Kimi Wa Taiyo

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From the self-styled rockers who walk the line between subgenres, Kimi Wa Taiyo is something of a minor masterpiece as a short set. Pleasant and crafted, if a little safe for the group, the title track is relatively standard fare, well-executed and walking the line between singer/songwriter emotion and power pop chord progressions (think of Hata Motohiro with a little less vocal ability). However, the B-side, "Okera," uses a driving guitar riff and sparse tom-tom hits from the drum kit to set the stage for a slightly dark rock ballad that alternates between hopeful melodies and echoing, empty verses. With the execution of both tracks quite high, the set showcases a lot of promise for the eventual full-length set that would include the pieces heard here. A good step for a normally middle-of-the-road band.