Formed in Sapporo in 1988, last year marked Tokyo trio Eastern Youth’s 20th anniversary. To commemorate the occasion they issued two retrospective discs and performed for the first time on Fuji Rock’s Green Stage, the renowned festival’s largest performance area. The newly released “Hohaba to Taiyou” ushers in the next era of their career on a definite high note.
A mix of melodic rock and punk, Eastern Youth’s eighth full-length is stacked with the powerful playing that has propelled them to the upper echelons of the local rock scene. The bouncy, bass heavy “Itsu Datte Sore wa Kantan-na Koto ja nai” shows the band’s poppier side with a great sing-a-long chorus. “Dekunobo Hitori Tabi Yuku” is comprised of far more complex structures, but is equally catchy with guitarist Hisashi Yoshino branching out with a few short shoegazer-inspired guitar licks early in the track.
While his singing has always been solid, Yoshino is most compelling when shouting. His emotionally-charged howls are at their fiercest on “Ookami Shounen.” The restrained cut teases with brief blasts of distorted riffs before building into an intense, epic climax that will leave fans praying Eastern Youth cranks out high caliber tunes for another two decades.
Eastern Youth will be promoting the record throughout Japan in September and October. For full tour dates, visit www.hadashino-ongakusha.jp .