The kids know what’s up and, all of a sudden, the kids are really into The Kobanes, with T-shirts and other merch cropping up en masse. A split label Japanese release to coincide with one of the band’s infamous Japanese tours, Japan Invasion is a very solid, mainline pop punk album. Taking 1990s silliness to new peaks with songs about loved ones smelling each other’s feces, suburban ghettos, dicks, and drugs, The Kobanes’ lyrics are gleefully apolitical, mean-spirited, and downright asinine. And that’s a compliment! Driving, Queers-inspired riffs dominate the mix, with geek-tinged vocals maintaining a spirited, tongue-in-ass-cheek vibe. A higher end byproduct of a dwindling subgenre, Japan Invasion happily invaded this aging pop punker’s heavy rotation. There’s even a cover of “Fan Mail” included for Dickies fans. Plus, any album that starts with a dialog sample from Class of Nuke ’em High is okay by me.
–Art Ettinger (FIXING A HOLE , FIXINGAHOLE.JPN.ORG / DUMB!, DUMBRECORDS.COM)