Ah, always so great to see two up and coming talented bands releasing music together. And Protector is an emo/punk group out of Shizuoka, Japan that evoke feelings of early Title Fight, whilst Hollow Suns is a more traditional punk-rock outfit leaning into the rock side of things. Both bands have been tearing up the local Japanese scene, both with their own tours and supporting international bands, and now they’re releasing a 4 track split together.
The APHS Split represents the two sides of the bands excellently, whilst they seem to have found inspiration in each other to further their own sounds. And Protector has a smoother groove to their sound at times, but never sacrificing their own style, whilst Hollow Suns incorporates harsher elements in that go well with And Protector’s two tracks. This gentle melding of style makes listening to the two sides of the split a wonderfully sleek experience.
And Protector has this amazing early Title Fight esque sound as stated above, mixing some more dreamlike melodies with desperate cries and still finding a way to be energetic and even chaotic at times. As is expected from And Protector the vocals are fantastic, from the flow between the screams to the gang vocals throughout “Urei”, but take nothing away from the rest of the band. These two tracks feel like And Protector at their best; energetic, emotional, and a beautifully crafted sound.
On to the second half, Hollow Suns have a smoother sound, with the head bopping “Back In My Head” being incredibly catchy and “Believe In” being a slower and calmer build without sacrificing any of the fun. “Back In My Head” also features some harsher vocal work at times, the dipping in and out complimenting the And Protector half of the split in a fantastic way. The Hollow Suns side is certainly catchy, with lyrics that are easy to sing along to and it feels great to do just that, two of the most fun tracks the band has come out with.
It’s only four tracks, but this is the sort of split that shows off the best in the two bands and builds an immense amount of excitement for a full length project from one or both of them. This does exactly what a split should do, and the two bands come out looking incredibly strong. The local Japanese punk scene has these amazing talented acts, among many more, that have been growing and developing over the past few years; it’s become a scene with so much promise and I’m looking forward to seeing the scene grow even more.
Below you can watch the two music videos released for the split (And Protector – “Ghost Town” ; Hollow Suns – “Believe In”). The APHS Split is set to drop on June 6th in Japan.