One OK Rock

Kanjou Effect

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AllMusic Review by Alexey Eremenko

By the time of Kanjou Effect, One Ok Rock have sorted out the conflicting tendencies of their previous release, Beam of Light. No more hopping from pop-punk to heavy disco within ten minutes: this time the band has firmly settled on post-grunge, and a good thing they did, because Kanjou Effect packs as much punch as both Klitchko brothers combined. The band's punk roots are showing in the blazing tempo they favor and are audible on "Convincing," the sole light-hearted cut on the CD, but generally, One Ok Rock are pretty serious, essentially sticking to the 2000s incarnation of "just rock" championed by Foo Fighters. The band has all bases neatly covered: their guitars go from nervous tail-twitching in the verses to head-on assaults in bridges and choruses, their vocalist is singing his heart out (never mind the Japanese lyrics, the focus is on the force of his delivery), and the textures are melodic and the riffs catchy. Granted, Foo Fighters have been mining this sound for quite a while by 2008, as have Jimmy Eat World, to whom One Ok Rock also bear some resemblance, but neither band's main achievement was inventing something new anyway: each is prized for their ability to write good rock songs that don't sour on multiple listens. One Ok Rock can do that, too, and not by ripping anyone off: even their relationship to Foo Fighters, whom they confess to adore, is only a master-pupil thing. For one thing, One Ok Rock are more leveled than Dave Grohl's band, although they still can break the flow of faster numbers with a decent semi-ballad ("My Sweet Baby"). More importantly, One Ok Rock's riffs are their own, and they are good enough to place the band on a level with J-rock's finest, such as Monoral and Asian Kung-Fu Generation.