When a band regularly starts its shows with Television’s “Marquee Moon,” you know what kind of standards it holds itself up to. In light of the progress Number Girl has made in its brief history, this doesn’t seem too ambitious. Since forming in 1995, the band has gone from the indies to the Japanese majors, moved from Fukuoka to Tokyo for its work, and recorded an album with a star producer (David Fridmann on “Seppukei”).
The raw power of Number Girl’s recordings easily translates to the live experience. Loud is the key word here, but it’s a really good loud. As well as a driving rhythm, the pounding bang-bang of drums and guitar sounds whipped through effects machines, there’s also melodies. Think The Pixes and not “mellow-core.”
One only wishes that Shutoku Mukai, singer/soul of the band and a sober dresser with spectacles, wouldn’t sacrifice the high notes and his sometimes sensitive tones for volume. Live, a cute “Whoa whoa whoa” becomes “Whaaaaarrrrrrlll.”