Trace Of The Youth (2016)
I don't know what it is exactly that makes Japanese punk rock so much better to my ears than the kinds of punk being manufactured by the rest of the world. That's not to say that Japan has the monopoly on great music, but there's just something about the bands over there that elevates up to a higher level than most others.
Bows is a great example of this. On the surface, they're playing melodic punk rock with odes to Leatherface. But when you really listen to it, it's immediately apparent how much higher their balloon soars compared to others with the same influences. Bows are able to mix together the intensity of a band like I Excuse while channelling in the hooks and rampant catchiness of bands like J Church. The crossbreed they've created is a super energetic band fueled in equal parts by a barely controlled energy and the ability to hide a catchy tune in all of the guitar carnage.
It's amazing to me that after all of these years I'm still able to find new bands that just blow me away with their take on the kind of music that I love. I've only been to Japan once, but an album like this makes me feel whatever the equivalent is of being homesick for a place that you don't live.
Bows - Burn Out Wrong Suspirations: