Even if you aren’t a huge fan of pop punk in the vein of Citizen, Balance And Composure, and Jimmy Eat World you can’t deny the talent of Love Under The Sun aka John Michael Mukai. His release Irreverence sounds like a talented band playing live but it's just him. I have to hand it to the guy he can play guitar, bass and drums extremely well.
Who needs other members when you can play this good? Well, I’m sure Mukai will need other players when it comes to live concerts unless he comes up with some hologram type situation but when it comes to the studio this guy is set.
Another thing that struck me about his songs is that they veer away from the mall punk/ pop punk style that seems to fit teenagers. His songs feel a little more grown up and he avoids the cliche nasally twine you hear that tends to come with this style of music.
“What Lies Beneath” is the opener which immediately rocks out hard. It is immediately apparent that Mukai isn’t weak in any one instrument. The song also happens be quite catchy and anthemic. He sings, “I hope, someday, I'll see the sun the right way and what is lurking behind every single corner that I'm cutting just so I can stay ahead.”
Up next is another success entitled “Make Sense Of My Head.” The song moves fast, hits hard and gets out fast. A distorted bass plows forward with an urgent vocal delivery that provides a good dose of energy.
“Irreverence” contains top notch instrumental work all around and may be the highlight while “Exeunt” continues to establish a very solid foundation for Mukai. I think “Childish” was a personal favorite. The lead guitar sound has a tinge of post-rock and the vocals style was undeniable ear candy.
Mukai goes five for five with these tunes. Recommended.
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