The release of Mass of the Fermenting Dregs’ self-titled debut this time last year marked them out as a band to watch. The Kobe-based three-piece (known to fans as Masudore) betrayed a rare knack for melding pop sensibilities with the aural assault of the best postrock. The fact they are all girls didn’t hurt their image, either.
Now whittled down to the core duo of bassist/vocalist Natsuko Miyamoto and guitarist Chiemi Ishimoto, the group’s second minialbum finds them edging toward a more accessible sound. Though they’ve retained much of the fierceness of their previous material, they channel it here into tighter song structures with a keener ear for melody.
The record is coproduced by Kentaro Nakao, former bassist for indie noiseniks Number Girl, and the influence of his old band is obvious in the tense riffing and propulsive rhythms of “Aoi, Koi, Daidai-iro no Hi” (“Blue, Thick, Orange-color Day”) and “Kakuiumono” (“Such is Said”). They’re the strongest songs here, but it wouldn’t be surprising if the Dregs chose to pursue the template set by the title track, on which frantic guitars are paired with an instantly hummable tune. It wouldn’t sound out of place playing over the end credits of an anime TV series — and nothing screams “crossover potential” louder than that.
Mass of the Fermenting Dregs play shows across Japan in February and March. For details, see www.motfd.com