I have to admit, I was a bit concerned when I hit play on the first song of OOIOO’s album, Taiga. I’m not one to discredit noise as a musical form; I even own an album or two by Agoraphobic Nosebleed. However, there’s only so much “noise as art” that I can take at a time, and as the droning and incoherent screams of “UMA” came rushing into my headphones, I was seriously contemplating the ibuprofen in the bathroom cabinet. Luckily, the repetitive yelps of the first song are not present throughout, and there are some good moments. I appreciated the feel of “SAI,”, which sounded a bit like Yes, if they were influenced by Super Mario Brothers and Yoko Ono.
Perhaps I wouldn’t consider this album when recovering from a hangover, but despite the sometimes jagged hollering of the vocals, I enjoyed much of the tribal-cum-techno feel of Taiga. This isn’t the album for anyone who is firmly planted in the “verse-chorus-verse” mantra of western pop music, but I believe anyone who has an appreciation for the avant garde should make this an addition to their collection - just make sure to keep the Tylenol handy.