OOIOO | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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OOIOO

It's strange to think that the Boredoms behind the hypnotic and patient new Vision Creation Newsun are more or less the same weirdos who belched out herky-jerky, scatological punk noise like Soul Discharge in late-80s Tokyo. The furious energy of their music hasn't disappeared, though--it's just taken a more expansive form, swirling like a hurricane instead of detonating in strangled bursts. OOIOO, a quartet fronted by longtime Boredoms drummer Yoshimi, isolates some of the elements that make this new approach work: on its excellent second album, 1999's Feather Float (soon to be distributed in the States by Birdman), simple, contrapuntal, largely wordless three-part vocal patterns intertwine with taut, tranced-out grooves. (The band's latest, Gold & Green, hasn't been released here yet.) Yoshimi plays guitar in OOIOO, and unsurprisingly the parts she and fellow guitarist Kyoko mete out are rhythmic rather than melodic; fractured riffs and twitchy lines neatly mesh with the motorik Krautrock beats of drummer Yoshiko and bassist Maki. The band's sound is more kinetic and rock driven than that of the present-day Boredoms, but that's not to say the music indulges in big gestures. Aside from the occasional bit of traditional foreground activity--like a brief trumpet solo by Yoshimi--it focuses entirely on layers of simple, interlocked parts. And despite (or because of) this shortage of overt plays for the audience's attention, OOIOO's show last week in Austin during South by Southwest was one of the best I caught: the music's careful architecture was engrossing, and the band clearly enjoyed itself. Saturday, March 24, 10 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western; 773-276-3600.

PETER MARGASAK

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