OK, so they’re not the first band to do away with bass guitar and present a big fat sound as a duo. But by god, they’re one of the best. Formed by Ruu and Miwako in Fukuoka in 2004, Masadayomasa play live shows so hot as to practically melt your ears: Miwako standing as she crashes massive rhythms from her drum kit; Ruu arching backwards to let out bloodcurdling screams that don’t even need a microphone to set spines on edge.
“Kimagure Kapuri” is their third mini album, and the first to be a proper factory-produced CD, though it’s available only from Tower Records or the girls’ live shows. It’s their most accessible set to date: With six songs in 18 minutes, it presents a concision that hardcore bands often lack.
Opening track “217519” is a bundle of smouldering emotion, with Ruu singing in Japanese about the fine line between love and hate; the song then dives briefly into some deliciously awkward time signatures before settling into an edgy calm that in turn erupts into a gutsy ending.
Ruu’s guitar sound is addictively beefy, channelled simultaneously through both a guitar amp and a bass amp, but she knows how to hold back for maximum effect, such as when the playful Primus-esque guitar bounce of “Ginko Keiyu Inochi Goi” gives way to a fierce wall of sound in the middle-eight. Vocal harmonies are also employed in this way — the fact that they are often slightly off-key gives the close harmonies on “Keshigomu Baria” all the more impact. And in another unexpected twist, a cappella swansong “Suzume No Uta” offers a jazzy flavour and even a bit of whistling. Masadayomasa: raw, infectious and downright perfect.