Review:: Fury | Koji

Andrew “Koji” Shiraki is a pretty solid songwriter. He’s got
good hooks, interesting lyrics and a voice that is distinctive without being
annoying. And most of all, he’s able to use all of those features well with a
style that fits him. A little acoustic, but not too much. A bunch of pretty
instruments—bells and the like—that would fit well in a magical forest, and a
stripped down rawness that stops that from getting too twee. It sounds like
it’s recorded one summer evening in a barn, in all the best ways–old oak,
fireflies, and old friends–except with enough of a punk sensibility to stay
energized and angry through the sap.

Or, well, he had all this going for him, but he made a new
EP, and threw that style out.

That should be a good thing. I’m all for experimentation.
I’m a little too in on experimentation sometimes. Let your freak flag make its
freaky sound while it waves, throw your guitar out the window and buy a
synthesizer, do all the things you can to make your own special Metal Machine Music. Koji decided to
listen to a bunch of Superchunk and Guided By Voices records, leave the barn
for a badly carpeted basement, and make his 90’s lo-fi EP.

That’s not a bad idea, and to be fair, Fury is not a bad EP. But
it’s an EP of someone who was really good at something deciding to do something
else. He continues to be pretty good at writing songs, but it sounds like
something is missing. It’s a weird fit.

It’s especially weird to me as someone who LOVES the sound that Koji is aiming for.
I’m all for the guy playing Bee Thousand on
repeat and trying to emulate guitar fuzz out of a distorted amp. But on Fury, it seems a little half-baked. It’s
a great costume for Koji to be trying on, but it never feels like more than a
costume. It’s hard for me to bemoan someone for being half-assed when he’s
emulating a movement with an anthem called “Slack
but…well, it’s just disappointing.

But again, Koji is a talented guy, and this is just a four
song EP. None of the songs on it really stand out, because they’re a little
drowned in the not-quite-figured-out fuzz arrangements, but…it’s just a four
song EP. The songs slip by quickly without much to hold on to, while also being
a little too plodding to be enjoyable. As Koji has upped the energy of his
instruments, he’s simultaneously lost it from the songs. The exception is
“Everyday,” which is fun and exciting, but still doesn’t succeed at bringing up
the dirgey feeling of the other three songs. There are hooks that could be
catchy, but they’re surrounded by arrangements that don’t let them be, that
sound like with just a little bit of work they could have been better. This is
not a bad path to go down. Hopefully he’ll be able to walk down it on more sure
footing in the future.

Release Date: June 16th, 2015
Run time: ~13 minutes
Rating: 2.5/5

Track listing:
1. Fury
2. Breaking and Broken
3. Everyday
4. Question

Written by Jon Hecht

No Sleep Records Release Summer Compilation

Summer is just around the corner and No Sleep Record is supplying you with a compilation filled with 23 new and unreleased tracks from artists like In Between, Run Forever, Looming and more! The compilation, titled Summer of the Reaper, is available as a free download and stream on and is also available for purchase at iTunes and can be streamed over on Spotify. 

To fans that are interested in a physical copy, they can pick up the comp at a ‘pay what you want’ price at No Sleep Records’ booth on Warped Tour. Fans can also receive a free copy, while supplies last, with a purchase from their webstore here.

Additionally, No Sleep Records has also teamed up with the Vans Warped Tour for a ticket giveaway (which ends TODAY) over at Fans can enter to win a pair of tickets to their choice of dates on the tour. Enter now for your chance to win!

Below you can find the full Summer of the Reaper track listing!

Track List:
1. ‘68 – Three Is A Crowd
2. Anakin – Artificial
3. Aviator – High Hopes
4. Daisyhead – Lacking Basis
5. Drug Church – Zero Zero
6. Foreign Tongues – Fools Of Love (Unreleased!)
7. Ghost Key – Judgement (New EP Out June 30th!)
8. Grey Gordon – Learned Helplessness
9. Have Mercy – Two Years (Acoustic)
10. Hundredth – Free Mind / Open Spirit
11. In Between – Flat Against The Face (Unreleased!)
12. Koji – Fury (New EP Out June 16th!)
13. Lee Corey Oswald – Progress
14. Looming – Onward (New Album Out August 14th!)
15. Major League – Kaleidoscopes
16. Moose Blood – Chin Up
17. Run Forever – Big Vacation (New 7” Out July 10th!)
18. Seasons Change – Valentine
19. Somos – Streets Upon Streets
20. Drew Thomson – Saturday Night/Sunday Morning
21. Rocky Votolato – White-Knuckles
22. Waster – Graveyard Shift (New EP Out Sept 4th!)
23. The Wonder Years – Leavenhouse. 1130.

Vans Warped Tour Announce Acoustic Basement Lineup

For this week’s Vans Warped Tour announcement, the lineup for the Acoustic Basement Powered by: Full Sail University was revealed! The twelve artists announced for the Acoustic Basement can be found below! 

For the full line-up, check out our updated post here!

Acoustic Basement:
Aaron West and The Roaring Twenties
American Opera
Brian Marquis
Grey Gordon
Meghann Wright
Onward, Etc.
Speak Low If You Speak Love (7/9-7/14)