As you have probably found in your musical travels, there is a strong sense of groove amidst bands in the Japanese math/post rock scenes. This almost seems a little counter-intuitive, as groove naturally requires a consistent rhythm, and math rock is heavily oriented around angularity and atypical rhythms. Perhaps this is what makes the Japanese math/post rock scene so popular; the balance between complexity and cohesiveness is so bang on (and this is probably why the groove-rich Enemies have become so popular in Japan).
Japan’s math rock four-piece tricot provide a staggering example in their album, THE. Ignoring the math components for a second, tricot delivers punchy alt-rock at its ‘alt-est’. In the standout track, ‘POOL’, lead vocalist Ikkyu Nakajima complements the deliciously catchy chorus hook with an almost bellowing cry, evoking a raw energy typical of the early DC emo bands, such as Quicksand and Fugazi. Tricot’s math element lies in their complex meter changes. The track ‘おちゃんせんすぅす’ (‘Ochansensu-Su’) employs alternations of 9/8 and 12/8 time signature, blended with experimental, staccato-style guitar strumming and soothing vocal harmonies. Many of these rhythmical quirks have been sneakily wedged into THE, but the overall sound remains cool and memorable, like any great indie masterpiece.
In THE, tricot scoop up a rich blend of alt rock and toss it into metric whirlpools. The grooviness of the final product means you can play this at college parties or on long road trips, while the gentle sprinkling of odd time signatures keeps us math rock dweebs fulfilled.