Japanese maestros Man With A Mission have been in the music industry for a good 8 years, during that period they’s gone onto release a handful of impeccable EPs as well as four spectacular full length records in their native Japan. Now Man With A Mission comprise of Tokyo Tanaka (Vocals), Jean-Ken Johnny (Guitar, Vocal, Raps), Kamikaze Boy (Bass), Spear Rib (Drums) and DJ Santa Monica. They possess plenty of talent and what makes this group unique is the fact they perform wearing Wolf masks.
10th August 2018 will see this quintet return with their 5th effort and this being Chasing The Horizon. This time they will be physically releasing this record internationally via Century Media. MWAM are a massive name in Asia, they can easily sell out arenas across their homeland plus they’ve also sold out headline tours in the UK, Europe and USA.
Having been immensely impressed with the prior LP The World’s On Fire, this was one release I couldn’t wait to get stuck into. Now the sparkling Chasing The Horizon consists of 14 sensational originals, 7 of which have been released as singles and you also have Hey Now which featured on the Dead End In Tokyo EP. Things kicked off with 2045 and this being an intense electronic rock roller coaster ride which left me utterly enthralled. Everything about this number was on point, the lyrics were so infectious whilst those rapped vocals left me hanging onto every word sung. 2045 was an energetic song aided by a futuristic music video. Actually whilst listening I was envisioning Linkin Park.
Broken People was a high octane jam aided by addictive lyrics and rapped vocals which hit me like a full on force. I would say that this edgy track was a mixture of rap meets pop which was a wondrous combination. This infuriating number left me utterly intrigued and at the same time I was picturing Simple Plan during the self titled era. Following on was Winding Road and this appeared on an EP they put out in April. Now this was fast flowing pop rock which captivated me. Those vocals were fresh and easy on the ear, whilst those compelling lyrics were a mixture of English and Japanese which resulted in something truly hypnotising.
Hey Now featured on the Dead End In Tokyo EP and it’s a sheer delight. The track itself was an infusion of dance meets pop. The pacey Hey Now was literally a breath of fresh air and those house styled synth beats can have you rocking out on the spot. Please Forgive Me was a complete game changer as it’s a emotional pop rock ballad. Once again they also speak in both English and their native Japanese. Those vibrant vocals were extremely crisp, whilst those lyrics focused on a couple going their separate ways and the guy doesn’t want it to be over “Please Forgive Me now/ I don’t want to say/ I don’t want to say goodbye”. As the song progressed, Please Forgive Me picked up pace which resonated epic electronic pop vibes. Once over it’s onto a double dosage of singles, first up you had Take Me Under and this was made available April 2018. Starting of slow, the pace then built up resulting in something which hit me like a full on force. Now this song was drum centric, those vibrant vocals packed a weighty punch and those tempting lyrics were extremely catchy.
As for Freak It! I found this number to be an energetic blend of rap meets rock, the entrancing melody was packed with plenty of jazz vibes and those splendid vocals were a force to be reckoned with. Break The Contradictions was a steady paced cut aided by stellar lyrics. Those rapped vocals were pure perfection leaving me engrossed in the process and at the same time I was having visions of Beastie Boys. If I was sum up the brilliant Break The Contradictions in one word it would have to be majestic.
Straight after it was then time for another two singles back to back. The impeccable My Hero was a blend of pop meets rock with added raps added in for good measure. This tune had been perfectly written as those punchy lyrics were uber contagious. I’m actually picturing a cross between Fall Out Boy and Linkin Park. Also I must mention that My Hero was used as the opening song to (Japanese Anime) Inuyasiki. Speaking of Fall Out Boy, Patrick Stump actually co wrote Dead End In Tokyo. This was a glorious jam which was an infusion of pop meets rock resulting in something extremely entrancing. Those vibrant verses had the Fall Out Boy sound whilst that refreshing chorus was pleasant on my ear “She’s got a suitcase full of big dreams/ She’s in a city full of bigger lies/ He’s Shinjuku James Dean/ Keep on living but you never leave alive”. I love all the 14 featured tracks on this record but this succulent song is hands down the stand out.
Chasing The Horizon was an anthem esque number, packed with mesmerising lyrics and sublime vocals which had me smiling from beginning to end. Oozing plenty of positivity this delectable title track picked up on the ballad sound resulting in something incredibly soothing. I would go as far to say that Chasing The Horizon was pristine pop punk. Last year Man With A Mission dropped Find You and this tantalising track was backed with My Hero. What made this cut stand out was the fact it was sung in Japanese. Both melody and vocals meshed together perfectly creating something which left me spellbound. Find You was actually used in the film adaptation of the romance anime Fukumenkei Noise. Dog Days was a pop rock anthem delivered at an exhilerating pace. This track was packed with addictive lyrics which can have you moshing on the spot. Sleepwalkers then capped off one extraordinary LP. Things were taken down a notch, Sleepwalkers was gentle/ entrancing which could quite easily have you swaying from side to side.
However things don’t end there, the European physical release of Chasing The Horizon comes with bonus tracks. Now these three tunes are already out there in the public domain as they’ve featured on prior EPs. First up there is Mr Bad Mouth, now this appeared on the My Hero/ Find You EP. I found this captivating cut to be an edgy rock anthem delivered at a steady pace. That energetic chorus was like a literal explosion “Started a riot, Now they’re coming for you Mr. Bad Mouth/ See them lining up, They’re on their way to bring you down/ You live in your own world vanity/ A steady diet of you not me” and then you had those compelling verses. The Anthem is the next bonus tune and this appeared on the most recent Take Me Under/ Winding Road EP. This delicious song was the used in the Microsoft Surface Campaign and it yet again showed Man With A Mission in a new light. The Anthem was a gentle paced cut aided by beautiful uplifting lyrics and refreshing vocals. The message this number conveyed put a massive smile on my face. Things come to a close with Brave It Out and this featured on the Dead End In Tokyo EP. Opening with thumping drum beats, the brilliant Brave It Out was a mixture of rap meets rock. This then resulted in something which oozed epicness.
All in all Man With A Mission are a sensational band who have the potential to leave you utterly captivated. Chasing The Horizon was digitally released on 6th June 2018, but it will receive a physical release on both CD/ Vinyl on 10th August 2018. Everything about this full length was out of this world, the featured tracks were so phenomenal and at the same time they showcased their sublime song writing skills.
When it comes to picking a favourite, I would have to say it’s Dead End In Tokyo followed by both Find You and The Anthem. I could quite easily stick Chasing The Horizon on constant repeat as it’s an infectious ear worm. Their English speaking skills were on point, it’s actually quite easy to forget they originate from Japan.
Chasing The Horizon is available from iTunes