ken yokoyama Four (CD, £12.50)label: go kart
• Ken Yokoyama is most known for being the guitarist and vocalist for Japanese melodic punk band HI-STANDARD. • At the peak of the band’s career in 2000, HI-STANDARD abruptly broke up. • Their popularity reached from their homeland of Japan all the way to the United States. Fat Wreck Chords released three of their albums, a few singles, and HI-STANDARD supported NOFX on a full US tour. • HI-STANDARD’s last album, Making The Road, was released in Japan by Pizza Of Death Records, which Ken currently owns. The album sold over a million copies worldwide, and Pizza Of Death is still the most well-known indie label in Japan. • Earlier this year, HI-STANDARD announced they would reunite to perform benefits for the victims of the earthquake that devastated Japan. After 10 years on hiatus, Ken Yokoyama is the hottest guitarist in Japan, once again. • But this is because Ken was never inactive and never put away his guitar. HI-STANDARD’s massive fan base followed him to his eponymous solo-project, Ken Yokoyama. • It’s still a fast melodic pop punk, which is still loved by millions of fans around the world. • This year, Ken released his fourth full-length Four, his most powerful set of songs yet. With new guitarist Minami (from legendary Japanese ska-punk band KEMURI) and new bassist Jun Gray, This was the first album Ken recorded with all band members present in the studio (previous records he recorded on his own). • With their most solid formation ever, this album is his pride turned into music. His confidence shows as he made the long thought-out decision to finally release a record overseas, which is something that he has never done with his band since the breakup of HI-STANDARD. • It’s fortuitous that this record’s release coincides with the reunion of HI-STANDARD, but Four is proof that no matter what the future holds musically, Ken Yokoyama will never lay his guitar down. • Contains bonus track exclusive to this release "Somebody Get Me A Doctor".
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