On their latest album, “Splurge” (Tofu Records), this J-Pop duo (formed by Ami Onuki and Yumi Yoshimura) shows us how they’ve evolved since they first reached the U.S. market four years ago. The guitar-heavy songs instantly catch your ear, and soon you find yourself humming to the tune of “Call Me What You Like,” an arena rock-style, anthem-based tune, the ska-influenced “Tokyo I’m On My Way,” and the alt-rock tinged “Security Blanket.” The ladies are no novices to the business. They have been working together since 1996, when they separately entered a Monkees-style talent search competition. Under the guidance of American-born Andy Sturmer, they quickly became icons at home. They first toured the U.S. in 2002, and their popularity here was solidified after the cartoon series “Hi Hi Puffy Amiyumi” hit TV screens a year later on Cartoon Network. Don’t, however, dismiss them as kiddie-rock phenoms. Their catchy pop songs appeal to a much wider audience, and their high-energy live act might just find you asking for more. (Ernest Barteldes)
July 15 at Vic Theatre.