Mummy The Peepshow is the first band that has been imported from Japan from Records of the Damned that really breaks free of the J-pop label. In fact, the first track on the disc (“Hide-And-Seek On The Turntable”) ties together Brassy with L7 to make a hard rocking and musically confident track. There is much of the same happening on the disc’s title track. The straight-forward dominance of the guitar really pave the way for Maki’s vocals to come forth in a way similar to early Donnas. Beyond the formal structure of Mummy The Peepshow’s music are specific derivations from that format; “Red Guitar Story” rides a very compelling and loitering tempo to greater success. In “Red Guitar Story”, one can actually hear Naru (bass) take a larger part of the spotlight.
It is Naru’s bass lines that make the track; far from just providing the low end of the track, the spirit, the essence of the track is created by the chunky beats thrown down. Later tracks do tend to reveal a flaw with the disc; Maki’s vocals are hidden behind many of Naru’s bass lines and Mayu’s drums. While the overall sound of the disc is very professional, the vocals should have been cranked up a little higher. However, this problem is largely rendered miniscule by the impressive “In A Hospital”, a track that has Mummy The Peepshow continually shaking up their listeners by experimenting with differing time signatures. These changes would normally not be newsworthy, but Mummy The Peepshow really makes it an issue by so successfully stopping, starting and playing so many different things in such a small period of time. The differing styles that “School Girl Pop” is built on truly will enslave listeners to the disc for all time; “Lady Wendy” goes back to the earliest parts of the twentieth century (maybe even earlier) for its main influence.
What is most interesting about “School Girl Pop” is that “(Give Me A) Letter!” ends the disc in much the same way that it had started. “Letter” has a Brassy-like delivery with the rest of the band playing a very jangly and nineties-alternative influenced style of instrumentation. This is a circular disc, and Mummy The Peepshow make sure to allow listeners the greatest replay value. “School Girl Pop” could go up against any alt-rock currently available on the American markets; this is definitely not three individuals obsessively pouring over Pitchfork Media and trying to figure out what the indie flavor of the week is.
Top Tracks: School Girl Pop, Good Bye
Mummy The Peepshow – School Girl Pop / 2005 Records of the Damned / 12 Tracks / http://www.geocities.jp/mummy_triangle / http://www.recordsofthedamned.com / Reviewed 05 August 2005