Under all those distorted synthesizer effects, under all those grinding guitar riffs, under all those gravel-y vocals, this album’s got its tunes on.
The Mad Capsule Markets (previously spelled as the curiously hanging possessive The Mad Capsule Market’s) have spent the last 10 years perfecting its so-called “digi-hardcore-punk-metal” sound.
But really what Kyono, Ueda Takeshi and Miyagami Motokatsu are doing is burying some singable melodies under a barrage of pumped-up noise.
Nowhere is that more apparent than on Osc-Disc, The Mad Capsule Markets’ first album to be released in the United States. (It was originally released in Japan in 1999.)
“Pulse” epitomizes this digi-core aesthetic — without the keyboard effects and the heavily pre-processed vocals, this song could have been brat-punk or rap-rock anthem.
“All the Time in Sunny Beach” has a chorus that reflects its title quite well. “Good Girl” is your typical pogo-inducing punk-pop song, only delivered through a mess of studio trickery.
Every so often The Mad Capsule Markets takes a stab at a straight-forward, rock quartet approach, such as on the bouncy “Island” or the post-grunge, Wrench-sounding “Step Into Yourself”.
The rest of Osc-Dis is a full-on sonic assault. “Mob Track” and “Restart!” barrell down on listeners at a super-fast tempo. Kyono delivers some spit-fire raps on “Tribe”. “Out/Definition” lays heavy on the drums and samples.
And while the surface of Osc-Dis is pure fist-pumping punk and metal, there’s always a hint of hook somewhere in all that distortion. When Kyono proclaims “I’m stoked this fine day” on “MIDI Surf”, it’s hard to forget.
If you’re no fan of “digi-hardcore-punk-metal”, be prepared to be nicely surprised by The Mad Capsule Markets.