365 Days of Music #7: Hawaiian6 - "Rings" (2007)

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12 mars 2009, 2h48m

After yesterday's less-than-stellar choice, I really was hoping that my pick for today's 365 days series would be awesome enough to make up for it. And wow was it ever. The band? HAWAIIAN6, Japanese punk with a hell of a lot of melody. This album was just downright catchy from start to finish, even if I didn't understand a word of it! I mean, I think there was some English in there somewhere, but the accents were way too thick for me to make out any words coherently. It didn't matter, however, because I'm sure it would've eclipsed the refreshing musicianship here.

Hawaiian6 plays fast, melodic music. That's really all there is to it. We're not talking grindcore fast here, otherwise I likely wouldn't be raving about how wonderful this was, but fast enough that you won't be falling asleep anytime soon. To make a good comparison, think about smashing together Husking Bee and UPPER, two other Japanese bands, and you've more or less got Hawaiian6. They don't do anything really all that new, but what they do accomplish is consistency. Really really good consistency, in a way that doesn't make them boring. Maybe that's just the hooks talking, though.

The album leads in with a couple of solid tracks, one of them being my favorite on the entire release, "The Betrayer", complete with an unbearably catchy main riff and even a solo thrown in there for good measure. If I could ever describe the perfect opener to a punk album for me these days, it'd probably be that. Enough to keep me listening, for sure. They begin to slow things down a bit (Although not noticeably if you aren't used to listening to generally fast music to begin with) with tracks like "Diamond", taking more time to focus on crafting even catchier sing-along (Well, sing-along if I knew Japanese) choruses.

Probably the highlight of this album for me was the seventh track, "Star Fall On Our Hands Tonight", which balances out the high points of all the other tracks on this album in one single song, carrying a surprisingly soft (And naturally very catchy) melody over an extremely fast-paced beat that makes me want to just start moving and dancing and having a good time.

That's really what this album does for me more than anything else - it might not be innovative, it might not be unique, you might not remember it after one full listen-through, but god damn is it ever danceable punk. I'd love the opportunity to see these guys live sometime, so I'm crossing my fingers that there will eventually be a U.S. tour that crosses through Minneapolis.

Gems: "Star Fall On Our Hands Tonight", "The Betrayer"

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