TOKYO STORM – Optimistic State Of Mind (2020)
The title says it all. Once you’ve listened to the debut album from new Midlands based melodic rock quartet TOKYO STORM, you will enter into an “Optimistic State Of Mind“.
Admirers of Journey, Whitesnake, Foreigner, Mastodon, Kansas and those classic American bands we all know and love will find “Optimistic State Of Mind” an approachable and familiar album blended with instantly likeable guitar licks, keyboard fills, searching lyrics with meaning, and the heartbeat of a superb rhythm section.
You wouldn’t think that this thing is self-produced as it’s as good as anything I’ve heard. Opener ‘Optimistic State Of Mind’ sets its AOR stall out immediately. It envelopes you like a blanket, and you’re sucked in by the warm vocals and comfortable feeling that you get from a band that knows what it wants, and wants you to feel. Is this love is as smooth as it comes, a bit Toto, and FM like.
‘Tune’ gives Joe Bartnicki the chance to show off his guitar skills, just simply and very nicely done. ‘Stormy Night’ is the ballad, with Ben Green’s vocals giving enough emotion to make it count.
Then ‘Kill The Machines’ is a bit harder edged. Green reminds me of Matti Alfonzetti’s vocal style, and that is a great thing in my book. ‘Silent Obsession’ is a smooth an AOR midtempo that you are likely to hear, they type that could just be triple the length live and would be even more fantastic.
The TS boys have set their phasers to ‘stun’ with ‘Fire In Your Eyes’, and it has a great ’80s vibe to it. ‘Lady Darkness’ is a bit of a plodder, I was hoping it would build up to a crescendo, but stayed at the same pace throughout. It’s not bad, I just wanted a little more out of it.
’Summer feeling’ has a ‘proper’ 80s opening riff, and when it’s played out like this is when they truly shine.
It’s over all too soon with the final track, the epic ‘Signals’. It’s the longest song of the album, and the guy try different atmospheres throughout.
Tokyo Storm should take a huge bow and be extremely proud of themselves, as ‘Optimistic State Of Mind’, despite an obvious low-budget input, sounds amazing. In fact, on first listen you could easily mistake this album as being yet another one of those highly-polished products from the ‘big’ labels.
‘Optimistic…’ will certainly be high on my list of 2020 releases and I’m already looking forward to their sophomore effort.
01 – Optimistic State of Mind
02 – Is This Love
03 – Tune
04 – Stormy Night
05 – Kill the Machines
06 – Silent Obsession
07 – Fire in Your Eyes
08 – Lady Darkness
09 – Summer Feeling
10 – Signals
Ben Green (Vocals)
Bob Peach (Drums, Percussion)
Joe Bartnicki (Guitars, Bass, Keyboards)
Jason Edwards (Bass, Vocals)