To put it mildly, the first two records from Bo Ningen suggested that they might not hold subtlety and restraint in especially high regard. The process of making ‘III’, which saw the band afford more attention to songwriting and production than previously, seemed to hint at less of an unchecked maelstrom of aggression and noise than the London-based Japanese foursome have managed in the past.

That’s partly the case; the guitars on ‘Inu’ merely imply menace, although Taigen Kawabe’s initially reserved vocal is borderline maniacal by the end. ‘Maki-Modoshi’, meanwhile, begins in steady, restrained fashion, but the drums quickly collapse and so does any hint of a time signature. ‘Slider’ sees a first foray into English lyricism, but is far more notable for its furious instrumental break at the midpoint.

‘Ogosokana’, scored by walls of reverb and echoed vocals, is probably as close as Bo Ningen have ever been to balladry, but closer ‘Kaifuku’, with its constant changes of pace, sums up ‘III’ neatly; not quite the controlled brand of chaos the band were apparently hoping for, but a decent stab all the same.


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