Kyoto is home to one of the most depressing zoos I've ever seen in my life. Dismally cramped cages house filthy monkeys, crippled peacocks and very sad-looking lions, while screaming groups of identically clad schoolchildren laugh and point. It's an odd thing to see, especially in an otherwise gorgeous, clean and historically rich city, but there it is, right in the middle of one of the most beautiful cities in Japan. I'm not sure what that crappy zoo has to do with the bizarre music scene that has exploded in the region, but one can only assume that multiple field trips to such a zoo would affect the organic psyche of generations of kids. The larger area known as Kansai (including Kyoto and nearby Osaka, but not the more northerly Tokyo) is responsible for such noise-rock anomalies as the Boredoms, and Limited Express (is gone?) definitely fits into the region's history. Hailing from Kyoto -- rather than the more congested and metropolitan Osaka -- the three members of Limited Express drastically reconstruct rock structures, utilizing familiar-sounding grooves (the mellifluous riff underscoring "2x5=10" is a sweet one) as a launchpad for insanity. The somewhat shrill singing of vocalist/guitarist Iida Jinichiro is a little disorienting when the band locks into something solid, but the "structured-improvisation" approach the band takes to many of the songs (the explosive "Spy," for instance) provides each member a chance to shine. Considerably more accessible than many of their neighbors, Limited Express still provide considerable amounts of adventure.
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