OOIOO Taiga

Japan’s OOIOO are a lively and inventive gang of four women led by Yoshimi P-We (respected and admired for being a member of Boredoms for the past 20 years, famous for having her name dropped in a Flaming Lips album title), who formed as a fictitious band for a magazine article ten years ago and soon found themselves opening for Sonic Youth the following year. Since then, the group have followed a far-out trajectory that has brought them further and further into the psych-mashing grooves best worn on their bronze-worthy Gold & Green album. This time around, for their second Thrill Jockey release, OOIOO tackle such far-reaching influences as so-called world music (of the tribal worship and celebratory veins) and fantastical jungle prog, but as always with OOIOO, repetition and its mentally supplanting effects are key to the engaging formulae at play. Ecstatic vocal chants and expulsions circle around heavily percussive rhythms, with guitar licks and keyboard tricks aplenty to throw you even further off rock’s beaten path — though this is distinctly rock music. For all their freakish tendencies, OOIOO still carve out a very accessible blend of experimental fancy that always sort of stays in keeping with rock’s ingrained traditions. Taiga (which means "big river” in Japanese and "forest” in Russian) is a cuddly, crazy album with loads of wild fun around every turn. (Thrill Jockey)