Does anthemic shout-along drum machine electro-crash float your boat? Then allow Yumi Yumi, a Japanese girl-rock duo, who’ve moved to London to grace our toilet venues with their hollering exuberance, to vibrate your eardrums so hard your teeth chatter. A little reminiscent of Bis without the politics, Yumi Yumi combine noise and tunes to loud and expansive effect. They play music in bright colours and capital letters, power chords and guitar posing twinned with fizzing and popping noise effects to create an extremely full-throttle sound. Their debut album 'Alchemy' is one of those records which just sounds very, very loud.
It’s also very good fun. Yumi Yumi clearly like things which make strange noises, and use such toys to very good effect. There are more bleeps and beeps to be heard on this album than in your average video games arcade, and as well as the mechanical noises, Yumi Yumi have a good line in noise-vox. The album features whoops and howls aplenty, with doo-doo-doos and shouts of Ow! And Pow! combining with Yumi’s very pop-culture music to give the insistent impression of an aural Liechtenstein: experimental without being inaccessible, innovative and above all, fun. The girls take a lot of different beats/styles and co-opt them into their own unique vision, and so the bluesy beats of 'Stupid', the swooping jazzy piano breakdowns of shouty pop anthem 'I Am Right' and the fuzz-punk head-over-heels tumble of 'Funky Junky' all end up sounding completely and exclusively like Yumi Yumi songs. Though the slower tracks do work, to my mind Yumi Yumi are at their best when bludgeoning the ears with walls of unstoppable, speeding electronica that occasionally break downs into drawn out elastic noise.
Blasting, punky and playful, Yumi Yumi have infused 'Alchemy'_ with that flippant throw-away strength which implies a band with total confidence in the sound they’re making. That sense of self-confidence gives the whole thing drive and momentum and makes for a very seductive sense of devil-may-care, bold and brash happiness. It ain’t gonna blaze an ideological trail through your mind, but if you’re looking for an escapist flight of fancy to soundtrack those moments when a rush of sudden, illogical energy has you bouncing off your bedroom walls, Yumi Yumi might well rock your socks.