The sophomore album from prolific chiptune band Anamanaguchi
, Endless Fantasy
, is an endurance test. Yes, you could probably parlay that statement into a load of analogies to eight-bit video games, but the more relevant fact is that listening to 22 songs of glitchy synths, galloping rhythms, and what occasionally amounts to Nintendo-based dubstep—the title track has its fair share of “drops”—is like parking in front of an orchestra of strobe lights for nearly 80 minutes. But that’s the idea, of course. A band that develops an instrumental pop sound based on digging into a Game Boy and deforming its insides probably isn’t concerned with mass appeal so much as with developing and mastering its own eccentricities. That’s not to say Endless Fantasy
doesn’t have some catchy numbers—my favorites are the too-fun “Meow,”
which takes its name from the sound it cartoonishly mimics, and the clubby guest-vocal jam “Prom Night.” Think of them like power-ups to help get you through the album’s seriously schizo levels. —Kevin Warwick Chrome Sparks, Infinity Shred, and Sharpless open.