Chai’s PUNK is an explosion of rose-tinted rock noise

Marvin Villanueva, Senior

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“C- H- A- I-/Chai/We are Chai!/Don’t kidding me,” the band defiantly declare themselves across the aptly titled, “This is Chai,” a causticly blistering symphony that yearns to show who they are. If it was not already apparent by their declaration, the all-female Japanese post-punk band Chai, return after their stunning 2017 debut with their latest release- PUNK.

Forming in 2012, and then signing on to Sony Music Japan in 2016, Chai was never able to fit the traditional definition of a J-pop band. While sure, the band clearly bursts with a bubblegum passion throughout, they are completely unafraid to showcase any new sound that comes their way. Pink (2017) proved this, with its dips into noise rock, punk, dance, and electronica. Although, through PUNK, Chai is only building on what they have already started.

Taking off with the raucously bubbly, “Choose Go!,” Chai thunders through with its roaring guitar and thick bassline that they warmly contrast with their distinctly, delicate feminine vocals all while creating a poignant rock noise.

Delightfully, through PUNK, Chai invites listeners into their sound-filled, surrealist world with sheer confidence. On songs like the happy-go-lucky, “I’m Me,” they unabashedly proclaim that their style is as unique as it is because “I’m Me/Because I’m me/Because I’m me.” From this poised morale, the song structures itself around tight percussion that forrays along with these gorgeously joyous synths, paired equally well with their light, trademark vocals, it is an undeniably catchy affair.

This same feeling echoes throughout as songs like the cacophonous, “Curly Adventure,” with its piercing high notes and thick drum fills. They effectively create a glitzy, shimmering, artwork. All the while, on the same record, songs like the hauntingly acerbic, “Great Job,” Chai abrasively uproars with a layered production melded through its sonically chimed instrumentation, creating nothing short of absolute fun.

Stylistically glitzy and brilliantly effervescent, PUNK is a cheerfully clustered earworm. Elegantly imploding blankets of synth-pop, art rock, electronic, and punk, Chai actively is paving their path to stardom. Through this original sound, Chai is on the road towards the bright future they crave and as listeners it is just as exciting to be apart of the ride.

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