Hyper Gal Pure CD

Osaka two-piece that uses drums, keyboards, and vocals to blend elements of noise, no wave, pop, and blistering punk to create something remarkable and new. “Charm バイブル” opens the album with dueling fire-alarm synths that, through repetition and mellow vocal accompaniment, turn from irritating into shimmeringly beautiful. Repetition is an important part of HYPER GAL’s musical vocabulary, and they often follow a locked-in, krautrock-style groove to its logical extension. This is used to great effect on “Domestic Utopia ランド,” a seven-minute exercise in restraint and release that volleys between an isolated hi-hat/snare pattern and short bursts of noisy spoken/rapped vocals. As an album centerpiece, it captures everything great about this band: tension is maintained despite simplistic instrumentation, and there is a careful balance between experimentation and rhythmic familiarity. As wild as the noise gets, the drums ground the sound (even if it’s with blastbeats). When the drums pound out blown-out rudiments on jagged bizarro-universe J-pop excursions like “Tropical トロピカル” and “Wedding Ring 指 輪,” the pleasant vocals (especially on the harmonized latter track) keep them accessible. They are loud and abrasive without sounding aggressive, in the same vein as BLACK PUS or the 8-bit era of HELLA. Endlessly inventive and challenging, this is a great record.