Tokyo Lungs – Soul Music (Kibou/Amok)

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Picking up pretty much exactly where their self-titled EP left off, Tokyo Lungs continue to smash out no-nonsense linear hardcore punk. With all their songs trimmed of every ounce of fat, it’s an exhilarating listen, each tune pretty much getting to its punchline – quite literally – with the bare minimum of fucking about. It takes a considerable amount of bloody-minded focus to not deviate from your game plan across twenty-four songs (in not as many minutes), and Tokyo Lungs obviously have bloody-minded focus in spades because they don’t falter from their minimalist approach for even a second.

It’s fast, furious and uncomplicated, connecting with the listener on the most base level possible, although tracks like Nothing To Say To You introduce just enough variation in their delivery to avoid the album becoming a complete blur-fest. Taking elements of classic D-beat, east coast USHC and late Eighties UKHC (the spirit of ENT looms large), and tackling extremely topical subject matter lyrically, Tokyo Lungs is knee-jerk hardcore crashing to its logical conclusion. This is what happens when you lock hyper-active punk musicians down for a year, and it was never going to end nicely, was it? Ian Glasper

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