Pots and Shots (Asian Man Records)
By: Alex Steininger
Straight from Japan comes Potshot, courtesy of Asian Man Records. The core of the band is three members, and along with some friends, they pounded out some excellent ska-punk sure to turn any American ska fans head and make them pay attention. With fourteen tracks on "Pots and Shots" these guys will soon be making a name for themselves in the U.S., as I'm sure they've already done in Japan.
"We Are Potshot" kicks off the CD with a weird essence. The band yells out some stuff, then says their name and where they are from. Some punk noise with horns follows, before jumping into some brilliant ska melodies that would make anyone dance. The horns are strong and the guitar is the driving force, giving you every chance in the book to skank. But as soon as it started it quickly ends, and the real music begins. "Someone to lean on" is a full attack of head on punk melodies, intense horns, and great ska melodies that will find you dancing. Run around, jump up and down, and skank. Whatever you do, this song (and band) will get you movin' in one way or another. "Handle" is a ska-punk song with fierce ska melodies that will make your feet move, move, and then move some more. The chorus will attack you with hard drivin' punk melodies, but the horns will always give you a chance to recuperate before the ska beats once again make you happily dance. The vocals are heavily laced with Japanese accent, but with the punk melodies they add snarls and flavor that most American bands are trying to emulate these days. "Time" starts out with the drummer attacking his kit with passion, then the vocals enter and soon the whole band joins in. The bassist is intense and clever, always keeping you on your toes, while the guitar knows how to keep things chaotic and fun. Diving in and out of punk beats, and weaving through ska melodies, you'll be driven mad with love. Your body will tingle with excitement, as you wait to see if you should skank or mosh to the next beat. The horns, always keeping everything calm and peaceful in the background, join in to add a rich texture and flavor to the music. Always flying in at the right time, they keep the pace of the music fun and never boring. "Since Yesterday" is a cover, and who it's by I don't know? Although, I know I've heard it before. The horns kick off the song with strong, emotional blows that rattle around your head and make you feel love and peace, thinking about all the wrong in the world. And after you hear the horns, you'll sit there puzzled knowing you know the song, but not being able to place your finger on it (well, at least I couldn't!) Although very irritating (not the music, the fact I can't place a finger on why I know the song!), they ease the pain with catchy melodies that make you smile and forget about your struggle with recalling where the song came from. "Under The Blue Sky" is well crafted and pretty infectious. Although, you try to sing along, without the lyrics you'll be puzzled. Thank goodness, the lyrics are included! Now you can look them over, and continue singing along. The song starts out with some tasty ska, and then dives into some metal-punk riffs (light on the metal, but heavy on the punk.) They'll throw some more ska into the mix near the end of the song just to give you some more dancing opportunities. "Changes" closes out the CD with some more of the ska-punk you've already grown to love. The horns add bright flares of sunshine in the song, while the bass keeps everything chunky and powerful, tying in with the drums for fierce blows and depth. The guitar once again takes you through both punk and ska beats that you'll love. The CD started with interest and power, and ends the exact same way.
Watch out guys, Potshot is going to control your stereo. From the moment you put this CD in your player you'll be in love. Tight and clean, thanks in part to the great production job of Mike "Bruce Lee" Park, these guys drive you through tasty ska-punk from beginning to end. I'll give this CD an A.
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