Clocking in at 35 minutes, Number Girl’s second album, School Girl Distortional Addict, left listeners craving for more of the Japanese quartet’s wall of noise.
Clocking in at a few seconds more than hour, the group’s live album, Shibuya Rocktransformed Jootai, leaves listeners unable to digest any more Number Girl afterward.
Number Girl’s ear-crushing sound is so intense, more than an hour of listening gets quite exhausting. The band pummels its audiences with one barrage of distortional hooks after another. Mukai Shutoku’s throat-damaging scream is the most musical wail to come across a pair of stereo speakers since Kurt Cobain.
Distortional Addict, which was recorded and produced by Mukai, is something of a high quality, lo-fi production. Mukai managed to capture the chest-pounding power of the group’s sound without sacrificing any of its rough edges.
Shibuya Rocktransformed Jootai adds the missing element in that recording — audience feedback. Number Girl is a band best experienced live (with a pair of really good earplugs, no less), and Shibuya Rocktransformed Jootai allows listeners outside of Japan a chance to live that experience.
A good number of the album’s tracks features songs from Distortional Addict, but a few gems from the band’s indie days are included. “Iggy Pop Fan Club” sounds like an appropriate song for its namesake. “Samurai,” one of the group’s most performed songs, finally gets recorded. And “Super Young” closes out the disc with a hypnotic, minimalistic hook.
Shibuya Rocktransformed Jootai is the album Number Girl was destined to make, by virtue of the fact they’re one of the best live acts in music today.