Formed in 2002, Hyogo Prefecture-based female trio Mass of the Fermenting Dregs first attracted wider attention after stealing the show on the Rookie A Go-Go stage at last year’s Fuji Rock Festival. And while their self-titled debut is released by newly formed indie label Avocado Records, that the band have also signed a development contract with the major EMI suggests they have their sights set higher than playing Japan’s circuit of dingy toilet venues.
Influenced by postrock (think Mogwai) and early 1990s alternative rock such as Nirvana, the disc’s six guitar-driven cuts — produced by the band and the ubiquitous Dave Fridmann (The Flaming Lips) — are both angular and catchy. The two tracks produced by the former Mercury Rev bassist especially stand out: On the first, “If a Surfer,” vocalist Natsuko Miyamoto’s passionate wails cut through a bed of distorted pop-rock, before the song fades into “Bears,” a fantastically noisy instrumental freak-out that closes the disc.
The remaining songs show potential, but only the massive-sounding opener “Delusionalism” comes close to matching the intensity of the Fridmann-helmed material.
Mass Of The Fermenting Dregs are currently on a nationwide tour, which includes dates at Shimokitazawa Shelter, Tokyo on Feb. 8 and at Fandango, Osaka on Feb 13.