Review Summary: The best 10 minutes of emo you will ever hear.4 of 6 thought this review was well written
Takaru is not your average emo band. No, in fact, they are better than any emo band you currently listen to. Takaru was a short lived emo/screamo/skramz/punk/whatever the kids are saying these days, outfit from California. The band only has one full length, There Can Be Only None
and this split EP with A Light in the Attic, however the quality of these releases makes them shining gems in the genre. Unfortunately not much more is known about the band other than the music they have given us. There is no official website or Myspace page, lyrics for this split are nowhere to be found and the only information to their origins is a description of what Takaru translates to in English. None of that even matters; what is important is that Takaru's split EP is one of the best emo releases in recent history.
At a short 10 minutes long, Takaru wastes no time introducing themselves. A flurry of screams and guitars burst out of '160lbs. of Fury,' letting up only for a short second where the vocalist wails out his lyrics. It is difficult to understand exactly what he is saying, especially with no lyrics sheet, but his screams are amongst the best in the genre. His vocals stay at a mid-toned scream, sometimes backed by other bandmates. The instrumentation is fast and heavy, almost a screamo/metalcore hybrid. Think about what Converge would sound like if they were a screamo band, that is Takaru in a nutshell. The production is lo-fi and gritty-- a typical repercussion of DIY punk production. This is not a bad thing however; the production gives the EP even more flavor. Static overcomes the soundscape when the guitars drop off, the drums and guitars strangely meld together instead of splitting apart, the bass gets lost between the chaotic sounds of the rest of the band and the vocals are perfectly centered high in the mix unlike many emo bands. It is not until one plays the EP at full volume out of a speaker system that the production makes sense. All the sounds mesh together into one loud harmony that never lets up. Many bands attempt to "capture their live sound," but Takaru nailed it perfectly.
Each of the six songs are under three minutes long, with the shortest clocking in at a mere minute. Short songs come as no surprise to the emo genre, but many bands fail at diversifying their sound in such a short amount of time, making a 20 minute album sound like one long song. Takaru does not fall into that trap. Every song is a standout in its own right; whether it be the ferocious punk anthem 'True Mathematics,' the metalcore infused 'C.owderly I.nfused S.ilence,' or the straight up scremotional sound of '1894 Revisited,' Takaru dabbles in a variety of sounds and masters them all.
Why Takaru flew under the radar for so long is a complete mystery. It may be because they are just another DIY punk band and just got lost in a sea of others, but this band begs for your attention. One listen to their brilliant split EP and you will be hooked. This will be the best ten minutes of emo you will ever hear.