Thursday, February 6th, 2020

Tricot – Makkuro

You got your math rock in my pop punk!


Ryo Miyauchi: While Tricot made their name in the last decade compacting unhinged math-rock into tuneful pop, “Makkuro” softens their once-jagged edges and tones down the jamming. The act of restraint here, though, translates to maturity and self-control, qualities communicated more thoroughly by Ikkyu, who accepts failures to progress as not letdowns but just part of the process. They’ve grown to stop wrestling so intensely with the present, and they learned to take a step back and look at the big picture once in a while.

Nortey Dowuona: A heavy, locked in drum shower falls, then  stops as dueling guitars and bass swirl in a maelstrom, then the lead singer of tricot, slowly, makes her way through the maelstrom, which corrects itself to remain on the path, while Ikumi spreads the maelstrom out into mere clouds, with the guitars spreading towards the sun and smoothly slinking behind Ikumi back, to which they turn to see them swirl back into a tornado, which Ikumi picks up and lifts toward where the sun would be and  spins it 4 times then lets it go, pushing it out into the atmosphere and further into space, where it evaporates, rocks appearing in the space debris.

Juana Giaimo: Tricot is a band that I don’t listen to often, but that whenever I do, I enjoy it a lot. “Makkuro” isn’t an exception: the delicate guitar melodies and the unexpected drum patterns contrast beautifully with the powerful chorus. For someone who doesn’t understand the lyrics, the vocals sound like another instrument that intensifies all emotions in the musical landscape. 

Alfred Soto: Drums, please! A song with sparkle and crunch doesn’t come ’round my neighborhood often. The vocals project a wistfulness that the guitars refuse to acknowledge. As impressive as trad rock gets. 

Ian Mathers: Kind of reminds me of, of all bands, Minus the Bear. There’s a similar kind of post rock-ish, vaguely metal-adjacent proficiency turned to surprisingly poppy ends, something that feels more complex than verse-chorus-verse but goes down very smooth at the same time. I don’t remember math rock being this fun, is part of what I’m saying.

Brad Shoup: Contrast this with Geiin Wa Jibun Ni Aru, or even the Tricot of T H E; they no longer need to bear down to impress. It’s the not-playing that gets me the most here, actually. Specifically, the long-ass rest between the drums-only intro and the full band coming in between the one and two. This is wistful math-rock, where the vocals and endlessly unspooling guitar figures are both running up the same hill.

Hannah Jocelyn: The kick drum has the clarity and precise timing of a sample, but the snare rings out like the song could break into 90s alternative rock at any moment. A metaphor for this song’s fussy, eccentric structure that equally blends two genres. The combination of mixed meter with pop-punk riffs creates the effect of “x song but the beats are shifted” videos, only deliberate. (A version of “beats 2 and 4 are swapped” might result in “Sugar We’re Going Down” as performed by Hop Along.) But my namedrops are all Western reference points – hearing the Tricot album reminds me of my own limited knowledge. TSJ contributor Ryo Miyauchi translated the lyrics, and while I’m not sure what the song is specifically about, something about “things not worth returning/leaving behind a stolen mark” makes me wonder if it’s literally about Americans listening to a song like this, ‘stealing’ when they’re not reaching deeper than surface-level engagement. “No matter what gets robbed/I won’t lose a thing” might confirm this, a ‘staying true to yourself’-type message on their first major-label release. But a song like this makes me want to learn.

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2 Responses to “Tricot – Makkuro”

  1. LITERALLY just finished reading about this in the newsletter I-

  2. This is the most pleasantly surprised I’ve been with a score here in a long time.