Afrirampo Kore Ga Mayaku Da

Osaka, Japan’s latest underground hot topic might look like two cute and innocent 20-year-old girls, but once they’re behind their gear they transform into ferocious animals that will not be tamed. Oni’s guitar is fairly barebones in style, but still manages to pack a chugging punch. Her playing is often chaotic, especially during improvised sections, but can often be quite delicate and frail. Pikachu’s drums are similar — sometimes big and pounding, others restrained and articulate. Basically, it depends where Afrirampo are taking their songs, which flow and move from full-on death metal proportions down to barer, more open structures where the duo’s free-form vocal hi-jinks are allowed space to dance about. However, Oni and Pikachu’s vocals are given a little too much free reign, and cross the line separating the intriguing from the indulgent and silly. This debut also further tests the listener’s patience by never really straying from the drums and guitar set-up Afrirampo rock, but some listeners will certainly appreciate this brazenly raw and minimal approach. One gets the feeling it’s all about seeing Afrirampo live, and if their opening slots for Lightning Bolt are any indicator, they’re one hell of a live act. (Tzadik)