It’s difficult to compute that Japan’s superhuman rock gods Man With A Mission are tearing into their tenth year as a band, but their greatest hits ‘Man With A “Best” Mission’ is a commemoration that’ll be sure to kick that fact right into you.
The deluxe strain of the release hulks with the weight of twenty mind-bending tunes, each more explosive than the last. ‘Change The World’ is about as anthemic as its title suggests, with war cries riding the rebellious highs of the guitars and relishing in the pure speed of the track’s momentum.
‘Remember Me’, on the other hand, enjoys how it simmers, beginning a little slower than that before it and forcing no weight behind its fluorescent instrumentals. A more organic unfolding, this track is easier to follow, and one more suited to bopping your head than shaking skyscrapers.
‘Take Me Under’ is similar in this sense: it doesn’t need to explode right away because you know it’s going somewhere shuttling as soon as it’s ready to. There’s a confidence shown here, furthered in the multi-dimensional landscape of ‘Higher’, that’s indicative of an entirely comfortable release. Pop-punk riffs, solid vocals, rapped portions, contagious hooks… these guys are a tightly established outfit, no doubt about it.
Trying to stuff ‘Man With A “Best” Mission’ into some realm of expectation would only leave you with scuffed knuckles, as, while a gravitational tug doesn’t shoot from every facet of the album, it’s able to ravage any genre with ease. After all, it’s a celebration, a gallery of the band’s velocity, not a cheap shot at a greedy audience.
Each track stands firmly in its place, groovy like ‘Dead End In Tokyo’ and thick-skinned like ‘My Hero’; not phased by trying to impress, rather zoning into the world Man With A Mission have built around themselves. At times, in minding their own business, some offerings become a little samey, but potential new fans that require a grab aren’t necessarily the target audience here.
For seasoned listeners, it’s impossible to deny that this mammoth of a release is a glorious insight into the quintet’s ascend over the years, a polished display of both the style and audience the band has established thus far. ‘Man With A “Best” Mission’ fulfils its celebratory destiny, a beast of a record to highlight a beast of a band.