An interest in outer space has informed both the visual aesthetic and music of Dempagumi.inc over the past year. While the group first appeared as ‘space explorers’ in an even earlier video (for “Girametasu Dempa Stars”), their sixth full-length, Ware Ware Wa Dempagumi.inc Da, re-introduce the idols’ intergalactic predilections. The girls emerge from a ‘crash-landing’ at the outset of this album, and they continue to dance to their own alien rhythm as Ware Ware Wa zips through a restless run of high-energy synth-pop, flamboyant hard-rock, big-band numbers and jagged jazz — with more than a few styles often represented in the span of a single track. The album’s overarching theme of outer space, then, becomes essential as a means to provide some cohesion to this turbulent jumble. And while the theme does also set-up a charming world of fantasy, Ware Ware Wa proves most resonant when its fantastical elements collide with the bleakness of reality. The idols are bewildered by the beauties of Earth on “Oyasumi Polaris Sayonara Parallel World” — and too beholden to their anxieties toward the outside world to step-out from their hermetic existence. Dempagumi play along with their role as aliens in “Taiyoukei Kansatsuchuu Seimeitai” and ramble through some hilarious one-liners about being confounded by the eccentricities of human life. Their intentioned confusion leads to one especially heart-rending moment: “Hey, why are you crying? / What meaning is there,” the group sing, as if earnestly trying to figure out the concept of sadness. Sometimes it takes visitors from a different universe to highlight the alluring parts of human experience — and Dempagumi has a lot of fun here exploring that theoretical perspective on life.
Published as part of Foreign Correspondent | Issue 3.