Hi-Standard

Members

Akihiro Namba - Vocals & Bass
Akira Tsuneoka - Drums
Ken Yokoyama - Guitar & Vocals


Bio

Since 1991, HI-STANDARD has been a driving force in the Japanese underground music scene. Their eclectic and melodic approach to songwriting has garnered the band an enormous following that is quickly expanding from the Far East to the far reaches of the globe. In addition to playing HUGE sold out shows in Japan all the time (no shit, they’re like the Japanese Beatles), HI-STANDARD have toured the U.S. and Europe with bands like NOFX (US 1995, Europe 1998), Green Day (Japan 1996), Lagwagon (US 1995), and No Use For A Name (US 1996).

HI-STANDARD mixes catchy melodies with speed, harmony, and energy. As a reference point, you could use a Japanese hybrid of NOFX and the Toy Dolls, but their sound is still uniquely their own. Although they dwell predominantly in the vein of melodic hardcore, their influences run the musical gamut. . .from 70’s punk and British pop to soul, funk, and Latin music. These broad musical tastes epitomize the bands positive and open-minded approach to songwriting.

After releasing a wildly successful LP and 7’ on their own label, Pizza of Death, HI-STANDARD made their debut on FAT WRECK CHORDS with the Fat Mike produced full-length release, Growing Up. On this outing, the trio whipped through 14 contagiously energetic tunes. The song titles alone (‘Summer of Love,’ ‘Sunny Day,’ ‘Kiss Me Again’) display HI-STANDARD’s knack for focusing on positive lyrical themes rather than taking the generic punk route of complaining about everyday life. Other clues to their fun musical approach are their tongue-in-cheek, punky renditions of the Bay City Rollers’ ‘Saturday Night’ and Rainbow’s ‘Since You Been Gone.’ These versions will have even the staunchest of music prudes cracking a smile.

HI-STANDARD’s second album for FAT, Angry Fist, was released in 1997 to a slew of good reviews and great fan response. The band’s penchance for upbeat, cheerful songs (like the super happy ‘My Heart Feels So Free’) could very well make them the most jovial punk band ever. HI-STANDARD recorded and released Making the Road in 1999 to a foaming-at-the-mouth Japanese audience. Several months (and several hundred thousand record sales) later, we got our hands on the album (plus an extra track or so) and released it stateside. The album has since gone on to sell over 1 million copies worldwide. Next up was a four song CD-EP entitled Love is a Battlefield. It’s classic HI-STANDARD, complete with super catchy melodic punk tunes and uniquely reworked cover songs.

In 2000, much to the dismay of their droves of fans, Hi-Standard went on a hiatus from playing. This continued all the way until 2011, when they made their triumphant return at their Air Jam festival, with Me First and the Gimme Gimmes in support. Impossibly, they’re fan base has gotten even bigger since their comeback, and they’ve been going strong ever since.

HI-STANDARD’s latest glorious offering is a 16-song album titled, The Gift. Recorded by FAT alumni, Ryan Green, (NOFX, Bad Religion, No Use For A Name) fans can expect all the bells and whistles of his signature touch that helped define the classic FAT sound of the 90s. From start to finish, The Gift delivers bombastic vocals with sugary sweet melodies that are just as infectious as ever. The album was released in 2017, but was never made available on vinyl. We’re happy to report that we’ve rectified that situation and will release the pressing on November 9, 2018.




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