Friday, June 8, 2007

EPopMAKING is Hear!!!!!

So, like, the BEAT CRUSADERS are absolute monsters of pop punk. Absolute. They just don't seem to stop, whether it's recording, touring or guesting on other artist's recordings. Since their late 2005 release, "P.O.A. -Pop On Arrival-" (their first release on Defstar Records after leaving Lastrum), they have been involved with no less than 3 split albums with pretty diverse artists ("Booootsy" with the TOWER OF POWER-esque YOUR SONG IS GOOD, "Night On The Planet" withthe alt rock ASPARAGUS and "Cell #9" with the hard punk of TROPICAL GORILLAS), a cover album of US/UK pop nuggets entitled "MusiCrusaders", "Snowdome", a collaboration with KIMURA KAELA on her latest album, "Scratch" (not to mention showing up in her video for "Tree Climbers"; a favor she returned to them in their "Tonight Tonight Tonight" video) and recording the theme song for NickToons' "Kappa Mikey" animated series in the USA.

In more recent months, more like the better part of the past year, they've begun concentrating on proper single releases like "Tonight Tonight Tonight", "Day After Day", "Solitaire" and "Ghost" in preparation for their latest album release. Their Second album for Defstar Records was just released on May 30th, 2007 and is entitled "EPopMaking". As you may or may not know, I was completely enamoured with their last album release, "P.O.A. -Pop On Arrival-" and I sorta cringed at the thought of a new album. Not that it would be a bad album, but I didn't know how they could top it. "P.O.A." was, in my estimation, damn near perfect and it was hard to listen to just one or two songs from it. I had to listen to it ALL or it wouldn't feel right to me.

I got the new disc in the mail this past week and gave it about one, two... thousand spins. At first I was extremely apprehensive and it hurt the initial listen of the disc. By the second listen, however, I could absolutely proclaim that, if they didn't surpass their last album with this one, they at least tied with it. "EPopMaking" is another incredible album, but it's bigger, louder and has a much deeper diversity in song styles.

At 19 tracks and over an hour in length, the new CD more than fulfills the hunger the BECR fans have had since digesting "P.O.A." just over a year and a half ago. All of the singles from both their solo releases as well as their collaborative singles with the above mentioned artists are here with 11 new tracks and the "Kappa Mikey" theme ("HEYx2 LOOKx2") to boot. Were this on vinyl, it would be a solid 2 record set!

Also included in the CD package is a DVD of music videos (PVs) that are featured within a spoof news magazine style TV show that has an interviewer encountering each of the Beat Crusaders on the streets of Tokyo. Even without English subtitles, it's a grandly entertaining hour and it's made even greater that it's included in the CD package, unlike the "Phantoms of the PopEra" DVD that had to purchased separately from the "P.O.A." CD.

All in all, it was completely worth the wait. I do, of course, completely and highly recommend this release. It's an import, of course, but it can be had at an agreeable price from CDJapan (click here to go there). The disc is only approx. $26.00 and shipping isn't too bad from Japan. I have no affiliation with them, that's just where I get all of my stuff from. Oh yeah. The DVD is Region 2 encoded (NTSC). What better reason to get a Region free DVD player???

Gettit. You won't regretit.

P.S. I might add that, even though they've released a new album, they've just released ANOTHER split album with Ryukyudisko called "Nice Day" and it, too, is pretty damn great. Ladies and gentlemen, my new favorite band -- BECR, The BEAT CRUSADERS!

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