JPU Tom’s Top 5 Albums of 2013

JPU TomIf you’ve been following Japan Underground this month, you’ll have seen we’ve been talking to the staff at JPU Records on their favourite albums of the year, Japanese or otherwise. Today’s the last of these features as we check out the five biggest albums of the year according to JPU and Japan Underground founder and head honcho, Tom Smith. Any words on the selection, Tom? “Circles and triangles were in this year when it came to cover design, weren’t they? Anyway, a number of people ask me what kind of stuff I listen to outside of ‘work’ – this should give you an idea! I had to be careful not to fill this list entirely with JPU releases… so I’ve been good and only included one… and it’s also my favourite album this year.”

Ling tosite sigure – i’mperfect
Ling tosite sigure“This album. It’s not only at the top of my personal five favourite albums of 2013, it’s also in my top ten albums this side of the millennium. It took me well over a year for the LTS sound to click with me, but once it did, I was HOOKED. I’mperfect reminds me a lot of another favourite album of mine; Relationship of Command from At The Drive-In (listen on Spotify) – yet Sigure sound nothing like ATDI, but the energy of that album is present here too. Scratch that, imagine Relationship of Command condensed to 4 minutes and you have Ling tosite sigure’s ‘Sitai miss me’. My only problem with this album is that it’s over far too soon.”
Outsanding tracks: abnormalize, Beautiful Circus.
Buy from Amazon: Regular Edition, Digital Edition
Buy direct from JPU Records (worldwide shipping)

Bring Me The Horizon – Sempiternal
Bring Me The Horizon“BMTH first appeared on my radar years back when friends were going crazy over ‘Pray for Plagues’ and ‘[I Used to Make Out With] Medusa’. I didn’t really get the fuss, but that didn’t stop them ramming BMTH down my throat for the next few years… as a result I never really looked into the band much, which, looking back, is a shame. It was thanks to a different force shoving BMTH my way that I did eventually get into them; Youtube, with its barrage of Sempiternal ads earlier this year. I decided to listen on Spotify, and then buying the album after my month’s listening limit was used up just from playing it over and over. It still gets a lot of play today too.”
Outstanding tracks: Can You Feel My Heart, Shadow Moses.
Buy from Amazon: Regular Edition, Vinyl Edition, Digital (Deluxe) Edition.

Enter Shikari – Rat Race EP
Enter Shikari“Much like Bring Me The Horizon, Enter Shikari are another band my friends have been going bonkers about for years, especially as they’re local boys. I’d seen more than my fair share of human pyramids at Shikari shows over the years  but never felt the need to buy an album. That was until I heard RADIATE on BBC Radio 1’s Rock Show. In fact, RADIATE is probably my favourite song this year, from anyone. I love it and it always lifts my mood. From there I worked backwards, and a month later I was the proud owner of all of Enter Shikari’s studio albums. Now they’re one of my favourite bands, and if this was a list of top 5 albums listened to during 2013, Enter Shikari’s A Flash Flood of Colour would be number one by a long way.”
Outstanding Tracks: RADIATE, Paddington Frisk.
Buy from Amazon: Digital Version

crossfaithCrossfaith – Zion EP
“Yep, the EP and not APOCALYZE, their newest album. That’s not to say APOCALYZE isn’t  a lot of fun – it’s just too much for me. It’s like eating chocolate cake, with a side helping of chocolate cake, with extra chocolate cake on top. Sure, I live chocolate cake but in moderation, man… Zion, is just the right length, and full of nothing but killer tune after killer tune. I’m listening to it while I write this and I want to go out and jump around.”
Outstanding tracks: Jagerbomb, Monolith.
Buy from Amazon: Regular VersionDigital Version, +1 Import Version

NOISEMAKERNOISEMAKER – DOUBLE COLOR SHEEP
“I went to a live show severely hungover while in Tokyo, just to see my mate’s band Silhouette from the Skylit support the amazing JAWEYE. Except, for some reason JAWEYE was on first and I totally missed them from rolling in late… instead NOISEMAKER were headlining, and despite hurting from the night before, their live set brought me back to life and rocking down the front with everyone else. They gave me their album, and I haven’t stopped listening to it since. They remind me a bit of what would happen if SPYAIR went heavier… mixed with the stuff I used to listen to as a teenager. Anyway, awesome band, and now I’m seriously thinking about releasing this album in Europe – so do tell me what you think and have a listen to the tracks I link below. Plus their cover of Rhianna’s Rude Boy is also genius.”
Outstanding tracks: THE NEW ERA, platinum shoes.
Buy from iTunes

Crossfaith Unleash Zion EP and Jagerbomb Music Video on the UK

Crossfaith are not only one of  Japan’s most important metalcore outfits, they’re becoming one of the hottest bands in the scene internationally too. They’ve just lined up an American tour with Britain’s own electro headbangers Enter Shikari, but more exciting than that, at least for us lot, is the long awaited release of the band’s EP Zion in the UK. The heavy hitting and critically acclaimed six-track EP will see the light of day in the UK from 4 February 2013, courtesy of Sony’s Search and Destroy Records, the same label as former tour buddies While She Sleeps.

Vocalist Kenta Koei comments, “We’re very excited to finally release our Zion EP in the UK and Europe! The fans there have made us feel very welcome, and we promise that we’ll be back very soon.”

Crossfaith has already received rave reviews across the British rock and metal media, including airtime during the day on BBC Radio One thanks to Mr. Daniel P. Carter. There are also UK 2013 tour dates expected to be announced shortly. Stay tuned.

Related Stories:
Crossfaith Return to the UK: September – November 2012
Crossfaith: London Show Sold Out – Camden Crawl Date Added (2012)
Crossfaith Announce 16-Date UK Tour (2012)

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