released 2018, kero kero bonito
Just wow. I’ve always been wondering if the brilliantly bouncy KKB would be able to surprise me and freshen up their sound after starting to seem settled in the bubblegum bass stylings of 2016’s 『Bonito Generation』.『Totep』instead slaps the shit out of us with a fresh, alternative power pop wall of noisey guitars, screams and skips that would make you feel right at home in a Vans store. I loved every second of it.
Opener 『The one true path』starts us off on a bit of a midtempo pace. Lo-fi beats and Sarah’s angelically saccharine voice leads us through a relatively calming track. 7/10
『Only acting』, the single released last week that threw most of the fandom for a loop I’m sure, opens as any KKB song would usually, then erupts into a grungy mess. There’s a bit in there where the guitars become very twangy before a KEY CHANGE that gets abruptly cut by some skipping and noise. They go full on MERZBOW in the last 15 seconds and it’s fucking awesome. 9/10
The song immediately goes into the crown jewel of this EP for me. 『You know how it is』would feel right at home on a japanese shoegaze compilation from the early 2000s. Infectious melodies abound, an amazing guitar solo in the middle there and a chorus I haven’t been able to get out of my head for the last few hours. 10/10
Closer 『cinema』is a bit of a downer ending, but it’s very easy listening. Features an awesome little instrumental section and more of those bouncy guitars that I love so much! 7/10
Overall, 『Totep』was something completely unexpected for the group’s sound, yet completely in line with my musical interests. I really hope that this EP isn’t a one off, as I’d love to hear more of what they’re capable of with this genre. Based off of these four cuts, they’re more than equipped for the job. Totep gets 4 180 mood swings out of 5!