Its eight tracks spread across two-hour-plus discs of sometimes difficult emotional terrain, the epic Prayer for Chibi is Suishou No Fune's widest ranging effort so far, and an unexpectedly personal release in a style not often known for its emotional heft. Chibi was the pet cat of guitarists Kageo and Pirako Kurenai, who died in February 2007. A brief and purely factual description like "Japanese psychedelic rock duo record a two-disc memorial to their deceased cat" makes Prayer for Chibi sound like fodder for a tossed-off joke in a sequel to This Is Spinal Tap, but animal lovers understand the outpouring of emotion that surrounds the death of a beloved pet, and Suishou No Fune's brand of intimate psychedelia has always been more concerned with the heart than the head. Therefore, the first disc's four tracks are lyrical in their mournfulness, culminating in the achingly beautiful "Becoming a Flower," which features a simply lovely solo, filled with blue notes, that recalls '60s U.K. folk legends like John Renbourn and Davy Graham. The second disc opens with the unexpectedly harsh, feedback-driven "Resurrection Night," the disc's one extended showcase of the duo's connection to the Japanese noise scene, yet even it is a harnessed and stately piece, more in keeping with Sonic Youth's beauty-in-chaos approach to the skronky aggression of, say, Merzbow. The rest of disc two moves closer to the somber feel of disc one, but lacking its wistfulness and delicacy; closing track "Cherry" almost verges on electric blues in its naked emotion. The CD liner notes include English translations of the songs' sparse Japanese lyrics, but even without them, the quiet heartbreak of Prayer for Chibi is obvious.