Middle Edge: Emotion Freeze 7"
I'm not a huge fan of the graphic design on this single--it has that overly processed look of early 00s "modern" hardcore--but the music, on the other hand, is solid gold. Middle Edge definitely fit within the high-energy rock and roll camp occupied by many a Japanese punk band, from current ones like Louder to older stuff like the Registrators and Teengenerate. However, Middle Edge definitely have a unique take on that style. While most of the aforementioned bands play amped-up rock and roll with a hint of power-pop melody, Middle Edge retain the catchiness of the style while taking a slightly more hardcore-informed approach. Their songs are built around really energetic riffs and don't have the traditional pop structures or overt melody of power-pop, so you end up with something that's aggressive but also memorable. If you're looking for American reference points this definitely fits with the Neighborhood Brats and No Loves of the world... a real scorcher!