For CHAI, the mission statement, above all, is fun. Many, many a band may pop up promising the same, but for the Japanese all-female band, it’s far more than a tired selling point. CHAI treat a song like a damn battle, charging in guns blazing, charm alight, whipping out every trick in their book, only to somehow come up with more come the next track.

This may give some sliver of an idea of the playful energy that’s going to leap out at you the moment you press play on PINK LP (if the winking, freckled girl picking her nose on the album art wasn’t a hint, I don’t know what to tell ya), but there’s no real preparing for hearing CHAI the first time.

While the band hail from Nagoya, the album sounds not unlike Tokyo at its brightest: gleaming, irrepressibly neon, bursting with life, and perhaps just a tad overwhelming for a visitor entirely unaccustomed to the rushing aura it offers.

If you weren’t born into a generation raised with smartphones in hand, CHAI might just make you feel a bit old with their lovable, memeable, even frantic sense of joy. You won’t mind. Surely, you’ll be too busy remembering just how good music this lacking in restraint, conceit, or concern feels.

It’s even tempting to describe the play at hand here as precocious. The word might be a slight to many, but I’d expect CHAI would love the description, before laughing with a roll of the eyes. Putting it bluntly, a press release that originally caught my eye declared, “CHAI favour fake over real, plastic over organic, the internet over everything” - the young band has already acclimated to an ever-more digital world, and their music speaks a language their older peers can only mimic and imagine. Whether gleefully smearing increasingly irrelevant beauty standards or poking fun at the doldrums of a Tinder-like dating world, CHAI never miss a beat.

Even when CHAI slow it down a bit for the gentle, embracing glide of ‘Horechatta’, a loving glow practically drips from the trotting bass, more distant, playful guitar, and placid keys. The music that composes PINK was, in fact, lopped off from a longer album released just over a year ago, now given a wider release by Heavenly Recordings in the form of the mini-album before you. In short, the band’s ascent has been rather rapid. CHAI owes its genesis to pairs: beginning with sisters, identical twins no less, Mana and and Kana, who linked up, in turn, with BFF’s Yuna and Yuuki, in order to form a band not only lacking any concern for what year it is, but one seemingly able to operate outside time completely.

CHAI is as much Wire as it is Avril Lavigne, as rooted in the pop culture of Japan as it is the punk of London, throwing everything (and I mean everything) the girls like into a gleeful, sugary rush of rock and pop abandon. To be clear: not only does this thing work, it’s sure to be among the most memorable moments of pure happiness you encounter all year.

Throughout PINK LP, propulsive drumming and winkingly aggressive instrumentation bolster some of the most passionately silly punk vocals in recent memory. “You. Are. So. Cute. Nice. Face. Ohhhhh yeah!,” the band veritably shouts at us on ‘N.E.O’. In the wrong hands, you’re damn right, these sort of vocals might grate, but in this band’s spurious grasp, every word feels torn from an over-scribbled, locked diary: CHAI are silly, but they’re deadly serious about it. CHAI may be a fledgling band, but on PINK, they’re already shockingly sure of their sound and what they want to accomplish with it. It doesn’t hurt that they kick ass at it.