Nisennenmondai “Destination Tokyo”


All-girl instrumental three-piece Nisennenmondai shook the Tokyo underground scene with the release of the mini album “Sore de Souzo Suru Neji” in 2004. They quickly gained a reputation as one of the hottest new bands in Japan for the way they combined elements of minimalist 1970s progressive rock like Neu! and This Heat with the ferocious no-wave noise of early Sonic Youth and Japanese compatriots Melt Banana.

“Destination Tokyo” is the band’s first full release since their 2006 debut “Rokuon” (Rockon), and the gap between albums is evident in the way their sound has changed. The production is better, which is to say that while it still sounds as if it was recorded in a barn, at least this time they had the forethought to let the animals out first. More importantly, their style has undergone a shift toward dance music, best exemplified by the album’s centerpiece, “Mirrorball,” where Sayaka Himeno’s drumming — the explosive driving force of Nisennenmondai’s early sound — takes a back seat to layers of delay-pedal loops that guitarist Masako Takada gradually constructs.

In the end, however, this change in style merely serves to underline what has always been one of Nisennenmondai’s strongest points, namely the fiercely energetic way they make every instrument a function of the rhythm, which ensures that there are few other bands around making music with such physical impact.

Nisennenmondai play with Zu on March 25, 26 and 28 as above.