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Lite “For All the Innocence”

by Shawn Despres

One of Japan’s top instrumental rock acts, Tokyo’s Lite have performed at festivals such as Fuji Rock and Summer Sonic, and gigged throughout Asia, Europe and North America. They’ve also toured with such U.S. indie-music luminaries as Mike Watt and Lou Barlow, and have recorded with John McEntire from Tortoise/The Sea and Cake fame.

With this global credibility behind them, the band have released their third full-length album, “For All the Innocence.” Like their two previous EPs, 2009′s “Turns Red” and last year’s “Illuminate,” the album sees the band using electronic music to expand the guitar-heavy math-rock that dominated their early efforts. The complex, danceable rhythms of “Red Horse in Blue” and “Chameleon Eyes” are similar to the work of acclaimed Canadian experimental rock group Holy F-ck.

One of the best postrock offerings I’ve heard this year, waves of atmospheric noise briefly silence “Red Horse in Blue” halfway through the track. However, it resumes with an acoustic guitar that is soon swallowed by an infectious mess of synthesizer and effect-drenched, angular electric-guitar chords.

“Pirates and Parakeets” is the lone song to feature singing. The fun blend of whimsical vocal melodies and chants mixed with avant-garde prog-rock would not sound out of place on Battles’ brilliant 2007 “Mirrored” effort. The playful “Duck Follows an Eccentric” switches from quirky art-rock into a cowbell-accented slice of Southern-fried classic rock that makes “For All the Innocence” an even more dynamic affair.

Lite’s “For All the Innocence” tour starts at Sendai Park Square on July 10 (6:30 p.m.; ¥2,500; [022] 267-0433). They play Arabaki Rock Fest. at Eco Camp Michinoku in Miyagi Prefecture on Aug. 28. For more information, visit lite-web.com.