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Artist: Oshiri Penpenz

Album: Oshiri-Penpenz

Label: self-released

Review date: Apr. 28, 2004

Osaka's Oshiri-Penpenz play the same sort of ingeniously sloppy No Wave that made Pussy Galore such a bright spot well over a decade earlier. For a while now, the Kansai area (the region around Osaka and Kyoto) has been home to a collection of bands placed under the umbrella "scum rock," such as the bewilderingly entertaining Ultra Fuckers. Whether Oshiri-Penpenz consider themselves part of that circle I don't know, but the name fits in any case.

The seven songs on this 15-minute CD are filled with hoarse, shouted vocals, scattered drum shots, and sharp, percussive guitar scrapings. Vocalist Motako spits out punkish yells and rhythmic chants while guitarist Kirara and drummer Mukae churn out pounding riffs that often sound like they're about the fall apart, though they never do.

It's tricky to spit out this sort of stripped-down anti-rock that's both precise yet rickety -- at first listen, the trio sound like they don't really care, they just want to make a racket. But then you realize that in fact, everything's right on: Kirara and Mukae change together perfectly, while Motako's shouts are always atop the rhythms.

Fun and energetic as the CD is, I'll bet the live show is where the action really is. For those of us living in North America, though, this will have to do for the moment. Oshiri-Penpenz are the lost connection between old UFO Or Die and today's No Wave revival.

Contact Oshiri-Penpenz at santomonogatari-motaco@docomo.ne.jp.

By Mason Jones

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