If you keep in touch regularly with us, you might have already heard about Aghast as their first ep "Polaroid" has been reviewed a few times ago by Angus Anderson. I remember he was going through a period of heavy AC/DC listening at that time. This new effort is a split cd with the Japanese band 1000 Travels Of Jawaharlal. I will first speak about Aghast.
Aghast has recorded four brand new songs for this split. After the first listening, the first striking thing is that they have matured a great deal. The sound is just amazing, you can hear everything clearly, they have made a great work on that. The first song, "Télescope", is a hit single without any doubt, THE emo song. There is something very strong coming from this song, a pulse of freedom, something that makes you wanna stop your crap life and start living. The second song "Oxygène" follows immediatly the first song without any pause. It's a very good song with an amazing guitar riff, very catchy. The third song, "Medium is the message", is my second favourite song. It's a mid tempo song that calls to mind At The Drive-In’s quiet songs on Vaya. The backing vocals are amazingly good, it seems like they have two good singers, I think they should work in this direction and give more importance to Jérôme's voice. Their fourth and last song, "My Friend Slobodane" is just as good as the three other ones, another great song and other strange lyrics, probably another influence of At The Drive-In's singer.
As a conclusion for Aghast, I would say that I was really impressed by their evolution, one thing is for sure, I'm going to keep an eye on them.
The three next songs are those of 1000 Travels Of Jawarharlal. Their style is much more rooted into rock'n'roll garage and their sound has nothing to do with Aghast's. However, their music is really attractive. The first song, "The Place I Stand" (according to their translation because they sing in Japanese) is very good, even if it took me a little while to get used to their sound. The second song is much akin to the first one, good riff, and that's where you start to appreciate their style. The third song is probably the best, it has a dancefloor riff that makes you wanna move all night long. There is something of summer in this song. This Japanese band is worth discovering, they have their own identity and their own sound that make them feel special.
In the whole, this split album is really worth the purchase even if are not very familiar with the emo genre, it's just great music and if you have great taste, you should appreciate it.
-Dave "erasmus forever" Rebel
/sept 1st 2004/