The Japanaro line-up has changed since they recorded their four-track EP last year, boasting a new sound and a new vocalist. Under such circumstances it seems a little obscure to be commenting on their older material, but here we go and I don't think they'll be too upset when I say this is not the best recording I've ever received. It's pretty average, though nowhere near the worst either.
"Presence" starts well, an interesting riff that continues throughout most of the track and it kicks into what threatens to be big, solid rock track. However, it doesn't quite deliver and once the vocals kick in it turns almost gothic - not at all how I hoped it would end up. The chorus is of a rock-out nature, lots of crashing symbols, etc. It's not bad, just nothing to be really excited about and in the end the riff got on my nerves.
"Get Me Down" has a bit more imagination in its arrangement, and the chord progression is solid enough and unlike the track before it doesn't get too boring. I'm still unsure about the vocals, which sound like they've gone through the effects. A decent enough track.
The third track is probably the best, with the vocals similar to Sultans of Ping before the combined vocal duties during the chorus. "Crazy Girls" is their better recording here.
There's a slow and interestingly simple minute-long intro to "Being Afraid". Unfortunately there is an annoyingly delivered vocal line over the top. Its not that the vocals are out of tune; I've heard singers who just cannot sing and this is not an example of it - they're sung ok, I just don't like their delivery.
A couple of good moments, especially from the guitars and the song writing is not that bad. With a new line up, perhaps some of the tracks could be reworked. They shouldn't be scrapped; they certainly show future potential.