If Tokyo’s live houses have provided little in the way of new musical inspiration recently, the provinces have picked up the slack with a vengeance. Sapporo’s burgeoning hip-hop scene has produced new rap heroes the Blue Herb, while Kyoto, with DJs 1945 and Nobukazu Takemura, is becoming the home of experimental turntablism. For a dose of guitar heroics, one need only head south to Fukuoka. Sheena Ringo is probably the best known Kyushu export, but with their new album, “School Girl, Distortional Addict,” Number Girl has lobbed a sonic volley.

Number Girl is loud: ear-splitting, head-ringing loudness. “See us once and your ear’s life will be shortened by 10 years,” says songwriter, vocalist and guitarist Shutoku Mukai with the kind of cheeriness that only a 25-year-old, yet untouched by physical decay, can muster.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.