Benefiting from their Shibuya-kei affiliation in the early 1990s, Buffalo Daughter attracted international attention and established an overseas cult following through associations with the likes of the Beastie Boys’ former Grand Royal imprint. “The Weapons of Math Destruction” retains the innovative, experimental edge that has played a major factor in the Tokyo trio’s success during their 17-year career.
Built around a pulsating looped beat, the trippy “Gravity” and the poppy, lounge-techno hybrid “All Power to the Imagination” give Buffalo Daughter’s sixth long-player a laid-back vibe early on. Things pick up with the fantastic art-punk and alt hip-hop of “Rock ‘n’ Roll Anthem.” A sea of deep blips and bleeps and quirky nonsensical musings from suGar Yoshinaga are complemented with a distorted cow’s “moo” and a Transformers-like robotic voice growling “rock ‘n’ roll” over the track. Ex-Cibo Matto vocalist Miho Hatori makes an appearance on “The Battle Field in My Head,” her melodic chanted chorus working well alongside Yoshinaga’s borderline spoken-word delivery. It’s dropped over a warped dance rhythm that mixes in elements of postpunk and turntable scratching as it progresses. Buffalo Daughter delve into harder realms on the angular, instrumental “Six, Seven, Eight” and the electro-rocker “Run.”
The last three tracks lack creativity and curb the momentum of the album at the end. However, the first 10 cuts are solid enough to keep you coming back for more.
Buffalo Daughter will perform at Fever in Shindaita, Tokyo, on July 29 and at the Red Marquee Stage at the Fuji Rock Festival in Naeba, Niigata Prefecture, on Aug. 1.