Review Summary: One of Supercar's most uncompromising albums, it features a fantastic display of lo-fi shoegaze and bouncy alternative riffs.
One of the most influential groups to surface from the 90's Japanese indie bubble, Supercar dominated the charts with their whimsical mixture of melodic alternative riffs with noisy shoegaze and futuristic electropop. However, it wasn't until their 2000 album, "Futurama", that their electro roots were really grounded. On their early albums, their brilliant showcase of addictive lo-fi inspired licks and simple, yet highly effective, riffs seemed to be their initial style. "OOKeah!!" shows off Supercar at their alternative best, and manages to morph and contort itself into easily being one of Supercar's strongest albums.
"Sun Rider" has a bouncy little alternative groove to it, with lots of staticky lo-fi added as well, which will prove to be the album's main theme. The apathetic vocals of Koji Nakamura add a bit of a carefree vibe to the track, and the song works to be a wonderful opening track. "Jet Bee Town" is a track with tons of shoegaze-like atmosphere to it, and is one of the most addictive tracks on the album. The vocals of Nakamura are a bit drowned out in the sea of wailing guitars, clashing drums and booming basslines, all in a true shoegazing nature. "Satori" is another brilliant track on the album, and centers around hypnotizing melodious guitar licks and fizzled vocals by Nakamura. One of the loudest and proudest displays on the album, the distorted melodies of "Satori" by the band are truly remarkable in themselves, let alone the lethargic, yet mesmerizing, vocals of Nakamura. "Flicker" is a more straightforward sounding alternative track, and the nostalgic 1990's-esqued rhythms sound highly reminiscent to the group's earlier effort, "Three Out Change". The track does a nice effort of adding in more level-headed, approachable grounds to the usually loud and lo-fi influenced style of "OOKeah!!". The dual vocals of "Summer Tune", as well as the carefree shrieking guitars, seem to pay homage to the alternative pioneers, Sonic Youth. The molasses-like groove of "Desperado" is just simply fantastic, and its sludgy-alternative blend also seems reminiscent to the 1995 album "69/96", by now-world renowned artist, Cornelius.
Although those specific tracks seem to be inspired by those two artists, the signature vocals of Nakamura simply makes it Supercar's own, and his zombie-like sheer alternative croon would make Kurt Cobain smile with pride. Along with having a keen knack of shoegaze melodies, that is exactly what separated Supercar from the rest of the indie-inspired spew of Japanese rock bands in the 1990's. At the end of the day, Supercar's 1999 album, "OOKeah!!", is without a doubt one of the group's finest albums, and is probably one of the greatest alternative albums Japan has to offer, period.