Aiha Higurashi makes both girls and boys swoon. Boys because they want her. Girls because they want to be her. The tight dresses and frankly erotic gaze have inspired a million wet dreams, but the strutting guitar and in-your-face f**k-you attitude are provocative, too. Higurashi’s group, Seagull Screaming Kiss Her Kiss Her, has undoubtedly prompted countless girls to pick up a guitar or leave their boyfriends.

Girl bands are so numerous in Japan that they are almost a cliche: either insipidly cute a la Puffy or, in the indie leagues, toughly sexy. Higurashi and bassist Nao Koyama are definitely cuties, but their sexiness comes with all the messiness of real life. Listening to their new single, “Sentimental Journey,” is like witnessing a bad breakup. The stained sheets are still in evidence. The black and blue marks still sting.

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