles and pulling hammy poses in some squalid squat — it's unlikely they're as stinky as the pictures suggest but, well, one can always hope.

Hailing from Aichi Prefecture, Jonny are a more straightforward (and ultimately more fun) proposition. They might mangle their English a little more than Brisky, but they keep their rock 'n' roll kicks simple and loud. "Birthday" is all breathless gobbiness, while "Bad Girl, Good Life" plays the dynamics game, teasing the listener with quieter sections that erupt in short bursts of joyful abandon.

The only boring bit is "Home," where Jonny succumb to Japan's insidious love for a ballad, pumping out a bloated mess of distorted guitars and melodies that singer Mio Sato's voice just isn't up to. Still, this debut release shows a bucketload of promise for a bright and bratty future.

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