High Speed...O.K.?

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The Gumdrops are a charmingly grounded three-piece indie pop unit from Japan, whose variations between melodic punky constructions and washed-out indie rock have them alternately resembling Shonen Knife ("My Girlfriend") and early Sugarplant ("Flow"). But while both of these bands feature a well-formed and polished sound, the Gumdrops possess a relaxed and open sense of instrumentation and production that lends them a charming simplicity. On High Speed...OK?, the band takes this approach in a lot of good directions, moving between styles without ever losing touch with their core sound, and aside from the fact that the band's typically cutesy Japanese vocals may not appeal to the J-pop uninitiated, it's a wholly appealing release.

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