All Music Guide
Liana Jonas, All Music Guide
More California rock band Big in Japan got its name, says lead singer Zac Damon, from "the stigma of washed-up rock stars still being popular in Japan...I thought it would be a fitting name for our band, because we aren't has-beens, we are never-weres." Destroy the New Rock, Big in Japan's debut release, demonstrates that this is one band that doesn't have to worry about appearing on VH1's Where Are They Now. Sounding much like the music of Green Day, Blink 182, and Lit, among other similar acts, Destroy the New Rock is a buoyant, tight, and all-around solid first effort by this up-and-coming rock group. Above-average lead vocals pumped with relentless energy imbue the 12 speedy songs on the album. This kind of modern-day punk rock is often laced with undecipherable lyrics -- but not here. Damon, in fact, sounds much like Green Day's Billie Joe. And speaking of lyrics, Destroy the New Rock contains witty words that really up the ante for this kind of music. Notable songs include "Dig That Stupid Sound," "New Dead Boyfriend," a tongue-in-cheek number about killing the boyfriend of a love interest, and "You Kiss Me Good," a modern rock version of the theme: "I was a broke musician, and my girlfriend stuck by my side anyway." Fun choruses, speedy guitar riffs, and a driving rhythm section, among other favorable attributes, position Big in Japan for success on rock and alternative rock radio stations. Destroy the New Rock is good stuff, and this band, to be sure, is destined to be big in more than just Japan.