A mixture of avant-garde textures, discordant harmonies, electronics, tape manipulation, and some traditional Japanese instruments, After Dinner's self-titled album displays their breadth of music making and a balance between songwriting and noise. On "Sonkya Doll," lead singer Haco may be reciting a melody of nursery rhyme simplicity, but the rhythm is punctuated throughout by metallic clanging and an abused squeeze toy. They're not afraid either to sound like a pop band; the toy soldier militarism of "Cymbals at Dawn" breaks into early '80s synth-soul before dismantling itself several times, and "Sepia-ture" makes nods toward bossa nova. Live Editions (1986-1990), part of the CD reissue, adds live versions of most of these songs and some new tracks recorded live in Japan and Europe. The live "After Dinner" is particularly striking, with very dramatic percussion high in the mix and a real sense of the performance space.
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AllMusic Review by Ted Mills