Making the Road (Fat)
by Tim Den
I’m not sure if Hi-Standard is really bigger than The Beatles in Japan (like the bio states), but I do agree with the bio on one thing: “they might not be able to pronounce ‘grilled liver’ or ‘shrimp fried rice’ but Hi-Standard can punk rock with the best of ’em!!” Having heard all their other releases, I have to say I’m impressed with Making the Road. It blooms with the potential that only showed up once in a while on Angry Fist. If there’s any doubt of this band’s punk rock splendor, the opening track, “Standing Still,” will silence it. Tight fucking playing, thick’n’fuzzy guitars, and, of course, the catchy melodies that only Japanese bands can create (listen to anime soundtracks for further proof). Hi-Standard plays their instruments, uses every kind of progression to create unique melodies, all the while pummelling you with rawkness. They even have an early-Sick Of It All-ish, furious hardcore number called “Just Rock” (“Just rock/just rock your fuckin’ self”). Need I say more? “Teenagers are all Assholes,” besides the brilliant title, is another gem. Not only musically, but lyrically it gives statement and support to why kids are dumb, what they can do to not be so dumb, and how they should really wake up and make a change (“there is no good reason to hurt somebody/if you want to stab something, stab your heart… listen up boys, take it easy/there’s a place for you somewhere… don’t torment your friends and neighbors/someday you’ll see you’re small”). I don’t think any other song has made more sense.