The album starts with an expansive workout whose cymbal crashes, explorative bass, and tin-can rattle sound like the Art Ensemble of Chicago trolling through the marshlands with Carlos Castaneda. The album is broken into four parts (always a good sign), and the sections alternate: Sometimes you get freeform journeys down windy roads populated by fuzz bass and drunken piano, and sometimes you get stop-start progressive rock with a sputtering, spastic unpredictability. So it's almost jolting when "Hazy Paradise" takes off into more pastoral regions, using a nice mix of gentle guitar leads and acoustic rhythms amid the twinkling harpsichord. It's a full-blown psych-pop wonder, and Michio Kurihara's guitar solo shreds in a way that is simultaneously triumphant, appropriate, and Guitar Center-approved.
If one were able to right the wrongs of the past through some sort of scientific wonder gizmo, you would be able to hear a track like Underworld's "Piper" on classic FM radio alongside chunky drive-time jams by Nazareth, Blue Öyster Cult, and Fragile-era Yes. But these are all easy targets with an album that deftly and sincerely juggles traditional Japanese instrumentation, K-hole guitar drones, and Teutonic-locked percussion like nothing else.