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New CHAI: “N.E.O.”

Sayonara Complex” was a slight outlier in the world of CHAI. That song — alongside its goofy, joyful video — captured the Tokyo quartet at their most earnest, the playfulness of earlier EPs making space for something slightly bittersweet, too. “N.E.O.” offers a look at CHAI at their more natural state, which is like lawful chaotic rock. This is an energetic cut full of shout-along verses and the vague sense that it could fall apart at any second, except wrapped up in something with one eye on something bigger so it’s never really in that much danger. I’ll leave it up to you if the lyrical focus on cuteness is subversive or just good catchphrase material. Either way, it’s a solid song, and while I’m not sure CHAI will every nail the sweetness of “Sayonara Complex” anytime soon, they do silly rock pretty well too. Listen above.