Mikoto - Mikoto (Cover Artwork)


Mikoto (2005)

Level Plane

With the impending implosion of his former band Taken looming over his head like a storm cloud, Ray Harkins didn't waste any time getting a new band together. With the same amount of haste displayed by Captain Renault calling for a "Round Up of the usual suspects" at the end of "Casablanca," the team of crack muscians known as Mikoto was formed. This band has been gaining steam pretty steadily over the past few months, and the culmination of their efforts is this EP. This self-titled EP is just a little taste of what the band has in store for the future, and needless to say they have gotten off on the proverbial "right foot."

Mikoto rips through these 5 songs with the ferocity of a rabid lion loose on an antelope farm. Those expecting "Taken Part Two" will find subtle similarities to some of Taken's material, but for the most part Mikoto's music treads down an entirely different musical path. Mikoto's style is a bit more streamlined, and much more melodic. Now, when I say melodic don't get your panties all crumpled up in a huge bunch. Mikoto's melody isn't the end result of a flailing attempt at roping in fans. The one-two vocal punch consisting of Ray Harkins's trademark scream and guitar player Matt Moody's piercing backup vocals adds a more sensitive vibe, without making the album a sticky, sugary, nougat-filled wasteland. Like I said earlier, the music is pretty ferocious, reminding me of This Day Forward mixed with Taken's technical proficiency. The band strays away from ordinary, predictable "break your face with a crowbar style" breakdowns, which is very refreshing in my eyes. For the type of hardcore fan who just HAS to be able to throw a windmill and spark up some two-stepping fear not, this record has many moments which will make the urge to dance and break shit irresistable

The aspect of this record I enjoy the most, are the lyrics. If you have had the chance to read Ray's lyrics on Taken albums you should know what to expect. Ray's lyrics span everything from personal conflict to introspective thought, all the while promoting positivity in a manner that transcends the bullshit "broken heart" imagery so many bands have beaten into the ground lately. This EP is a breath of fresh air to the hardcore scene. It might not be the most revolutionary music in the world, but Mikoto writes music that is worth hearing, and they have a message that is more than worthy of our attention.

[Originally posted on Punkrocks.net]