Mass of the Fermenting Dregs
Zero Comma, Multi-Colored World


3.5
great

Review

by Kyle Robinson USER (27 Reviews)
August 24th, 2010 | 14 replies | 4,300 views


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The strangely named Japanese surf punk trio proves they've got the hooks and songcraft to sustain a whole album - and a really fun one, at that.

1 of 1 thought this review was well written

Girl bands seem to be far more commonplace in Japan than in the western hemisphere. In any urban setting in Japan, it's not unusual to see teenage girls hauling seemingly too-big musical equipment to and from band practice. This makes it somewhat difficult for any given girl band to stick out, with several high-profile and successful acts such as Go!Go!7188 and Tsu Shi Ma Mi Re defining much of the genre's sound.

Fortunately, the oddly-named trio Mass of the Fermenting Dregs does things just a little bit differently. With a sound that's solidly rooted in the dark, driving rhythms of Number Girl and a dash of surfy reverb and twang, MOTFD pack a lot more punch than the average girl group. Natsuko Miyamoto's thundering, distorted bass provides a strong contrast with her soaring, bright vocals, and her wild performances show a sort of unreserved, earnest passion that's not always commonplace in the Japanese music scene (with most artists typically standing still and staring at their shoes, or jumping around like wild banshees, such as Melt-Banana.) Guitarist Chiemi Ishimoto has a tight, rhythmic style but is also proficient in playing melodic solos and provides a bit of superego to balance out Natsuko's unrestrained id. Drummer Yoshino, the sole male in the group, pounds the pots and pans quite effectively as well, although he doesn't quite reach Number Girl legend Ahito Inazawa's heights.

The first song and title track doesn't waste any time in telling the listener what the 'Dregs are all about: bright, sunny melodies buoyed by a relentlessly punchy rhythm assault. Chiemi's lead guitar keeps things interesting throughout the well-executed grab at a radio hit. 'Made' kicks up the energy and playfulness a notch before 'The Beginning of the End' slows down to offer a more threatening-sounding track infused with jagged post-punk energy. Along with later track "The Cider and You,' this song show's one of the band's chief strengths: crafting rollicking fist-pumpers with a nice bit of traditional Japanese melody thrown in, almost evocative of the energetic chants found in summer street festivals.

The mostly-instrumental 'Rat' changes things up a bit with its surf-punk, allowing Chiemi's noteworthy guitar playing to shine through, as the band shows they've tightened up their instrumental songwriting quite a bit since the debut EP. 'Oneday' slows things down a few notches to deliver a more nuanced pop tune before the fast-paced action continues. 'Slipping Off' twists and turns through fun verses and great instrumentals, and coming dangerously close to Ling Tosite Sigure's prog-pop at times. 'Seductive Beat,' released as a single earlier this year, is a worthy song on its own but seems a little too similar to 'IF a surfer' from their debut, without quite as much kick. Closing track 'Noisy' adds a bit of desperation that the other tracks don't quite hit and ends the album with a nice change of pace rather than a more predictable fast-paced tune.

Mass of the Fermenting Dregs aren't a revolutionary band and probably won't impress the moody adherents of the Win Butler and Thom Yorke end of indie rock. But the world can always use another good power pop band, and with great songcraft and the interesting musicianship characteristic of Japanese indie groups, 'Zero Comma, Multi-Colored World' definitely stands out from the pack and deserves to be heard.



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user ratings (23)
Chart.
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Spare
August 24th 2010



5223 Comments


sure is /mu/ in here

Shrapnel94
August 24th 2010



2213 Comments


>Mass of the Fermenting Dregs
>On sputnik

Fuck year

Spare
August 24th 2010



5223 Comments


too bad they're meh

Shrapnel94
August 25th 2010



2213 Comments


I've only heard one song from one of their EP's. It was awesome. I might check this out.

Homewrecker
August 25th 2010



231 Comments


This band is good shit, but not really on this album.

instantradical
August 25th 2010



188 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

No idea what /mu/ is, but here's the video of the first track.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1RxYmYsa3T4

Anyone can write a review of the new Arcade Fire everyone already knows about, but I'm much more interested in bringing attention to quality Japanese music that would otherwise slip over everyone's heads.

Avirov
September 12th 2010



1206 Comments


I loooove this album. I also like the translation "Zero Comma, Colorful World" more.

FadedSun
December 2nd 2010



1146 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I need to listen to this more. Their first two EPs are very enjoyable, but this was hard to listen to in full. Maybe it was the mood I was in, or maybe it's because I think they can't do this for a full album. I'm not sure.

BisayaBoi
January 13th 2011



94 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Listen to School Food Punishment. One should like them if they like Mass of the Fermenting Dregs.

YankeeDudel
January 27th 2013



9291 Comments


great band s/t rules

Digging: Ravi Shankar - Three Ragas

FadedSun
January 28th 2013



1146 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

School Food Punishment don't sound anything like this band, but they're a good band and I recommend anyone check them out.

treeqt.
April 2nd 2013



7849 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

great band s/t rules

Digging: Jason Lescalleet - Much to My Demise

Dunpeal
December 17th 2013



3571 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

whole discog is solid, but s/t is where it's at yea

FadedSun
December 17th 2013



1146 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Unfortunate that the guitarist had to leave due to health reasons. I think the band is now defunct for the time being.



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