By Roxann Yus | 08/08/22
Up against the emerging talent from the Southeast, as well as the influx of new hardcore bands in the UK right now, Floods In Japan have set their precedence as a forward-thinking and creative outfit undeterred by all of that. With their first studio release ECTOPIC, bandmates El, Ewan, Sam, and Laurence merge diverse musical backgrounds into a sound so aligned and honestly correct for the future of hardcore.
From first listen, ECTOPIC sounds matured and nuanced, as if the band have been perfecting the hardcore noise for many years. But having taken a sharp turn from their punkier, half-spoken arrangement in 2020, their newest release is a completely unrelated conjuring. Having written and worked on the track since 2021, ECTOPIC is a dive into riskier waters. We hear a lot of good punky music, but finding a masterful hardcore sound is much rarer.
This is mostly because modern hardcore is beautifully infected by alternative influences like electronic mixing, unconventional instruments and sounds, and an intrinsic connection to aesthetics. Punk cares less for this or perhaps doesn’t require it for survival as much as hardcore does now. But Floods in Japan have considered all of the ingredients to make it in this scene, including the secret and unspoken rules needed to compete in the first place.
It comes as no surprise that some of their influences include Cancer Bats, Architects and Nova Twins. These are bands that utilise that special secret ingredient in all that they do, and neither ingredient is the same either. It’s always difficult to pinpoint what makes a band special, but I guess that’s my job to try.
ECTOPIC is special because it harnesses the pain of modernity whilst surpassing the sound we associate with modern rock. It captures how tarnished the human experience has become in the age of technology with lyrics like “The ties that bind us turn to wires” and “Plugged in the consciousness of a world that’s built to crash.” It’s screamed as a warning of a scary and explicit dystopia, but in fact, is a mere diary entry of modern life. Backed by heavy guitar work, Floods In Japan knock on all of our doors to wake up and realise that life cannot exist digitally.
This works hand in hand with the appropriateness and, again, correctness, of this track when eventually performed live. Its harsh attempt to awaken only invites human connection because, of course, anybody in the hardcore scene will want to shut their laptops down to go and see this band live.
I am very excited to follow Floods In Japan’s musical journey and the awakenings that are next. Find ECTOPIC on Spotify now.
Edited by: Roxann Yus
Cover image courtesy of ECTOPIC album artwork by Ewan Bennet and El Tyler.