The Circle EP

Written by: PP on 13/06/2012 04:36:05

Hey check it out, a release all the way from Japan, and in punk rock nonetheless! Cleave originate from Tokyo, and if their new EP "The Circle" is anything to go by, the Japanese punk scene is fine and healthy and probably full of melodic gems like this one. Granted, it sources almost all of its melodies from Rise Against / Authority Zero style melodic hardcore, while also referencing some really old Thrice material from eras that don't get played live anymore (think "The Illusion Of Safety" and thereabouts), but it does so well and in an unassuming, convincing manner throughout the record.

Opener "Skeletons In The Closet" may be an anthemic punk rock song with a fantastic chorus, but the band aren't afraid to slow things down a little bit to create some room for their coarse, but great vocalist, whose melodies alone push "The Circle" EP up to the right end of our rating scale. Their sound is a little less aggressive than any of the bands mentioned earlier, but the smooth melodies make sure there's plenty to come after here. Most importantly, the band are really catchy in a subtle, grower kind of way. In other words, this isn't your typical pop punk band with an infectious, sugar-coated chorus; instead there's a sense of intellect, a layer of hidden glue which, when unveiled, will have a much more lasting impact than the recyclable in out ear, out the other kind of pop punk songs.

Much like Rise Against, Cleave have just enough grit to sound like they have character, but not so much as to push away the masses. Based on the lead riff on the title track, its solid verses, or its great chorus, Cleave should be much more known in Europe than they are at the moment.

Download: Skeletons In The Closet, The Circle,
For the fans of: Rise Against (new material), Authority Zero, The Reveling, old Thrice
Listen: Bandcamp

Release date 06.03.2012
Creator-Destructor Records

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