#Review: ONE OK ROCK – Eye Of The Storm 🌪

facebook_logos_PNG19751.png    ios_homescreen_icon.png   app-icon2.png


ONE OK ROCK are a Japanese rock band who formed in Tokyo, in 2005. The band currently consists of Takahiro Moriuchi (vocals), Toru Yamashita (guitar), Ryota Kohama (bass), and Tomoya Kanki (drums). Since forming, the band have played many different styles of music, from alternative rock to emo and even post-hardcore to their most recent, pop rock style. In 2016, the band signed to Fueled By Ramen, releasing their eighth studio album, Ambitions, featuring collaborations with Avril Lavigne5 Seconds Of Summer and Alex Gaskarth (All Time Low). This year, (2019) sees the release of their ninth studio album (although only their third US release), Eye Of The Storm. Here’s what we have to say about it…

one ok rock - eye of the storm

From the very start of Eye Of The Storm, it’s clear that ONE OK ROCK have made a conscious departure from the previous, emo, alternative rock and post-hardcore incarnations, favouring a much more pop-led sound. That’s not a bad thing though, as this is a brilliantly-crafted pop powerhouse of a record, that is sure to further cement their position as one of big players in the pop rock genre (alongside label mates like Panic! At The Disco and Against The Current. In fact ‘Eye Of The Storm’ and ‘Worst In Me’ are almost an obvious transitioning from their old sound to their new, blending their alternative rock roots with their new, more synth-driven pop elements.

There’s a real passion and raw talent to singer Takahiro “Taka” Moriuchi‘s vocals throughout the record too, as he explores the full extent of his vocal range, pulling off some stunning falsetto notes, intertwined with soaring choruses and exquisitely long-held notes.

‘Stand Out Fit In’ is testament to this – it’s very much an anthem about embracing people’s differences, with the goosebump-inducing, falsetto lines, “They yell, they preach, I’ve heard it all before. Be this, be that, I’ve heard it before.” It’s definitely a track that’s going to capture the hearts of many!

It’s actually very hard to pin-point just a few favourite tracks but ‘Push Back’ is wonderful for its gang vocal harmonies, like a modern-day Queen track. The descending melody echoing throughout the song is truly captivating too. ‘Wasted Nights’ is all about making the most of your life and enjoying each other’s company and the line, “Let’s live like we’re immortal, Maybe just for tonight, We’ll think about tomorrow (yeah), When the sun comes up,” is poetic, conjuring up nostalgic imagery and the underlying gospel vocals are stunning. The video only makes the track even more epic too (see below)! Even ‘Change’ – there’s definitely something a little boyband about the song (like 5 Seconds Of Summer meets One Direction), with the synth-sounding guitar lines, but the melodies are passionate and the message is poignant, positive and uplifting, “Hey, You know it’s not too late for us to make a change, You gotta listen to your heart what does it say? No matter how much we might bend, we will not break.”

It’s great to see that after nine albums in thirteen years, a band can still find ways to push themselves to adapt and grow, and be completely unafraid to try new directions.

That’s not to say there aren’t other special moments throughout the album; ‘Head High’ is definitely a pop track and whilst there isn’t much depth behind the lyrics or songwriting on it, it’s certainly catchy! ‘Letting Go’ really stands out for being so unique to the rest of the record – a calm little, acoustic-led track that is so beautifully understated, dealing with getting over a relationship and coming to terms with it. ‘Unforgettable’ has some definite dance music vibes to it, with the intense drum beats and whistling in the chorus, but with guitars thrown in. It’s quite a unique blend of genres.

‘Giants’ leads from delicate verses into a big chorus and has a strong Take That vibe to it, whilst ‘In The Stars’ adds a little vocal diversity with Kiiara featuring on the track, accompanied by a military-style beat.

‘Grow Old Die Young’ is a perplexing track though; it has a strong melody in the chorus but certain elements of it are very mediocre – a synth sound which doesn’t really fit the song and then there’s the lyrics, “I want the cause of my death, to be amazing sex,” which is honestly pretty cringe!

The album actually draws to a powerful close with ‘The Last Time’, led by a really strong chorus melody, topped off with a raspy, scream-like vocal that just knocks the record out of the park, right at the last second.

Eye Of The Storm is an interesting release for the band, as it’s their most commercial-sounding release to date, meaning it’s very palatable, for a broad range of listeners and is certainly bound to pick up a lot of new fans along the way. However, it could be argued that elements of depth and sincerity about their songwriting have been somewhat lost, rendering some of the tracks a little forgettable.

The drastic change in sound is definitely going to be felt by fans of their previous release, Ambitions, as some of the more emotive lyricism and raw instrumentation, has been exchanged for top-rate production values but at its heart, it is clearly still a ONE OK ROCK album.

That said, it’s equally great to see that after nine albums in thirteen years, a band can still find ways to push themselves to adapt and grow, and be completely unafraid to try new directions, and for that, this album should be admired. It’s a great record, with some banging tunes on and I can’t wait to hear what the band do next!

Rating
4


‘Eye Of The Storm’ is out now and can be downloaded from iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/eye-of-the-storm/1441817576


Eye Of The Storm on Spotify

Stand Out Fit In (Official Video)

Wasted Nights (Official Video)

Change (Official Video)


We hope you’ve enjoyed our review! What do you think of the band’s ninth studio album, Eye Of The Storm? Are you as much of a fan as us? What would you rate it out of 5? Please leave your thoughts in a comment or join the conversation via our social media.


Enjoyed this? Check out some of our other reviews here:

Muzik Speaks Album Reviews


Matt – Muzik Speaks
www.facebook.com/muzikspeaks
www.twitter.com/muzik_speaks

#MuzikSpeaks: An Interview with Weesp


   

facebook-like   Instagram


Weesp are an electronic/alternative rock band from Minsk, Belarus, that have formed their own unique style. Since 2008, the band have received numerous publications and performed many concerts around the world, including festivals in Belarus, Russia and Poland. They’ve taken time out of their busy schedule to chat to us about their upcoming album, Black Sails, and here’s what they had to say…


Hey Stak, how’s it going?
We all are in great mood and can’t wait to share our news with you!

That’s awesome! What future plans have you got? Any new singles or an album in the pipeline?
We’ve already written a new album named Black Sails. Right now we are finishing the mastering, and pushing out new music videos, to support the release of this album. It is going to [be released] 24th March 2018. We released the first single, ‘Illumination’, and three more are coming!

Where do you take inspirations from when making your music?
It comes from everyday. All the events and people around. We like catching a mood, a condition of mind, a feeling – you know, all that short moments when you feel alive. All our songs are created from feelings, emotions, experiences that guided us. Each song has some kind of history or strong experience under it – this is the main source of musical inspiration. When we just started we also found an inspiration in such bands as Tool, Deftones, Nine Inch Nails and this kind of stuff.

What’s your usual process for writing/recording?
We divide the process of writing and the recording process very much. Often there is a long enough time between composing a track and recording it. Maybe a couple of months, maybe a year! Writing music from track to track always goes differently. Sometimes it starts from a jam, sometimes everyone composes his own part at home, sometimes we all get together and do the musical brainstorm.

As for recording, for the second time we recorded an album at the magnificent studio ‘Hertz’ in Poland. We lived there for a few weeks until all the instruments were recorded.

If you could do a collaboration with anyone, who would it be and why?
On the LP, The Void, we made two tracks featuring Cory Brandon of Norma Jean as guest vocals. We really like these tracks and we are very happy with how they turned out. For the new LP, we decided not to invite guests, although there were very interesting options. And of course, I would really like to get a feature with Jonathan Davis.

That would be cool! So what music have you been listening to most recently?
I use Last.FM Scrobbler, so it will not be difficult to answer this question – I just have to look…so, this is Lil Peep with album Hellboy.

If you had to cover a recent chart song, which song would it be and why?
I’m thinking about ‘Triple Beam’ by Machine Head or ‘Less Than’ by Nine Inch Nails. These songs are pretty new and absolutely amazing. I don’t know about positions in any charts, but I don’t give a shit about charts anyway.

Haha! Fair enough. So what makes a great show for you?
Of course, first of all it is a crowd. The mood of the audience is quickly transferred to the musicians. And to play a show with a good mood is what makes a great show.

Do you have any pre-show or post-show rituals?
Before the show our singer Lex always drinks 4cl of brandy, and everybody does a lot of sport exercises. And after the show – we bow, as in a fucking theatre.

Haha! I love it! Has anything scary ever happened to you on tour?
Returning from the last tour, we’ve got in a car accident and have seriously damaged the rental bus, and all because the car-rental forgot to give us a bus without a working ABS. This was really scary, especially since I have never been in a traffic accident before.

Yeah, that sounds really scary! Do you have any other passions outside of music?
Each of the members of course has other interests besides music. Mi, our Bassist, is fond of super low cars and builds his STANCE project. I like to humiliate enemies in the Call of Duty playing online on my PS4, and Lex is a big fan of drinking =)

What really grinds your gears?
You know, nothing grinds my gears worse than some chowderhead that doesn’t know when to keep his big trap shut… like that movie said!

Haha! What’s the best film you’ve seen lately?
For sure it’s ‘The Greatest Showman’ with Hugh Jackman and Zac Efron in the main roles. We’ve even decided to add some musical dances to one of our new videos, inspired with this film!

Wow, that’s pretty cool! I wasn’t expecting that answer either. I’ve still not seen it but heard amazing things about it. If, in say 20 years time, a film was made about your life, who would you want to play you?
I would say – young Jackie Chan, but I’m too fat to pretend…so I’ll choose Sammo Hung!

Ha! If you could be any chocolate bar, which one would you be?
Because me and my brother (he plays bass in our band) are twins, so it’s going to be delicious white chocolate Twix!

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Stand your ground whatever is happening! And listen to Weesp!

Haha! Love a shameless plug! Well thanks very much for taking the time to chat to us today.
Thank you.


Weesp‘s releases are all available:


Enjoyed this? Check out some of our other interviews here:

Muzik Speaks Interviews