Backlash has been around for a while already but this is their first release. You don’t see too many bands these days making their debut on an LP but I find it quite refreshing to get my hands on a thought out package rather than a hasty demo.

Backlash has been compared to Selfish a lot which sort of bugs me. Even though both bands play japcore doesn’t mean they sound the same.

Backlash shows a lot of ambition and will to experiment on this LP. The songs have a bit more to them than the typical verse/chorus/verse/chorus structure and the songs are full of catchy details. Tons of feedback, gang choruses and guitar leads keep things fresh throughout the album. There’s a lot of rock and roll on the album as opposed to the thick, down tuned distortion and d-beat that’s so popular nowadays.

I really liked the lyrics on this album. They really hold true to the Japanese way of writing english lyrics in a quirky and original way that when done right makes the words more identifiable. The lyrics emphasize a lot on personal struggles rather than larger scale issues. The writing isn’t nihilistic or miserable but rather inspiring – don’t let go and all that.

The cover art is a drawing of a punk surrounded by demons. The contrast between the drawing and the white background gives the cover a distinguished look without being too in your face. The album comes with a lyric sheet which has a really cool, if not the most typical collage.

I like this album a lot but I think that Backlash can still perfect their sound in the future. There’s a lot of ambition and originality but at some parts the energy that the album has gets lost somewhere in the mix. I recommend this album to all fans of japcore and people who want a bit more from their punk. I’m definately on the lookout for their next release!

8- / 10