One OK Rock – Ambitions (Fuelled By Ramen)
Genre – Alt rock / pop punk / power pop
Japanese rockers One OK Rock are back with their eighth studio album, an album that takes on three themes – hope, ambition and singing together.
Having conquered their native Japan, and firmly established themselves as a true mega band, they have now set their sights on marketing themselves worldwide, and have thus taken the step to release two separate versions of this album – Japanese and English.
Signing to Fuelled By Ramen has done wonders for their exposure worldwide, and 2016 saw them embark on a US tour, along with appearances at a number of mainstream festivals such as Download.
This reputation has helped the band recruit some big names to feature on Ambitions, including All Time Low’s Alex Gaskarth, who appears on one of the album’s stand out tracks – Jaded, and 5 Seconds of Summer, who have joined the band for Take What You Want.
Opening with a flurry of melodic power pop, it’s clear that One OK Rock have a clear audience in mind. The sing along approach of big choruses, marginally cheesy lyrics and synths could very quickly see the Japanese superstars become emo teenage heartthrobs.
The simplistic lyrics of Bombs Away, with a chorus of ‘tick, tick, tock and it’s bombs away,’ will lead to fans going wild all over the country. The track is filled with optimism, pop punk guitar riffs and the right amount of teenage angst to captivate a young audience, in a way bands like Paramore, All Time Low and MCR built a career on.
Jaded takes on a slightly heavier approach, with patterned drumming, electric, racing guitars and a chorus sang by a choir of fifty people. The track is undoubtedly the stand out on the album, and is built for arenas with people on their feet, jumping and singing along.
Hard To Love sees things slowed down to great effect. The acoustic number is harmonised, personal and Takahiro Moriuchi’s vocal’s take centre stage. This relatable track is about being understood even you’re hard to love – a track that will no doubt go down a storm with their audience.
With a mixture of power pop, alt rock and pop punk circulating throughout this 11 track release, it’s clear why One OK Rock have become so popular in Japan. They are a band that knows their audience, and you can expect to hear much more about this band over the next 12 months in the UK.
RUSHONROCK RATED – 7/10 Eying world domination!