Saturday, February 19, 2011

Tokyo Pinsalocks At The Que

What a perfectly casted band Tokyo Pinsalocks are.

Singer Naoko is the sunny, outgoing one. Bassist Hisayo is her lunar counterpart, cool and composed. Drummer Reiko is cute and petite. They look great on stage, though, in reality, it was probably coincidence rather than casting that brought them together, 11 years ago.

The girl trio played at the Shimokitazawa Que at the end of a Japan tour. Naoko wore a big cloth rose in her hair, which descended like a golden avalanche, and she had on a mime-like stripe shirt and what looked like a tutu. Hisayo, tall with long black and silver hair, wore a green blouse with an illustration of a parrot, and shocking pink-colored tights.

On stage there's the classic, rock-band fire and ice contrast between those two, but like the yin-yang symbol, the separation between black and white isn't perfect. Naoko is the show-woman, but you can tell some of it is an act. Hisayo is almost expressionless, but there's passion in her performance that come out to the surface.

They have a spare, New Wave sound, Hisayo pumping out aggressive, distorted bass lines, Reiko drumming in a precise, mechanical fashion, and programmed music from a Mac and Naoko's vocals taking care of the rest. Tokyo Pinsalocks just released a new album called Kurukuru to Guruguru, onomatopoeia for things spinning around, and they played one of the best songs from it, “Kimono Japonaise”, which is an internationally-minded Japanese pride song, with lyrics like:

We're sensitive to fashion [on stage, Naoko holds her stripe shirt]

And our hearts are sensitive too [she touches her chest]

Our legs are short [she points down at her legs, with a frown]

But we dance without care anyway [she dances]