A Page of Punk - Fool's Punk Line (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

A Page of Punk

Fool's Punk Line (2013)

Drunken Sailor Records

Oh my giddy aunt. A Page of Punk are back and this time they've managed to sort themselves out a whole LP. This isn't a split 7" onto which they manage to cram eleven tracks. Here, the sky is the limit for this Japanese band which excels are a short, sharp and snappy version of punk rock that goes by in a blur. I was originally sent two MP3 files of this album entitled ‘Side A' and ‘Side B', causing me to think that perhaps these Japanese fellows had decided to eschew the ‘three s' approach previously favoured and gone to a more prog rock side of punk. On listening to the two files it became apparent that despite the length of the files (around 10 to 11 minutes each) one was able to discern that there were different tunes being played throughout but it was almost impossible to tell where one stopped and another started beyond the frequent use of ‘1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4', but I'm sure that this is deployed during songs too which doesn't help the listener. I can confirm that the 1st and 49th tracks are extremely similar if not exactly the same, both being entitled "We Are A Page of Punk"!

Anyway, what is key here is that there are actually 49 tracks (26 of which have English titles, the rest are in the band's native language) on this record and I find it impossible to listen to this record without wearing the grin of a Cheshire Cat all over my face whilst nodding my head in an overly vigorous manner – yes, I am the crazy man on the bus! Musically this is fast and furious for the main part although not in a way that it's impossible to tell what is going on given that the tempo does vary to keep things interesting. The lyrics are in both Japanese and English and throughout the record the occasional female vocals pop up to add some variety to proceedings. In terms of seeking a suitable comparison, I think that if you consider the first Screeching Weasel album crossed with fellow Japanese band Potshots but without the ska and add a general all round thrashy and snotty attitude, then that gives a pretty good evaluation of what A Page of Punk sounds like. Of course, you could throw many other bands into that mix but with the aim of keeping it simple I believe that covers it enough for those new to the band.

It's a fruitless task to actually pick out the tracks that stick out but from initial listens it would have to be those featuring the added female vocals, and that's purely because they automatically stand out due to that one fact. Additionally anything that starts with ‘1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4' just wins me over immediately. It's great to hear. Don't get the impression that this is just some joke band wanting to load up a release with as many pointless bursts of music as they can – this is a very solid release and it all comes down to entertainment: this record provides that with ease and if that is something you want from music then this band should be fully embraced and enjoyed. Looking at the English song titles, it's clear that the band is pissed off at times ("Fuckin' System Fuckin' Life" and "You Ought To Die") but there are moments that display a less antagonistic or disillusioned approach too ("Good Morning World") although to be fair the titles could be misleading in terms of the content of the actual meanings - but this album is mighty fine regardless of the assumptions I've made over the meaning of a few handsful of songs.

The actual LP version has been mastered to provide a gap between songs, but I'm actually quite happy with trying to find the millisecond that separates each of the 49 tracks on my digital versions. Regardless of which way you listen to Fool's Punk Line, vinyl or digital, there is nothing about this album to dislike. I'd love to see this band live as I can only imagine how much fun it would be to see them race through a set of many songs.