Album Review: Kyoto Drive – The Approach

Birmingham’s Kyoto Drive are one of those bands that should probably be more well known then they actually are. Their previous releases have proved to be consistent, feelgood blasts of satisfying pop-rock with a sound that is similar to the likes of You Me At Six.

Now after a slight line-up change; Mitch Davies has replaced Chris Piper on drums, and a new label in I Am Mighty Records, the quartet are about to release their new mini-album, ‘The Approach’ and have enlisted the services of renowned producer Matt O’Grady for it. So with the bands polished pop-rock style and O’Grady’s expertise, on paper it seems like ‘The Approach’ has a winning combination.

Thankfully after the short yet slick intro track that is ‘Receive This Little Breath,’ the Birmingham kick start the record in full force with ‘Holiday,’ a neat, pleasing pop-rock number which has all the characteristics you’d expect from Kyoto Drive; soaring melodies, driving guitar hooks that carries itself along with plenty of energy. 

‘So Much Alive’ keeps up the momentum with vocalist Adam Binder confidently taking center stage, whilst the band structurally take the bouncy “woah” route that suites the bands style well. Whereas ‘Faking Laughs For Photographs’ allows the band to lyrically show their more sincere side and combine it with their upbeat approach. 

By now its clear that this band knows how to write hooks in abundance as later tracks like ‘Breathe’ and ‘Chapters’ sees KD sticking to their winning formula, and we’re not complaining.

However the closing track, ‘You Never Knew’ sees the band take a more ballad-like approach with introspective lyrics and Binder’s vocals being delivered in a sincere and honest tone. It’s a fitting end to a strong collection of songs that hit all the right marks yet don’t exceed expectations.

Nevertheless with ‘The Approach’ Kyoto Drive have once again they’re good at what they do and continue to grow and develop their own sound. Any fans of the genre and bands like You Me At Six, Cartel and so on, should automatically fall for this.

3.5/5

‘The Approach’ by Kyoto Drive is released on May 28th through I Am Mighty Records.

Kyoto Drive links: Facebook|Twitter|Tumblr|Youtube|Big Cartel

Words by Sean Reid

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