The Japanese trio Buffalo Daughter spent their early career contributing to everything from commercials to video games soundtracks overseas. Their American debut honors that cut-and-paste past with a combination of songs from two earlier EPs and new tracks that display their mobile mentality. Daughter manages to blend abrupt breakbeat snippets, rough guitar work, sugary synth pop, and lazy-day harmonies, often seconds apart in the same song. While their dependence on complex samples and retro electronics helps add a certain edge, some of the best moments on Captain Vapour Athletes come from the simple, shy, and naked harmonies of Yumiko Ohno. Buffalo Daughter's desire to get experimental can stop a song dead in its tracks, like the dreary techno of "Baby Amoebae Goes South" or "Vapour Action Forever." But when all elements click, like the new wave robotics of "Cold Summer" or the sublimely droning ten-minute epic "LI303VE," a near-rhapsody of downtown funk and scratching, they prove themselves to be one of the more innovative and adventurous indie rock imports operating today.
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AllMusic Review by Jason Kaufman