Tricot + Dusker @ The Firebug, Leicester – 17th September 2022

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Getting the evening off to a rowdy start are Leicester natives Dusker. Certainly not for the faint-hearted, they are like four tightly coiled springs who unwind with the reverberations of the first power chords. They deliver an angular and aggressive form of post-punk that incorporates elements of math-rock and post-hardcore, and the resulting sound pushes at delineated boundaries and takes the genre into uncharted territory. With veins bulging out of his neck the vocalist barks his words like a political manifesto over a spiky beat, and the distinct lack of guitar solos only adds to their visceral power. They deliver a full-on sonic assault for thirty blistering minutes, and the mute applause that welcomed them turns into a crescendo at their departure.

Formed in Kyoto, in 2010, Japanese rock band Tricot have carved out a unique niche for themselves in a scene where idiosyncrasy is not uncommon. Wrapping complex math-rock rhythms in a delicious cotton candy pop sensibility means that there’s something strangely alluring about the band’s sound. The haunting guitar and thunderous drums that herald the arrival of ‘Boom ni Notte’ make for an arresting introduction, but it is one that gets the crowd bobbing in unison, and it’s a rhythm that conjoins the audience and band over the next one hour. This intangible connection is vitally important to the Tricot’s experience; despite the cerebral, challenging nature of their songs, tunes such as ‘18, 19’ connect on an emotional level and tug at the heartstrings, which is kind of unusual in the math-rock genre.

Still revolving around the core of lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist Ikkyu Nakajima, Motifour Kida (lead guitar/backing vocals) and Hiromi Hirohiro (bass/backing vocals), Tricot pepper their songs with delectable three-point harmonies, and that’s no more evident than on ‘Dogs and Ducks’. Bouncing along like an excited pooch, it’s full of yaps (and quacks) that raises more than a few smiles. However, Tricot’s unsung hero is drummer Yusuke Yoshida who mixes up insane rhythms and time changes with envious ease, and with an almost jazz sensibility manages to simultaneously play quiet and loud, which opens up many new dimensions for the band.

Ever since the Dave Brubeck Quartet released Time Out in 1959, bands have been experimenting with unorthodox time signatures and polytonality, but never with the same panache as Tricot. My only real complaint is that at just 60-minutes, Tricot’s set is too darn short. But, as they close with a groovy ‘potage’, then encore with a raucous ‘Oyasumi’, it’s of little importance, as they’ve crammed more into that hour than most bands pack into an entire career.

Tricot Set List:

  1. Boom ni Notte
  2. 18,19
  3. Anamein
  4. Unou Sanou
  5. Himitsu
  6. KAYOKO
  7. Dogs and Ducks
  8. Ochansensuus-su
  9. Achoi
  10. Itazura
  11. Pool
  12. potage

Encore:

  1. Oyasumi