The Suzan

Golden Week for the Poco Poco Beat

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Japanese girl group generalizations might suggest that the Suzan are cute and peppy. They are. But Golden Week for the Poco Poco Beat is also weird and edgy, as the four-piece fights to defy classification. Along with bassist and drummer Nico and Ikue, sisters Saori (guitar and vocals) and Rie (keyboard and vocals) start simply with the hip influences of 2010. The severely melodic “Ha Ha Ha” echoes with the sound of ‘60s girl groups, lo-fi, and garage punk (think Dum Dum Girls crossed with Shonen Knife), and the Slits' sparseness and ESG's tom-tom beats show up in “Home” and “Come Come.” As their Fool's Gold debut progresses, the girls take turns digging deeper into a bottomless pocketbook of genres. By the 13th song, surf rock, baroque, rockabilly, scat vocals, and theatrical ballads have been shuffled in the mix. It's a lot to take in. Even as conflicted and scattered as they are, the Suzan are an entertaining, refreshing change from the norm, and their determination to turn an audience on their ear is admirable.

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