GOJI-360 is a band that combines elements of Y2K era pop punk with 90’s electronica, with influences ranging from MxPx and Good Charlotte to The Prodigy, Junkie XL & Sugar Ray. Their album “Up & Away”, proves to be a fast moving, engaging and eclectic mix of electro-punk with a dance-floor feel, bound to forge high expectations for future projects. Even if the compilation lacks the usual crunchy guitar sounds of thrashier punk, the musical side here, motored by dynamic synths is splendidly refreshing.
GOJI-360 effortlessly switch from heavier industrial styled cuts, to danceable electro-punk, and big beat hybrids to their own experimental electronic style, which includes dominant break beats, driving tempos, intermittent simil-guitar backing, and quirky, swirling electro effects. It basically sounds like GOJI-360 decided to throw together as many of their influences as possible and somehow made it all work brilliantly.
The opening intro track, “Up”, demonstrate how well this hybrid synth style suits GOJI-360. And while the cool, swirling electronics give plenty of leeway for a hazy and dreamy atmosphere, the spell is soon broken with the advent of “Upside Down”, which rides the same main motif, but adds an insistent drumbeat and a moody lead vocal which brings a solid does of intensity to the proceedings.
“Threesixty” decidedly ups the rhythmic ante, as GOJI-360 tightens the tempo screws, constantly switching beats between runaway pacing and squealing synths. “Alright” is darker and heavier, as rasping synths roar above the four to the floor percussion. Surprisingly, the lead vocals manage to maintain a set of mellifluous hooks running above the synthesizer mayhem.
Sharp synths attack the listener right away, on “Fuck U”, with a high-octane beat, and ever-swirling fuzzy electronic effects tightening and thickening the sound. It is energetic as hell and versatile enough because everything leaves enough room for the vocals that are mixed perfectly, being dominant but never obtrusive. The rest of the album follows suit, more or less, with GOJI-360 playing with the balance between high-flying electronics, racy percussion and stirring vocals.
This constant back and forth movement between the beats and electronics give GOJI-360 a mighty edge and boosts up its replay value as well, since all the songs sound vigorous and different from each other, all the while carrying forward the whole album’s distinct feel.
Songs like “Momentum”, “Sweet Soul Dancing”, and “The Final Party” hit a whole lot harder. The in-between ones like “That’s My Girlfriend’s Kind Of Car”, “Chancer” and “One More Day” stay interesting, catchy and creative throughout.
The songs leaning toward a slowed down beat, like “Rotations” and the album closer “Away”, exhibit a more tuneful and atmospheric side to GOJI-360’s music. All of which show how versatile they really are, in stretching their pop-punk template from the usual beaten track. “Up & Away” is musically a very varied album, if you listen carefully.
The one thing present throughout the album is the electronic and punk overtones, but besides that, every track here has something new and different to offer. This state of being an extremely eclectic bag, makes it as interesting as hell to listen to. GOJI-360’s do exactly what they need to do here – provide high-energy, no-bounds electro-punk music, which will most definitely get the adrenaline pumping.