The second full-length album from Fukuoka’s, The MSGS. Out on Waterslide Records Japan &  Monster Zero in Europe sees this three-piece (one English, and two Japanese members) melodic punk band release this album of 90s inspired songs in the same vein as the likes of Buffalo Tom and mid-period Lemonheads is what I’m hearing mixed with some pop-punk.  Leaning on strong melodies on the vocals.

The ten tracks on offer are helped by a really bright production that this style benefits from.  there a certain melancholic quality to the opener ‘September Sky’.  The band sounds tight and the songs are well constructed.  ‘Home’ is uptempo and the band sounds like they’re working hard on the time changes but its the frantic beat that carries the song along with that melodic pop-punk style.  Very much with one eye on the catchy melodies and the other on just cutting loose and knocking out a style of music they clearly enjoy – that much shines through.

The songs are kept short to be fair and this always helps bands who go for this style there’s a bit of Americana in ‘Half’ with its thoughtful lyrics and glugging bassline its the longest track on offer and one of the records best. ‘Tarantula’ has the beating heart of the Ramones in the tempo and music delivery if not the vocal melody.

I like ‘Alison’ it has a great shuffle and the melody is good with the male/female vocals works really well.  There’s even time to crack open the acoustic guitars for a bit of balladeering on ‘You Don’t Have To Go’ which offers a curveball and a welcome change of style and pace. To wind this one up they fire up their ‘Ray Gun’ and a tip of the hat to some early Green Day again with some great playing and tight arrangements lift this out of the pack. A really decent record that mixes up some great style and spits em out with passion and quality.

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Author: Dom Daley