Bigger. Bolder. Catchier. Though they’ve been filling stadiums in their native Japan for years, One OK Rock refuse to coast – and judging by this eighth album, they could soon be enormous everywhere.
From the punchy, instantly infectious ‘Bombs Away’ to the slick yet soulful ‘Jaded’ (featuring a winning turn from All Time Low’s Alex Gaskarth) this is exactly the album they needed to crack the West.
Sure, subtlety is rarely on the agenda – and they borrow a bit too much from Don Broco on ‘Bon Voyage’ – but the Tokyo four-piece have never sounded more assured than on the raunchy one-two punch of ‘Bedroom Warfare’ and ‘American Girls’, or more nakedly emotional than on the stripped-back ‘Hard To Love’.
Elsewhere ‘We Are’ is tailor-made for lighters-aloft festival highlights, ‘I Was King’ throws in some symphonic flourishes and a truckload of “whoas”, while ‘Take What You Want’ is a truly epic closer, bolstered by the talents of 5 Seconds Of Summer.
They even knock out an electro-pop banger in the form of ‘One Way Ticket’, underlining their disdain for playing things by the book. With frontman Taka Moriuchi approaching the peak of his powers, ‘Ambitions’ should make the band’s competition very nervous indeed.