Tokyo Storm 2017
In search of exhilarating matter, British band’s high-spirited debut makes a stand against everyday greyness.
Perhaps, it’s a mere coincidence that the acronym of this album’s title sounds like “awesome” – but it’s surely what the Midlands ensemble behind it strive for. Criminally unsigned, the quartet demonstrate a great potential, and the listener must be hooked on the band’s mood immediately, from an uplifting a cappella lead-in to the record’s titular opener whose AOR resolve is nicely anchored with heavy riffs which leave enough leeway for choruses to try and levitate. Problem is, there’s not a lot of inner development in any single piece, so the songs sometimes threaten to outstay their welcome, although pop-minded numbers such as “Tune” are rather riveting and slow cuts like the epic “Silent Obsession” are brimming with righteous romanticism – that’s why basically every other track on display is a ballad.
Ben Green’s voice imbues “Lady Darkness” and “Is This Love” with soulfulness and Joe Bartnicki’s sun-kissed strum makes it all even more lucid, yet heaviosity seems to serve the group quite well, what with vocals and six-string harmonies feeding the well-grounded rock ‘n’ roll of “Fire In Your Eyes” and “Kill The Machines” rendering these smashes highly infectious. Still, the most unexpected offering is saved for last, for the 11-minute “Signals” to reveal the entire expanse the ensemble are capable of when they chose to unhurriedly explore progressive sensibility in instrumental terms. Optimism should take this band far – that’s the spirit which will break any barrier out there, the spirit so enjoyable here and now.