Nicotine Samurai Shot

With the exception of Fat Wreck Chords loyalists Hi-Standard, Tokyo's Nicotine is probably the only Japanese punk band poised to make any noise in the West. Their tsunami-like sound is reminiscent of the best SoCal melodic pop-core. This monster-sized helping of music - 25 tracks clocking in at 70 minutes - offers up a dozen or so new tracks and some material from their back catalogue. Fast, furious, fun and funny, the disc includes covers of Bryan Adams' "Kids Wanna Rock" and, just in time for the holiday season, an all-star punk rock take on "Do They Know It's Christmas." It's a great introduction to a band that despite their prolific output has yet to make waves in North America. But with this release, it's only a matter of time before that happens. (Asian Man)