Album Review: Tricot – 3

Review from Ben Forrester

Tricot have been Kyoto’s best kept secret since 2010. Although they’ve made considerable waves in their homeland of Japan, the rest of the world had been oblivious to their razor sharp brand of twiddle-pop. In spring of last year, the three-piece made a trip to these shores and knocked everyone for six with their tight as fuck live show. So, it makes total sense that labels such as Big Scary Monsters and Top Shelf have gotten on board in order to distribute their first official global release, their third long player ‘3‘.

For those that have delved into Tricot’s back catalogue, 3 will act as a welcoming hug from an old friend as they intricately blend math-rock with K-pop to stunning effect. There is just no denying the amount of ear worm hooks that they throw into their tunes. From the mile a minute blast off of ‘Tokyo Vampire Hotel‘ to the groove-pop pomp of ‘Yosoiki‘, Tricot write melodies that really soak into your skin. It’s great to hear previous EP track ‘Setsuyakuka‘ make an appearance, with a super pumped drum track ready to make you sweat. Oh and the chorus on this track is catchy as hell! Even though I’m not very versed in the native tongue in which they sing, vocalist Ikkyu has an irresistibly sweet voice that packs a punch when needed.

Although I’d say that this record is mostly full of straight up math-pop bangers, Tricot do explore their sonic palettes a little further with some more dynamically interesting ideas. Current single ‘DeDeDe‘ begins with an almost lounge style introduction, before ascending into this more angular passage which eventually bursts into a beautifully melodic chorus. ‘Sukima‘ takes on a more jazz like vibe, with ride heavy drums and a silky smooth interaction between the guitar and bass slinking around each other seductively. ‘Pork Ginger‘ is a definite highlight and key example of their dynamic switch ups, as it floats around crisp guitar chords and a spaced out rhythm section to then cut into the most infectious and urgent chorus on the album. It’s hard not to have a big grin across your face when it kicks in.

There’s a lot of fun to be had here and you’ll be hard pressed to not crack a smile at the e-number induced buzz of ‘Namu‘ or the perfectly uplifting fuzz of breezy closing track ‘Melon Soda‘. Tricot are a band that care a lot about making music that makes you want to dance and they understand that international fans like me may find it hard to understand the lyrical themes of their music, which is why the melodic and instrumental aspects of their sound are full of life, passion and colour.

3 will act as the most perfect introduction for people who have yet to embrace the brilliance of this band, while old hands are going to fall in head over heels for this energetic and uplifting set. Tricot truly deliver the goods here and cement themselves as exceptional musicians, songwriters and, most importantly, an unstoppable unit.

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