What is this? What is this glorious, chipper, happy-joy-joy super-fun audio gloss? We’re transported! Transported to the sofa watching Cowboy Bebop and Death Note and other such Japanese wonders! We honestly thought that songs of this class were limited to TV shows but, ladies and gentlemen, we are converted.
Tricot’s third album is entitled ‘3’ (we see what they did there, very good, well done to that person) and is a beautifully produced snapshot masterpiece, with clean guitar crunch perfectly located in harmony with a secondary guitars swirling and clanging over the top of some wonderfully tight drums with a huge, wide sound, leaving space underneath for the least aggressive bass sound we’ve heard in a while and some beautiful vocals, harmonies and backing vocals.
Their skill lies in, and we hesitate to use the word, erratic time signatures and syncopation blended with indie rock guitar and melody. We hesitate because this isn’t math-rock, this isn’t prog. This is perfectly listenable. You could be on a bus nodding along to this. You could be cooking. You could be at their gig. It’s so infectiously positive we’d even suggest they put it on in doctor’s surgeries.
The album starts with ‘Tokyo Vampire Hotel’. 2:28 minutes of power pop rock followed by ‘Wabi-Sabi’ which is a dream. Beautiful high backing harmonies and underlying rhythms that seem to switch multiple time signatures in sequence, with guitars which skip and dance their own beauty on top of this.
Vocals are flawless, and the singer really knows how to use falsetto effectively at the top of a melody line to add emotional engagement in spite of the entire album being sung in ‘not-English’. This can be a block for British and North American listeners generally, but not here.
‘Yosoiki’ has a disjointed disco feel to it and a bridge that has an unexpected melody. Shared vocals between two members of the band and more erratic rhythms start to appear, taking the album into new climes.
By track three you already know what you’re getting for your money and that’s not a bad thing here. There are little sniffs and shuffles of extra interest here and there, with a particular nod to discrete use of guitar effects. Overall, everything is pretty clean, although a nice phase roll on the drums and flange here and there is present on the guitar, some auto-wah, a bit of reverb, but nothing that imposes itself on the tracks excessively. No show boating here, and a clear separation between all of the audio sources allows you to really appreciate every inch of this collection of songs.
‘DeDeDe’ contains some lovely panned and gated guitar stabs throughout which lead beautifully into the slightly jazzy ‘Sukima’. The panned gating is also applied to the backing vocals later in ‘Munasawagi’. ‘Namu’ makes you wake up again, with some really interesting excessively fast tremolo hammering across the guitar line, making for interesting listening. The album closer ‘Melon Soda’ is much calmer than the previous 43 minutes, but only in its delivery, the pace is still here, but the vocals are softer.
It’s a quick 46 minutes, but one that you’ll want to return to. Tricot are coming our way in August and we suspect a ticket to that will be money well spent.
3 by Tricot is released on 19th May 2017 via Big Scary Monsters Records.