Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

The Tokyo Smash-The Scene Queen Reigns Supreme EP

January 1, 2005

Band: The Tokyo Smash

Album: The Scene Queen Reigns Supreme EP

Best Element: The driving hardcore guitar element.

Genre: Punk-core

Website: www.thetokyosmash.com

Label: Recorse Records (www.recorserecords.com)

Band E-mail: –

You know that album that everyone tells you is an amazing, must-have album? First off, it takes you forever to get it (inevitably). Then, when you finally get out to the record shop to get it, take it home, and throw it in your stereo, you end up saying “HUH?”

That was my reaction when I put in The Tokyo Smash’s The Scene Queen Reigns Supreme EP. It’s punk-core. It’s fine but nothing special, which was a let-down after I had read and heard so much about the magnificence of this album. It’s kind of like Boy’s Night Out without the experience or the writing ability BNO has.

The EP is basically a decent band with a singer who took his heart-wrenching teenage angst poetry and screamed it with the music. Then he got one of the guys in the band to sing every other line after he screams it. All the lyrics are reminiscent of every song I ever tried to write but gave up on because they sucked. The singer also uses the same breathing patterns in every song. Maybe I’m being picky, but it gives every song the same feel. Maybe the screamer will grow up lyrically, because he does have a good sound- we can only hope.

The instruments on this EP are pretty good; you can tell these guys know how to handle a guitar and bass. All the music is a cross between BNO and Yellowcard, so it’s nothing incredible but its respectable. Track seven, “Crush’s Got Gas Money Too”, is the only track with instrumentals that strongly resemble those of Yellowcard.

Over all it’s a fine album but it’s nothing to jump up and down over. Maybe if the lyricist grows up and starts to write more poignant lyrics the band will be a lot better. I hope they do, because they have a driving sound I like.

-Scott Landis (redbassist66@comcast.net)

Now don’t quote me on this but I think that the screamer Aaron J. was the guest vocalist on Thursday’s War All the Time tour. I’m pretty sure the guy’s name was Aaron and he sure as hell looks like him. If you know, email me.

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Stephen Carradini and friends write reviews of bands that are trying to make the next step in their careers.

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