One of Tokyo’s prime purveyors of uncompromisingly raw, intense, and just plain loud noise-rock, Kuruucrew’s self-titled album brings its biggest surprise with the track Voyage, which finds the group sounding almost pop next to the relentless, pummelling krautrock-via-Red Transistor tank warfare that constitutes most of their music. Tracks like TKTTN and the tribal sounding P.L.S make it clear that the band’s growing comfort with disco-tinged accessibility has in no way dulled the jagged edges of their sound though.
Like contemporaries such as Nisennenmondai (whose sparse new album E also came out in 2016), Kuruucrew’s music is really all about rhythm, with the guitar providing texture and sax substituting for vocals while the drums and base get on with the real work. Like many Tokyo underground bands, the rhythms are often complex and interwoven, but they are never less than propulsive, working constantly to drive you forward, bouncing you towards the next explosion of tightly coiled energy.
This type of cosmic postpunk or no wave spacerock or whatever you want to call it is a well trodden side-route through the Tokyo music scene, but few bands are as accomplished as Kuruucrew, and this album is the definitive recorded document of an extraordinarily powerful band.