Pistol Valve Tsunami Girls From Tokyo

This is totally awesome. Ten brass instrument-toting Japanese girls, plus a DJ and a violinist, performing slick-sounding ska, pop and Who covers. Utterly manufactured as a group, there may be a good chance that the all-female "Battle-Royale with horns-esque” photo that adorns the cover art might be misleading — maybe it’s the dudes from Milli Vanilli playing euphonium — but it doesn’t really matter because the music is actually kind of good. A mixture of big band, j-pop and third-wave ska, the high point here is a truly bizarre cover of "My Generation,” which is so big and silly sounding that if you don’t like it you probably suck. While the group’s aesthetic is clearly a large part of their appeal (they have outfits!), it’s worth noting that Tsunami Girls From Tokyo is more than just a sweet album title, it’s a pretty sweet album, too. (Garule)