review - 20.01.2017 00:01

LOKA starts the year off right with two new digital singles.

Alternative hard rock band LOKA is beginning the year with a bang – in addition to planning a world tour, the band intends to greet the new year with a pair of digital singles. The first, LET IT DIE -20XX-, was written in collaboration with the PS4 game “LET IT DIE”. The second, SENSE OF CRISIS, is the band’s first featuring their current three-man lineup. Both singles bring the band’s full capabilities to the fore, but which rocks harder? That’s all up to the listener.

“LET IT DIE” is a bloody, brutal game that sees the player hacking their way through a dangerous tower in search of items. To that end, the game’s massive soundtrack features over 100 of the hardest rock bands in Japan, a pantheon among which LOKA proves their worth and then some. In keeping with the game’s violence, the band amped up the heaviness on their contribution, LET IT DIE -20XX-, crafting a thunderous, blood-pumping fight song that stands out from the rest of the crowd. At just under three minutes long, the track is certainly on the short side, but Kihiro, KEN’ICHI, and MIRO roar their way through with such vigor that listeners will want to play it again and again.

SENSE OF CRISIS will be slightly more familiar to long-time LOKA fans, featuring a softer, more electronic sound slightly more indicative of the band’s normal direction. Instrumentally, the track takes a brighter and more positive tone, with rather uplifting electronic garnishes over an instrumental section that tends toward the lighter side of hard rock. Kihiro is in top form, delivering the band’s usual Western-style vocals with the appropriately optimistic flair. Technically solid and competently executed, SENSE OF CRISIS will surely strike a chord with fans of both Japanese and Western sounds.

LET IT DIE -20XX- and SENSE OF CRISIS are two different singles with two notably disparate sounds. That LOKA is perfectly capable of both is impressive, and listeners at either end of the hard rock spectrum will doubtlessly enjoy picking which song they prefer. No matter the choice, however, LOKA is starting the year off right. In a contest between singles like these, everybody wins.

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