A Sad Sound, a Velvet Sound and a Happy Sound
An early band for Ueno Takashi, who would later form one half of Tenniscoats (with his partner Saya), Puka Puka Brians are a ragtag assembly of misfits, playing rough-as-guts post-punk pop songs that share a garage aesthetic with a bunch of different groups across the globe – think the wildness of Finland’s Liimanarina, and the messy splendour of New Zealand’s Trash and The Axemen, leaning slightly more towards the joys of a simple, three-chord guitar pop song. The singing is bluntly sweet, a just-out-of-tune mumble that sits just so amid skewiff guitars scrunched like balls of paper, and a rhythm section that knows just when to hit the right wrong beat. There’s something special about each of their five albums, but A Sad Sound… is a particularly winning selection of songs.
– Jon Dale