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Summer just doesn't feel right without some energizing driving rock songs to blast at full volume, and Wanima has come through with exactly that in their summer EP. The band broke out last year with their loud and exuberant blend of pop punk, ska, reggae and rock. Now they add an exclamation point to summer with Summer Trap!!
The album's lead track Natsu no Dokoka e (Track 1) lifts spirits right away with a flurry of drum beats and guitar riffs. The punk pop ditty never takes a rest over its screamy and infectiously uptempo four-minute anthem to summer. It's no wonder the song was used for a Mitsuya Cider commercial because it nails the positive, refreshing and slightly wistful vibe of summer. I, for one, would very much like to follow the song's entreaty to throw away your sorrow and go somewhere this summer.
Just as fitting for a summer escapade is the pop rock jam Gong (Track 3). As the theme song of the movie One Piece: Stampede, the exuberantly animated Gong raises a flag for fearless adventure and the fire that burns within. Wanima's enlivening sound and energy is basically a perfect match for One Piece – the song's final line of "Let's go to a place not on the map" deserves a fist pump.
Sunset Strip (Track 2) cruises to a different kind of summer fun. Opening with the simple yet ever suggestive line of "That girl and trip, Sunset Strip," the playful number skillfully skates on ska beats and a reggae rhythm. Kenta spits out tongue-twisting lyrics and rhymes about the meeting of men, women and all kinds of alcohol.
After three outright head-boppers, Wanima tones it down to a gentler reflection in the EP's final song Mom (Track 4). The image-laden alternative number begins with a classic Spitz-like Japanese pop rock sound in the first two verses before exploding in volume as it enters the stirring refrain. Evoking bittersweet memories and melancholic emotions, Mom covers the quieter end of the summer song spectrum. This is the song to play as summer comes to a close.