It’s 2016 and Japanese pop/math rock trio tricot have introduced another word to the global lexicon: setsuyakuka. The word is a variation of the term ‘setsuyaku’ which generally refers to the act of economizing. You may recall the band introduced us to the term ‘ochansensusu‘ back in 2013; the meaning has never really been resolved, as much as I try to hound their publicist.
‘Setsuyakuka’ is the second track from tricot’s latest effort Kabuku, a five track EP that, interestingly, was recorded with four different drummers selected from a series of drummer auditions the band organised last summer. Coming off the back of a cheery a cappella opener, the track bursts open with a satisfying mathy hook delivered with Motoko Kida’s trademark jangling guitars and Ikkyu Nakajima’s harmonic but powerful vocal delivery. And then there’s ‘Ah-ah’, a lavish mass of pop rock, and featuring beautiful contrasts between Motoko’s guitar and Hiromi Sagane’s bass work. ‘Blue’ brings a slow and emotional finish to the EP, wrapping up what is a quick but lively record.
Musically Kabuku EP is everything we’d expect from tricot, which is fine by me. It still baffles me that, for all its complexity and deliciously disjunctive structure, the band had no idea that they were making what some of us would call ‘math rock’.