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Album Review

Yoshiro Hamazaki and Tomoyuki Akiyama lived something of a charmed musical life for their first decade together as Noism — it's one thing to have built up a reputation via compilation appearances and demos, it's another to release a debut album nearly ten years after first forming. ± doesn't waste any time, though, and neither does the duo, ripping through a dozen songs in just over 20 minutes. Perhaps inevitably something feels a little out of time about the album — the combination of blistering feedback and aggressive techno was already fertile ground for any number of acts, though Noism doesn't sound much like, say, Third Eye Foundation. If part of the appeal lies in the sheer chaos on display in songs like "Man-I-C" and the appropriately titled "BPM," as Akiyama's hypergrind pulses shudder, stop, and lunge ahead in ways that make gabber seem like gentle Balearic house, it's also an appeal of the familiar, noise freneticism as accepted approach, especially from a country that brought the world groups like the Boredoms and the Gerogerigegege. Hamazaki's guitar parts may lack the compressed classic riffing of, say, Pig Destroyer, but as shifting textures for Akiyama's work they're still fierce, along with the occasional dropouts that let the crumbling roar of feedback bleed through the gaps, as on "Zaporojets" and "Noist." Meanwhile, some of the song titles are pure Japanese/English in the best way — there's something pure about calling a song "Death-Meta-Logic" (and then sounding like it as well), while "I'm Not in a Band" somehow sums up the sheer bloody-mindedness at work.


Genre: Rock

Years Active:

Formed in Tokyo, Japan, in 1999, techno-metal duo Noism have specialized in brutal tech-core sounds, even after taking up residence on opposite sides of the planet. Yoshiro Hamazaki (guitars) and Tomoyuki Akiyama (programming) started out with more traditional elements of a band structure, incorporating vocals and basslines into their drum machine-based work, but over time those traditions and structures faded, allowing the pair to branch out into uncharted territory. Live shows and a demo (Brutality...
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±, Noism
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