Led by the maniacal balladry of Maya Kuroki, no other band sounds like TEKE::TEKE.
Montreal’s seven-headed Japanese psych-rock hydra have reclaimed their unique sonic status once again with Hagata. The sophomore album contains elements of Japanese folk, Brazilian surf rock, and a whirlwind of other psychedelic influences, pulling the listener into a chaotic storm.
The word “Hagata” has the loose translation of “tooth mark,” and this album has tons of teeth. For example, the punk-influenced shoegazey “Hoppe” finds the band going down a rabbit hole of carefully constructed noise; a crunchy track that clocks in at four and a half minutes, you especially feel the effects when Kuroki lets out her sinister laugh.
It’s impossible to talk about the “best” moments on Hagata because there are so many; the calming horns on “Onaji Heya,” the dueling acoustic rhythm and electric lead guitars on “Me No Haya” on the shortened, the whimsical nature of “Doppelganger,” the hypnotic flutes on “Yurei Zanmai,” (a song that briefly morphs into one of the heaviest tracks we’ve heard all year). The compositions feel like the scores to mini films, as Kuroki leads the listener through Japanese ghost stories, fables, and other twisted narratives.
TEKE::TEKE may sound like a Japanese-themed concoction, and while it is, it’s important to note that this rare band could only come from the marriage of Montreal’s DIY experimental and classical scenes. Guitarist Serge Nakauchi-Pelletier may have started this band as an ode to Takeshi Terauchi – Japan’s instrumental version of The Beatles – but TEKE::TEKE is completely original, ready to sink their teeth into the rest of the world with Hagata.