Album of the Day: Ruby Karinto, “self-titled (aka Spray Bottle)”
By Jordan Reyes · April 26, 2018 Merch for this release:
Vinyl LP

On their self-titled debut album, aka Spray Bottle, Canadian quartet Ruby Karinto layer vocals (in both English and Japanese), percussion, bass, and synthesizers to make a compulsively danceable no wave record. Prior to this LP, the band released a catchy three-song EP in 2015, two songs of which made their way onto Spray Bottle, which is a much bigger endeavor overall—and not just because of its length. Weaving together experimental post-punk and Japanese avant-garde, Ruby Karinto have made a record that’s big, joyous, and sinfully catchy.

The album’s stunning opener “Fox’s Wedding,” an irresistible mix of dance-punk and free jazz, is somehow both the most discordant and poppiest song on the record. Unlike most of the other tracks on Spray Bottle, “Fox’s Wedding” features a piano, which gets absolutely punished. It crashes in and out of the song, offsetting singer Ai’s rhythmic sing-song. Other songs pulse and break, like “Chikotan,” or lurch druggily like the absurd “Ai is a Pencil,” in which the band’s frontperson likens herself to an office supply over a slowly plodding bassline and drumming.

Spray Bottle goes by fast—eight tracks clocking in at 26 minutes—but it’s a hit parade, begging for repeated listens, a perfect dance party soundtrack for the more experimental-minded among us.

Jordan Reyes
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