Blue Blue Blue (2003)
This CD is another one of those finds in Japan that I didn't even know I was looking for. I've had a Links split 7" with a band called Ben Grim for a very long time. I didn't even know they put out a full length, yet here it is in all of its glory. This came out back in 2003, so I can't believe it took me so long to find it.
The links are playing super melodic pop punk. There are lots of octave accents in the songs, chugging palm mutes and dynamic drumming in the breakdowns. It sounds like the sort of bands you would have heard in the late 90's. Kind of a bridge between the bouncy pop punk of Sicko or Zoinks and the sort of thing the Get Up Kids were doing on their first EP. Though it's way catchier and upbeat than any of those Get Up Kids songs.
Unfortunately I can't find anything from this album online to link to. I did find the version of the song "Not Perfect" that came out on the Ben Grim split, but it is a slightly different version than the one that appears on this album. Still, even without the ability to listen to anything now, I absolutely recommend picking this up if you ever happen to come across it. It's one of my favorite things I picked up in Japan.
The Links - "Not Perfect" (Split 7" Version):