Formed in 2007 in Nagoya, emo- rockers Coldrain have a commodity that is rare among Japanese bands: English-language lyrics that don’t suck. That’s mainly down to vocalist Masato being part American. Yet while their lyrics are written in English, the band’s presence online is entirely in Japanese. Coldrain are aimed squarely at the domestic market.
After pulling off the impressive feat of selling 2,000 homemade CDs at their live shows alone, the band were signed last year to VAP, a subsidiary of Nippon Television Network Corporation. As such, the band’s music is supplemented by stunning images and videos; but more importantly, the production on their debut album is pretty meaty — you can almost taste the sweat.
Key to Coldrain’s sound is the way Sugi and Y.K.C.’s guitar lines intertwine, creating heavy yet melodic tapestries over which Masato can shred his larynx. His lyrics tackle the drudgeries of working a day-job (“Someday”), two-faced friends (“Fiction,” “24-7”) and the evils of TV (“Counterfeits & Lies”; bet the execs at Nippon TV love that one). Crucially, the album conveys the energy of the band’s live shows, which is what won them such acclaim in the first place.