NENGU – Pongyaron (2017)

From the opening rapidfire staccato keys twirling over the syncopated percussion, it is clear that Nengu‘s Pongyaron is intended to be a blitz. A fast aural assault.

While opener ‘Real Mel Gibson’ packs roundhouse kicks of Pneu, Lightning Bolt and Hella, there remains something distinctly Japanese about Nengu’s approach, the shiny guitar sheen and pop-leaning textures had me immediately recalling bands like mudy on the sakuban, Marmalade butcher and sajjanu. It’s not just being hit with a train, it’s a Japanese bullet train.

In the interims, electronic tracks like ‘National Holiday’ feel just as mischievous and off-kilter as the adjacent instrumentals. Pongyaron closes with the soothing kalimba melodies of ‘KODAWARI Champion’, serving as a rather oddball bookend to the overly turbulent body of the album.

Nengu’s sophomore album is another indisputable exercise in raw sonic excess, where the Tokyo trio offer only minor moments for breathers. Pongyaron proves that the legion of mathy noise rock is alive and well in Japan.

File Under

Instrumental, math rock, noise rock, odd rhythms, punk

Sounds A Tad Like

Lightning Bolt, Pneu, mudy on the sakuban, Hella


$12US via Bandcamp


Tokyo, Japan