Brooklyn-based duo Asobi Seksu’s latest album, Fluorescence, is a dodecahedron that just won’t fit into any one category. Whether in the name of experimentation or hipster irony, Yuki Chikudate and James Hanna weave threads from shoegaze, 60’s psychedelia, J-Pop, 90’s grunge, and noise pop into a tower of cotton candy that leaves lots of sweet but little substance. Hyper-processed guitar riffs press up against light polyphonics while indiscernible heavy-breath utterances temper high-pitched peeps.
While variety may be the rouge of life, the duo’s capriciousness often leaves the listener feeling wan.Tracks like “Perfectly Crystal” and “Coming Up” save with catchy hooks and compositions one can actually hold onto. Most of the album feels too kitchen-sink, at once bombarding the listener with pink noise (yes, there is such a thing) and guitar grit, then dropping off into a minimalist chasm. Maybe this is just an example of musical fluorescence: each track emitting whatever genre the duo shines upon it.