Nantokanaru – Emotional Damage Wreckage (2022)

Living in a metropolis doesn’t guarantee that you will not feel the bite of loneliness while surrounded by people. This feeling of solitude and loneliness in an urban setting has been picked up by the band Nantokanaru for their EP Emotional Damage Wreckage. The story that covers the three tracks of the EP flows through melancholic notes, introspective vocals and classical guitar lines, all set to unorthodox textures.

Inspired by the intercultural struggles Igor Prusa (guitar) went through during his 10 years spent in Japan. Japan has played a major role in the band’s sound and stage presence since they formed in 2007 and were catapulted to the forefront of the Czech alternative rock scene. In 2012, the band went on hiatus, before reforming a decade later with a line-up featuring Prusa, Derek Saxenmeyer (guitar), Vit Kravacek (bass), Michal Grepl (drums) and Filip Vlcek (vocals).

The EP opens with ‘Omatsuri’ and some deep tapping tones that fly out into the first dynamic movement of the EP. The dynamic movements toss you into a rather intense melodic line. There is a really interesting feeling to the melody as it moves from crushing rock tones that shake up your insides, to a rolling drum, to a lighter touch that soothes the rough edges caused by the rock tones. The Japanese lyrics are wrapped up in a vocal performance that is as unorthodox and dynamic as the melody. While you are being tossed around in a constant rollercoaster of tones, there is an addictive energy to the track that calls to your soul, making you want to rock out to it. The harmonised vocals will have you shouting out with them, while the music has you bouncing off the walls and playing air instruments like crazy.

The title track ‘Emotional Damage Wreckage’ pulls you in with a more traditional heavy rock sound that borders on metal. The guitars push against your senses, getting your head banging to the heavy sound, before a tender line rises from the depths. This tender guitar line is accompanied by the vocals that are a sigh of thought. There is a melancholic feeling to the vocal performance as the lyrics draw you into the solitary emotions of the EP. The melancholic vocals churn the emotions of the track in your chest even as they rise to more rock vibes on the chorus. There is a metal scream later that touches something deep in your chest and perfectly contrasts the softer main vocal line. This track is truly a masterclass on emotive rock dusted with the punch of metal.

The EP comes to a close with ‘In The Light’ which offers a more acoustic feeling than the other two tracks. The semi-acoustic tones of the melody twine with the vocals that weave through the soundscape like an intangible thread. There is a gentleness to the vocals that lightly tickles the skin as they sigh through the melody. The strings, provided by the Czech Philharmonic, that rise through the melody are rich and add a new texture to the single. As the track progresses, it starts to move into anthemic territory while asking some hard questions that really get you thinking. The dynamic movement of this track is more subtle than the others, giving it a more melodic flow that is wonderfully powerful. The vocals are powerful, as they move from tender to a pushing yet thoughtful rock, packed with a crowded call toward the end of the track.

Nantokanaru hit you with skilful dynamic melodics, powerful introspective vocals and rollercoaster emotions through the addictive tracks of Emotional Damage Wreckage. Each track has a completely different feeling, but the masterful mergers and unorthodox movements of the band shine through. Through this EP, the band really showcase their musical prowess and undeniable skills.

Find out more about Nantokanaru on their website, Facebook and Spotify.

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