Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

Tricot – E

Amnesty Week picks come through again, knottily…


Patrick St. Michel: Tricot have always had the “math rock” tag attached to them, and it isn’t totally off. The trio (once quartet, but the drummer split) do all the start-stop guitar playing that is shorthand for the style, but to reduce them to being good at plotting out their sound and playing “angular riffs” misses a huge chunk of what makes them exciting. It’s all in lead singer Ikkyu Nakajima’s voice on “E,” as she goes from near whisper to yell with plenty of stops in between, blanketed by her bandmate’s background “oooohs.” Most math-rock is content to pride itself on timing, but Tricot aren’t afraid to get wild and turn “E” into something unpredictable, channeling one of their big influences Number Girl. But it isn’t just imitation — it’s them finding their own voice, and carving out a space for themselves. 

Iain Mew: Last time out I concentrated on Tricot’s formation of order from chaos. Since then, “Break” took them a bit far into order, and “E” has them lean in the other direction to suitably ecstatic effect. I love the confidence of the long set of musical stabs that start it, and from there it’s a headlong dash into some more headlong dashes, a song that keeps in the technical wizardry but is more intent to get to many different types of energy the fastest ways it can.

W.B. Swygart: The initial appeal is sort of musical chairs-y — guessing where the start and stop bits are, looking for the little fluctuations in the silences and reacting accordingly. Then the wailing begins, and that’s even better, as lead Tricot starts scrawling and daubing all over the neatly arranged modules, like a cross between Space Invaders and Tetris – a thing I’m assuming has already happened several times, only this is in ROCK FORM. Not sure what it all adds up to yet, but it’s plenty of fun.

Maxwell Cavaseno: The world’s sweetest and most forlorn band for fans of This Town Needs Guns come through once more, with complex noodling and teenish wind-up. So few math-rock bands have that sense of wistfulness. Fuck, now I’m wondering what an all-female Dillinger would sound like. That’d be so sick.

Sonia Yang: Lesser bands would choke at the task of integrating start-and-stop rhythms into a continuous flow, but Tricot delivers richly textured aural delight. There’s a wilder, looser quality to this compared to their previous work — looks like experimenting with five(!) different drummers really expanded their horizons. I love the different shades of Nakajima Ikkyu’s voice; she flips flawlessly between ethereal whisper, passionate cry and wry drawl. You’d think putting a proper hook over the dueling-in-harmony bass and guitar lines and raining drums would be overwhelming, but these girls are master jigsaw puzzlers.

Brad Shoup: Prog thresh on a plastic kit: everything’s hollowed out except for the vocalist. I’m sure they’ll find a decent full-time drummer eventually, but that knuckled-up riffing and those close harmonies can almost cover the gap.

Ian Mathers: This is the first band in a long time to kind of remind me a bit of Life Without Buildings (more instrumentally than vocally), although with maybe a bit more aggression. It’s not quite gelling for me yet, but LWB were also unintuitive at first, so I might just need a little longer to get on their level.

Will Adams: The trick is to avoid figuring out what’s behind the curtain. My musician’s brain wants to count the beats and determine the mixed meter. My music-lover’s brain wants to stage dive.

Reader average: [6.5] (2 votes)

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3 Responses to “Tricot – E”

  1. dang, I was pretty harsh on the other one we covered.

  2. The drummer on this track is Bobo, who’s certainly not a no-name stand-in, in fact he’s quite famous, and was recently on the Ellen show with Miyavi. I’ve enjoyed Miyoko Yamaguchi as their drummer -she did all their live shows last summer, check out the official Volt festival upload on youtube. According to this interview* they seem unlikely to hire a permanent drummer any time soon, enjoying the freedom of being just the original three *

    While waiting for the upcoming tricot album this three-track single is up on Spotify – and bassist Hiromi takes lead v ocal on track 3 ‘Diver’, it’s a very good sort of mellow

  3. Thanks for the info. I saw “rotating cast of drummers from hometown” and heard “dinky sounding kit” and came up with the formulation you saw.