One Ok Rock claimed a spot on the J-rock scene with little regard for preliminaries, but their quick jump to solo tours and media coverage was anything but undeserved. Beam of Light, their sophomore effort, may well qualify for the best blink-182/Foo Fighters crossover there is (and there are quite a few), and while One Ok Rock can't claim copyright to either pop-punk or post-grunge, they sure do enrich them both. Granted, the plain punkish parts are less impressive: for example, "San San Dama" is a blatant blink-182 ripoff -- still a good song, but out under the wrong moniker. Luckily, on Beam of Light punk mostly contributes the tempo while the two guitars churn out well-textured chunks of melodic rock -- the vocalist Moriuchi sings "We've got lots of melody" on "Melody Line No Shibouritsu," and he's got that right. But besides, in a rare trick for J-rock bands that are often bent on bright harmonies that are Muzak-level forgettable, One Ok Rock have the catchiness factor nailed down as well. In addition, for all its brevity, Beam of Light is a diverse album; at least it's not a single song rehashed ten times over -- and that's another thing to hold in its favor. Sure, "San San Dama" sticks out among the fresher and more original material of the record, but there's plenty of stuff to make up for it: the opening track with its androgynous vocal lines, the great instrumental interlude of "Abduction" that is reminiscent of Pelican and Jesu (they need to make more of those), and the dance rhythm of "Crazy Botch" -- such songs are often a dispensable afterthought on Japanese records, but they are highlights on Beam of Light, which itself is a high point of contemporary J-rock scene. And it isn't even their best record.
AllMusic Review by Alexey Eremenko