Album Review: All Off, "From Midnight to Sunshine"
I still think the greatest compliment a Japanese rock band can get is that they don't sound remotely Japanese. If that's the standard, then All Off is the best thing out there, at least if you like clean pop punk with an emo and metal twist. The first time I heard them, I was sure they were the usual brattish group of suburban US kids in skater fashion trying to sound soulful, but, no, this five-piece, led by vocalist Sohei Matsuura, are all home grown. Melding catchy pop melodies and punk tempos, album opener Find Yourself Tonight and I'll Be There mine the slightly sappy seam of teen self-discovery, but then there's the ABBA effect! Lyrics like "I need a place to feel alive" that would sound a bit naff sung by a native speaker miraculously take on a new poignancy when earnestly delivered by someone in their second language.
All Off play Yokohama Club Lizard, Jan 26 and Ikebukuro Black Hole, Jan 29
17 January, 2011