Japanese Jolt

Armed with a Casio, glow-in-the-dark face paint and some ridiculously gigantic headgear, Japanese trio eX-Girl will take on the lazy indie-rock scene at Go! Studios in Carrboro next Tuesday. The Tokyo trio, known for their fluorescent stage shows as well as their offbeat lyrics about frogs and spaceships, is in the middle of their third U.S. tour, and Go! is next on their hit-list. Are the stoners ready for this?

The trio, comprised of Kirilo, Chihiro and Fuzuki, seem to have a penchant for performing in homemade costumes that look like spacesuits the PowerPuff Girls would die for. At a recent show at The Troubadour in Los Angeles, the group entered the stage wearing inflatable light bulb-shaped hats that made singing, dancing and playing the guitar at the same time damned near impossible. Not that their music requires much concentration. You know it's candy-pop when the guitarist can play most of the songs while wearing a hand puppet. (Just to be sure, they proved this at the L.A. show, for a good three songs.)

Their music is chord driven, synthesizer-heavy, techno pop, with vocals ranging from sing-songy little-girl whines to all-out fat-lady operatic trills. It doesn't always work, but it's always entertaining. On their latest release, Back to the Mono Kero!, eX-Girl strike it big with catchy sing-alongs like "Waving Scientist" and the aptly titled "Pop Muzik." These tracks work because they take a theme and stick to it, instead of testing out every effect their keyboard can produce, like they do on the messy "Crime of the Century."

But for eX-Girl, the music is almost secondary to the amazing alien-like stage show they put on (and the fun they obviously have doing it). So instead of watching the MTV Video Music Award reruns for the 18th time on Tuesday, head to Carrboro for some freaky neon Japanese lovin'. You won't be disappointed.


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