OOIOO - Kila Kila Kila (Cover Artwork)


Kila Kila Kila (2004)

Thrill Jockey

OOIOO are an anomaly to the unsuspecting public. Sporting a post-Boredoms P-we (their drummer) on guitar and vocals, it seems somehow appropriate that they make even less sense than her first band. The lyrics are visceral, oblique poetry, and the music is a more peaceful variation of the late Boredoms.

Their first couple of records being prime examples of spastic, noisy, psychedelic rock, I was expecting more of the same with Kila Kila Kila. While the rhythm-centered aspects remained, what I found was a whole different beast.

Commencing the record is the title track, short, sparse and buzzing with genuine eccentricity. The chimes of track two, "Ene Soda," slightly disorient, and there's a lingering guitar picking that sporadically explodes for the next five minutes over Yoshimi's soothing vocals. The next song, "Sizuku Ring Neng," tip-toes in with equally intriguing percussion backing a chant, until the first warnings from the guitar, which caves the song into a catchy beat with full on dubby bass. So it continues until the rhythm disappears temporarily and crashes back in full blast with a rolling keyboard.

"On Mani" stands out as an ambitious jazz exercise utilizing strings and brass to explore an escalating melody with frenetic drumming. Following the aforementioned is "Northern Lights," a cyclical jam based around warm guitars, easygoing and friendly, petering out in the end to make way for the spinning keyboards of the mini-song "Niko Niko Niko."

"Aster" fades into beautiful harmonization and reined in guitar picking, over a vigorous, yet steady beat. The guitars are then diminished and return to an angular variation of the primary rhythm. It is then discarded and peaks with minimalist chirping.

Closing out the CD is "Annenue Au," with a throbbing electronic opening, giving way to a danceable bass line and gentle guitars. The drums then approach the vanguard and the piece settles into a comfortable groove, which eventually alternates into a more refined piano-laden variation.

Though OOIOO are no longer the full-fledged psychedelic band they were on their earlier releases, they play their own unique brand of jazz-informed, intermittently noisy post-rock extremely well. This leaves me expecting more from Yoshimi and company, satisfied in knowing that all I can expect is a surprise.