Man With A Mission is something special, they’ve been massively popular in Japan where they operate from. But please take note that they don’t have a nationality, they’re a group of creatures that look like humans with wolves’ heads. Each “wolf” has his own character traits in his face and has his own style and music he likes. They’re said to be created by Dr. Jimi (Hendrix) back in the past, got frozen on the Antartica and got only defrosted some years ago. They’ve had a few international tours before, but now they’re really aiming to bring their mission to the whole world. And this “little” project gets kicked off with the release of The World’s On Fire.
With first track Survivor you immediately get an idea of what music you’ll get for the coming 52 minutes. It’s really a perfect blend of rock, metal, punk,… like we got to know back in the nineties that’ll really get you going, but here with a touch of J-Pop. There are elements of MWAM‘s music that remind you of bands who were really popular in that period. Raise Your Flag in the beginning has more of a punk rock vibe which I can really appreciate. And the high paced tempo makes it a song that could get you going into a party rock mode! Another nice thing is that here and there you can hear some Japanese lyrics besides the English ones.
Both of these songs have a sound of the typical theme songs of Japanese anime series and handle a topic of overcoming struggles. It’s not a coincidence that the sound of these two and Seven Deadly Sins are somewhat similar since they all have Kamikaze Boy (bass) being part of the music writing. Raise Your Flag actually has been used as the opening song for an anime series (‘Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron Blooded Orphans’). And Seven Deadly Sins was written very fittingly for the anime with the same name. The lyrics of this one really brings across the feelings of the main character, which is pretty awesome.
Another song with music written by Kamikaze Boy, but with a way higher amount of J-pop is Memories. It’s actually a really fun track with mostly electronic elements and a bit of supporting guitar. It might not be the song that’ll convince some of our metalheads or rockers on the site, but to me it’s a nice little change. And if you’re into Asian pop music, you’ll probably really dig this track (besides all the other great songs).
To end, I’d like to pick out 2 songs still that caught my attention maybe a slight bit more than the rest. First of all there’s Give It Away, which starts with clearly more heavy metal influenced guitar riffs. Combined with a few really nice hooks, it makes it one hell of a catchy song on which I catch myself singing along the “na na na” and “woh woh” every single time. The song Out Of Control, my personal favorite of the album, cranks up the heavyness and catchyness even more. This is really a track that would’ve worked well during the heydays of nineties’ alternative rap rock/metal. Some parts even make me think of bands like Rage Against The Machine. In a way it’s not that very surprising that this song reminds me even more of that period of music history since here MWAM worked together with Zebrahead… But seriously a great uptempo song that’ll set any crowd on fire… or well, get them “out of control”.
This is an album you’ll love or hate. If you were a fan of the typical alternative/rap rock/metal sound from the nineties, I’m pretty sure you could get into this band. It’s a more updated version of the music back then by infusing some J-pop. If you’re a fan of Japanese (pop) music, you’ll love this band! Personally they really won me over and I’m rooting for them and their mission to take the world by storm. 8/10 for this highly entertaining and diverse piece of music. If you want to read a little bit more about the band and what they’re about, go check out our interview with Jean-Ken Johnny (vocals and guitars) here!
Release date: February 10th, 2016
Label: Sony Music Records
2. Waiting For The Moment
4. Raise Your Flag
6. The World’s On Fire
7. Give It Away
8. Seven Deadly Sins
9. Mirror Mirror
12. Out Of Control
13. ワンダーランド (Wonderland)