Beat Crusaders – Pop On Arrival
Label: DefStar Records
Release Date: May 11, 2005
Topics don’t get more polarizing than outsourcing. Does it help or hurt? Is it healthy to ship jobs across oceans to save a couple bucks? Will I be able to find work once the daydream of college wears off? My opinion on these matters, however uninformed (or terrified), is not important. Per usual, there is an exception to all this negativity: music. Take Beat Crusaders for example. The group plays a catchy, synth heavy pop-punk capable of making many American artists very insecure about their "employment". Except, unlike the poor souls we hire to make Mardi Gras beads or the toys in Happy Meals, something tells me Beat Crusaders isn’t exactly working for less.
Pop On Arrival is a very quick, hilarious ride. Songs such as the eerie, howling “Rusk” or punktastic “Love Potion #9” promise a varied trip through Japanese pop culture. The lyrics are all in English, or at least, a daring attempt. Some of the pronunciations are understandably difficult and actually give Pop On Arrival more character.
Fuzzy, buzzing synthesizers serve as the glue to many tracks. While they tend to sound alike, most songs benefit greatly from the uplifting electronics. “Isolations” makes great use of technology. The song features a minstrel-like synth solo along with other, much more hyper electronic grooves. The sadly ironic “Hit In The USA” has extremely addictive handclaps and a gang chorus, making this the catchiest song by far. When the American rock influenced guitar solo bleeds into the vocal and handclaps duet, try to not hit rewind. Weakness is encouraged here. Finally!
Probably from sheer exhaustion, Beat Crusaders threw a couple of slow songs into the mix. The results were not so great. “Love Dischord” and “Say Good-Night” sound like they were performed by sleazy Japanese mobsters at a karaoke bar rather than by a spazzy pop-punk band. However, aside from these tracks, not much goes wrong on Pop On Arrival. Finally, an export I won’t feel ashamed of owning.
Recommended If You Like: Ellegarden, New Found Glory, overpopulation, California rolls, Sum 41