tricot is a curious case. From the land of crazy fads and music (kawaii metal, anyone?), Japan has once again brought something out of the nary; a surprisingly punishing math-rock band formed by three girls in their mid-twenties and a lone dude.
tricot, fronted by the affable Ikkyu Nakajima (vocals, guitars), kicked off into hard-riffing numbers at Home Club with songs which were melodic, yet had a certain sense of frenetic, unbridled energy to it. This had obvious showing in the crowd, who responded unfalteringly with fervent cheering and applause every time a song went out.
Before that, local experimental/post-rock outfit 7nightsatsea opened for tricot, and performed to a largely stagnant crowd with songs from their new EP. Still fresh off their release of their debut Drift Easy, Heavy Hands EP last year, the band thrilled audiences with numbers such as soft-brimming track ‘Heralds’ and progressive track ‘Quiver (In Turmoil)’. The band was ethereal in their own right, building highly textured layers of guitars over rumbling beats.
tricot rocked hard, and sung mostly in their native Japanese tongue. The band was amiable towards the crowd, and divulged halfway that they’d “had pizza at Riverside Plaza” and “visited Marina Bay Sands” earlier that afternoon. Tricot was a furious amalgamation of styles; jazz, punk, rock, indie and even had an interesting post-rock complex to their music. Performing songs off their latest release, T.H.E, the band showcased complex rhythms and timings in songs such as ‘おもてなし, おちゃんせんすぅす’ and ‘99.974℃’. There was an interesting reminiscent to math-rock bands such as Don Caballero, Fall of Troy, Minus the Bear, and even Foals, who were seen performing here earlier this month.
The girls charmed throughly with their music, as well as with their adorable personality. The band would engage with the audience after every song, using their smattering of English to interact with the crowd. They were surprisingly down-to-earth, and took time to read notes thrown from the crowd and replying to random Japanese words called out. Vocalist Ikkyu took things up a notch when she got the crowd singing Happy Birthday to lead guitarist Motoko Kida. After that, the band kicked into the encore performance of their last song.
tricot’s music was purely transcendental, and it didn’t take a grasp of the Japanese language to understand where these girls (and guy) were coming from. tricot was the epitome of the age-old saying “don’t judge a book by it’s cover”; if three surburban-looking Japanese girls could rock harder than any seasoned rocker — and give a wildly entertaining show to boot — then so could you.
By Evan Woon
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