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Album Review: Man With A Mission - Chasing The Horizon

I think it's pretty fair to say that I have become a bit of a fan the Japanese electro-punk band, Man With A Mission. The first time I heard of them was with the 2015 EP they did with Zebrahead, Out of Control. I also got to see them on the subsequent tour with Zebrahead and Patent Pending. Their music instantly caught my attention with its high energy and their unique stage presence. It is certainly something to remember. I've had a chance to listen to their new album, Chasing the Horizon and I really like it. I've been wanting something this year with that bit of a spark and Man With A Mission were the right band to bring it. Their great blend of electronica and punk rock really make this album feel alive and fun.

Chasing the Horizon makes interesting use of all of the band's elements and is put together in such a way as to keep you listening. The riffs are tight and the electronic elements are well integrated at every moment they're used. I like the stylistic choices made on the album, the band create an engaging sound that has a lot of vibrancy and pep to it. I am really impressed with how much ground the band cover here. Jumping from one musical style to another. Hopping from pop to punk, from funk to hard rock. All of it done with that signature style. There are a lot of great earworms and fantastic hooks on the album. Like on "Break The Contradictions" which coupled with its super catchy chorus has a weird electronic breakdown that shows there willingness to experiment with there sound even on a song that is quite formulaic.

The production is solid. Nothing sounds out of place and even it did, it would still fit with Man With A Mission's idea of being weird. The vocals sound wonderful with vocalist, Tokyo Tanaka jumping from English to Japanese, even in the middle of songs. In all honesty that doesn't bother me that much, he sings with so much conviction you kinda get the words even if you don't speak the language. The guitars sound great with distinct notes coming through clear and the heavier tone blending in with the electronica.  The mixing of live drums and sample drums sounds great and reminds me somewhat of Prodigy or Pendulum. Keeping the beat frantic and lively for the high energy songs, like "Dog Days" or "2045". It's something I've always quite liked about them. The blending of old-school punk styling and the high energy EDM sound.

Although I love this album, I realise it's not a sound everyone is going to be behind. If you're into your J-rock and drum and bass rock music, this is something I would listen to immediately. For people who may not be fully acquainted with this style of music then Man With A Mission is a pretty accessible band for the genre. I would check it out, to say the least. If you like pop-punk, electronic rock, or even stoner rock, this might be something up your alley. Me, I love it and will always welcome more music from them.


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