World Watch: After Squall

Country: Japan recently did an article about some of the excellent pop punk groups coming out of Japan, and one of these groups that had my ears pricking up was After Squall. The female-fronted group, whose songs are are sung in both Japanese and English were clearly well-schooled in music beyond simply pop-punk. Tracks like “Sauvage” ripped into hardcore, though still retained hooky bursts of melody. They also are fully capable of full-throated emo-pop ballads like the twinkling “Acquiesce”. There’s even the weirdness of “Monster”, which opens with a bass-heavy be-bop rhythm and swinging vocals, which changes gears into an aggressive punk chorus that’s still dance-worthy. The ending is a slam core rave-up.

Of course, if you’re looking for straight forward, sugary pop punk goodness, the group has you covered. Single “Pinkie” has some singalong “na na na’s”, a swooning melody and some ripping drums. And then there’s “Sweet Life”, with a pop-perfect chorus that would whip a Warped Tour crowd into a frenzy.

Pop-punk remains alive and well around the world, and bands like After Squall are carrying the genre’s torch with skill and spirit. Take a listen to a couple of their tracks in our World Watch playlist!

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