Imagine, if you will, being in a theatre as a show is about to start. You take your seat, there is the hum of the crowd, conversations all blurring into a steady “buzz…” The lights go down, the chatter comes to a hush, and the curtains open. Suddenly, the lights come on, and a show brings a story to life. Japanese Fighting Fish’s new album, Day Bombs, seems to toe the line of rock album and rock soundtrack to a Broadway show. Each song seems to be a new scene within an act; a narrative brings the verses to life.
“Bloody Fingers” kicks off with heavy percussion, along with the vocal vibrato of Karlost (vocals), adding a cinematic element akin to the opening of an action film. The song is sarcastic, theatrical, and mocks those who dare take themselves too seriously. There is an underlying tie to early-90’s grunge, which is sure to entrance listeners.
“He Doesn’t Know What He Wants” seems a bit more “upbeat,” musically. While catchy, I admit that the chorus is slightly repetitive. Then the guitar comes crashing in, and suddenly, it makes sense. Something about this track is catchy and intriguing, making it a stand-out on Day Bombs.
Japanese Fighting Fish takes on a darker, more guttural tone on “Greatest Excuse,” which has some surprisingly romantic lyrics. “I’m already there for you, my love,” Karlost croons. The sentiment comes seemingly out of nowhere, an enigma, slowly revealing itself through headphones; for this reason, this may be my favorite track on the album.
“They Lie” brings the energy of Warped Tour, with a theatrical element that is almost hard to resist. This feels like it should be a major musical moment for the villain in a Broadway show. Each line, each stage-worthy verse, paints an image, bringing a show to life in one’s mind. “New Song” later follows with a similar element.
Japanese Fighting Fish begin on a slower tempo, with an acoustic guitar strumming slowly, before kicking in with the sound that listeners will have become accustomed to by this point. However, the energy of “Flick The King” is different. It’s still intense, but with less of the aggression that had been apparent in other tracks. “Ben” follows behind with that same energy. The narrative style of the album continues, making Day Bombs feel like a novel or show.
“Legs” brings back the more aggressive undertone, accompanied by haunting group vocals chanting in the background. While far from my favorite on the album, it’s an interesting listen, and fits in with the other tracks. “Senses” caps off Day Bombs in a similar fashion.