Doki Doki - Doki Doki (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Doki Doki

Doki Doki (2023)

Asian Man Records

Doki Doki is an Asian Man records supergroup that includes Lucy of Dog Party, Logan of Small Crush, Donnie of Grumpster, and Randy of the Moore family band. Their self-titled debut recording is a high energy, loose hardcore rip through with a few well-placed diversions. What’s particular interesting is that while the band focuses on serious issues- racism (“I’ve got no patience for racist actions!”), mental health, backstabbers- the entire approach is a loud, massive party.

Hardcore often vacillates between overly serious intensity and partying for the sake of partying, but here the band keeps a raucous bright sound that would even fit in with a band like municipal waste, all while touching on some classic hardcore milestones. “Battle It Down” sounds like an entire club roaring along, to the point of where the tune is so explosive, it just sounds like a crowd chant- that’s a compliment mind you. It’s fun, it’s loose, and it drives the point home.

Though, all of the members here come from classic punk or even emo-adjacent backgrounds, and that pedigree does slide in here and there. “I can’t fight this crazy anymore” (a winking homage to I can’t fight this feeling anymore?) is more in the touchy-feely realm of college rock. There's also a Funky Drummer-meets-massive attack intro on "Starvation" before the resulting hardcore blast.But, probably to distance themselves from their backgrounds, for every sound clash counter that with something like the hardcore-meets pop punk of “Liar, Liar.” I also like how on tracks like this, the band comes from the perspective of the heart as opposed to the brain. The whole song is about beating down on some jerk, but we don’t know for a fact of the subject is actually in the right or is just being subjective- and I like it!

Most supergroup records suck because everyone is kind of adding their own thing and also everyone is saving their best stuff for their main band. Not so here. Here, everyone is on the same page, with the same agenda, playing off each other’s strengths, and straight up killing it.