Friday, 16 August 2013

JAPANESE FIGHTING FISH - ALBUM REVIEW

Japanese Fighting Fish - Day Bombs 
Japanese Fighting Fish - Day Bombs

Release Date: 30th September 2013

Based on this latest release from the Leeds/London based outfit Japanese Fighting Fish, the band clearly have excellent taste in music. The influences apparent in the songs on Day Bombs are like a 'who's awesome' of modern rock but I'm just not quite sure they've managed to merge all the different styles and influences successfully. Let's have a little look see shall we? Kicking off with the System Of A Down-ish 'Bloody Fingers' and 'He Doesn't Know What He Wants' there are promising signs but there's a certain something missing that I can't quite put my finger on. 'Greatest Excuse' takes the SOAD influences and takes it on to a new Queens Of The Stoneage level but with a distinctly average pub rock chorus letting it down. Things get a little more interesting on the Victorian Showman vs Punk Anarchist infused 'They Lie' but despite exploring Gogol Bordello meets Carter USM territory it still just comes across as being a little on the novelty side of things. And again, on 'Flick The King', there are optimistic tones as well as potential to fall in line behind St Joe Strummer but, despite a fairly storming chorus, it just doesn't quite seal the deal.

"Walking up the street, it was quarter to ten, I looked across the road to see my friend Ben", so starts 'Ben'. Now aside from the fact that the singer is confused as to whether he is on a road or a street, the use of lyrics that could have been written by a 10 year old suddenly has this album nose diving from a position of potential to, well, let's not say where just yet, there are four more tracks yet. 'Legs' does a little to redeem Japanese Fighting Fish with its Audioslave riffs and QOTSA sinister overtones whilst 'So Drunk & Wasted' gets all Placebo on our ass but with lower production standards and fewer ideas. The ambitious introduction to 'Mister Mandolin' gives way to a gravelly, folorn vocal and acoustic guitar with some understated percussion which, compared to the rest of this album, is actually a gentle and welcome change. Album closer, 'Senses' has balls, big beefy balls that Japanese Fighting Fish want to hit you in the face with. A rumbling bass, crashing drums and some wailing guitars redeem the band somewhat but the damage done by 'Ben' still lingers. So I'm sticking with my gut reaction; Japanese Fighting Fish have some awesome influences and are clearly talented but somehow they just need to work out how to tie all that together and they could have something pretty special on their hands. As it is, what they have on their hands is something a little bit more than mediocre - not much more, mind.


Live Dates:

17th August - Beacons Festival, Skipton
20th August - Barfly, London
31st August - Weyfest Festival, Farnham
4th October - The 100 Club, London

15th November - Vibe Bar, London

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