tricot – A N D (2015)


It’s been a busy year or so for tricot, the possibly math but probably pop band from Kyoto, Japan, home to other Fecking favourites such as jizue, Uchu Conbini and Low-Pass, who have been getting love from all manner of non-Japanese press, playing a number of European festivals and showing up on the same line up as the Pixies. (If anyone knows the quote from Scott Pilgrim vs The World that I’m thinking of right now, kudos, have some reference points.) This kinda play doesn’t come cheap, so we can assume that the band is banking on some success with their latest album A N D.

Personally, I was a little disappointed with their last album, T H E from 2013 after having been a huge fan of both the initial mini-album School Children & The Cosmos and the Bacyuun EP, I felt that although their sound hadn’t really changed that they’d slowed down a bit and lost the energy that accompanied tracks such as ‘3.14’ or ‘夢見がちな少女、舞い上がる、空へ’ or ‘Matsuri’. So I was nervous going into A N D, I’d purposefully avoided the buzz-making tricks to hear new material and after the departure of Kazutaka Komaki I wondered if they’d lose the drive he gave the band…

As it happens, A N D is a fantastic piece of work, not just full of energy and passion but with that off-normal edge that gives us in the mathy scene joy. Whilst they claim to not know what math-rock is (a few times in the accompanying press release) this album undeniably has that flavour to it, tracks such as ‘E’, ‘庭 (Niwa)’ or opener ‘Noradrenaline’ jump between time signatures and ideas perfectly… combining complex rhythm and creativity with pop sensibilities that so many Japanese bands do so well. On repeat listens the elements come out clearer, Motoko Kida’s wonderful angular guitar work, Hiromi Sagane’s driving bass lines all held together by Ikkyu Nakajima vocals. The six different drummers that play over the 12 tracks, with different styles and equipment, is jarring initially but later ends up adding a nice distinctive tint to each song. The only low point, to my mind, comes with ‘QFF’, a slow warbling number towards the end that contrasts sharply with the excitement felt in the other 11 tracks.

The timing of A N D is probably with reason, from the start this album has a spring time fresh starts air about it, the kind of warm poppy music that makes you want to walk to work rather than catch a bus. Here’s hoping this will lead Tricot onto greater things still…

*As an aside, myself and my girlfriend tried to see Tricot in Tokyo last summer. They had put on two shows at Shelter in Shimokitazawa, one for men only, the other for women. Colour-me-surprised, the men’s show sold out, but my girlfriend was able to attend the woman only show and reported that it was primarily attended by young middle and high school girls sporting homemade t-shirts and singing every word with glee. In some corners of Japan, Tricot appear to be an inspiration to young girls at a time in life when real solid role models are needed and that is excellent.*

File Under

Spring air, pop, punk, let’s walk instead…

Sounds A Tad Like

Shonen Knife, Tommy Boys, Nation Of Ulysses


$12.99 on digital at Google Play or 2400 on CD at CDJapan


Kyoto, Japan