Hello and happy new year. I'm starting off the new year with a goal of finally getting through all of the Japanese CDs that I have piled up over here. It's amazing that I still have records that I bought in Japan last year that I haven't gotten to. Couple that with a few spots of mailorder over the past year and I have a pile that has been sorely neglected.
First up for 2018 is this Without EP. I can't say I know a whole lot about them outside of the three songs on this CD, but I'm sure it was recommended to me as something I'd like. That recommendation was correct, this is good stuff. Without have an interesting combination of the sort of Snuffy Smiles Japanese punk rock sound mixed with slightly more melodic (some might say emo) tendencies. The band has a knack of having explosive verses and catchy choruses, but then you'll come across a really dynamic breakdown or outro.
In particular the ending of the song "Dislike" really reminds me of the sort of thing that you would have heard from the Get Up Kids back when they were good. You know, on that first CD EP. The only time the Get Up Kids were really, really good. Anyway, Without captures those sort of energetic detours and manages to integrate them seamlessly into the rest of their punk rock. This is a very strong debut EP and I hope it isn't the last I hear from Without.
Without - "Dislike":