It is not far short of a year ago that hardcore fans flocked to the debut 7” EP from the UK’S Tokyo Lungs, a nine track scourge of around eight minutes which scarred the senses and ignited the imagination with feral discontent. It was a swiftly and greedily devoured encounter which embraced lusty acclaim and inspired real anticipation of a successor. This April sees the band uncage Soul Music, a 12” album which goes for the jugular and scorches the senses in an unshackled discontent of US and UK inspired hardcore and feeds all the passions bred from that first encounter.
Tokyo Lungs is the united animus of James Domestic (The Domestics, Pi$$Er, Körd Värld, Hazard Profile, Bring The Drones and more) and drummer Simon Battery (The Domestics, Casual Nausea); a project taking inspirations from the likes of “Out Cold, Loose Nukes, Negative Approach, Totalitär, Machine Gun, The Offenders, Herätys and the first Circle Jerks LP.” As Soul Music proves, theirs is a sound which forges its own furore of individuality and though seeded in the rawest and purest hardcore equally comes enriched with bold imagination within an onslaught of 24 tracks and barbarous nineteen minutes.
As soon as the album’s A-side opener, Countdown To What?, invades with ruinous riff thrust grooves ears were gripped and with increasing intensity as Domestic’s uncompromising tones unleashed their quarrel. For barely half of minute the track assaulted and enthralled, the siege inescapable and thrilling before, without allowing a breath to be taken, Rat Cage viciously harassed and harangued for matching enjoyment.
Rather than subject you to a novella covering all its tracks, we will leave some mystery and pick out our majorly favourites moments within a release which had us squaring up and hollering like a quarrelsome dervish. At a minute long, the ‘epic’ On Fumes proved a toxic addiction; an unscrupulous outrage spewing contagion while Breakdown is a pugnacious rock ‘n’ roll trespass relishing the variety of flavour within the Tokyo Lung sonic and emotional vehemence. With melodic flames and just as searing grooves around Domestic’s rabid roar, captivation proved inevitable as it was for the predacious threat and incursion of the outstanding A Knife In My Back.
Throughout the release the rhythmic craft of Battery is a crippling but addictively manipulative incitement and rapaciously sets up the masterful assault of Lethargy with relish; pic king its punches as Domestic vents his spleen before both unite in unruly tempest. The repeating cycle simply saw the song burrow deeper, the kind of infestation that sees Disinfect and Punk Shit / Shit Punk bring side A to a striking old school punk nurtured close and side B get off to an equally ravenous and compelling start courtesy of My Mistake.
Thirty five seconds is all Everything You Hate Is… needed to inspire lust, again that more old school essence a thick incitement while Nothing To Say To You used a touch more time to stalk and accost the senses with even greater discord. As all tracks, neither treats ears and thoughts with kid gloves, the band politically and socially scorching injustices and prevalent apathy with a matching inferno of frictious sound.
Others tracks which ignited thicker lust include the evenly discharged (I Need) Routine, the venomously ejected No More and the glorious nagging, increasing ravenous Lockdown, a track which epitomises in noise and attack the incessant bind we have all endured, the album itself at times part soundtrack to the past year and a half in so many ways.
Dosed proved one final colossal pleasure as it brings the album to a mighty close, the track simply Tokyo Lungs at their most inventive, compelling and wonderfully choleric.
Truthfully though, every track within Soul Music let a lingering mark and pleasure and leaving some not covered was just to spare your eyesight and boredom reading. The bottom-line is quite simple; if Tokyo Lung’s self-titled EP was a must, their album is essential.
Soul Music is released April 23rd via Kibou Records (UK) and Amok Records (Germany) digitally and on 12” vinyl with pre-ordering available from April 9th @ https://kibourecords.bandcamp.com/album/soul-music and https://kibourecords.bigcartel.com/
Pete RingMaster 08/04/2021
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