Sunday, December 26, 2010


What:  おにんこ! (oninko!)
Link: oninko homepage

Oninko are an all female three-piece, although they are currently playing as a two-piece (dubbed 二人んこ("futarinko"))  while their drummer is away. If you listen to their latest recordings on their myspace page (follow the link from their homepage above), you might think that the "low-fi" label is very wrong. However, their first 7" - a split which Enban put out (enban shop link here) - is pretty much a dicta-phone recording, and their live show as a twosome includes a brutally primitive drum-machine backing. Perhaps this muffled recording constitutes proof? Whether they qualify as low-fi or not, their other characteristics put them in the same broad family. Off-tune vocals (yeah, I think I mean "off-tune"), barely handled guitar licks and a bratty vocal delivery. Then there are some aspects which are harder to define and make them harder to pigeon-hole too: For example, the "flow" of their lyrics is often quite exquisite - it definitely feels like they are coming from a distinctly Japanese place to me, rather than being modelled on western rock vocal styles. The song "Magma" is one example.
When they spell out the word "magma" ("emu-ei-ji-yu-emu-ei 'ma-gu-ma'") in the song, it kind of feels like magma rolling down a mountain! They also do a fair bit of self referencing in their lyrics and song titles, so maybe they're just studied in hip-hop. Another thing I like is that some of their songs have a dinky bass groove, which coupled with the slightly amateur guitar sound for some reason makes me think of 90's flying nun...?!

I have a bit of trouble making out their lyrical content. There is one song about the delights of chocolate and a few other scraps I've picked up which suggest they might be a bit twee for me if they were singing in English.
Overall, I think I actually prefer Oninko to their contemporaries ni-sen-nen-mondai, although that possibly just proves what a pop-tart I've become in the past few years.

No comments:

Post a Comment