Today we have the pleasure of double dipping the… wait, QUADRUPLE DIPPING the new Hyper Olympic and Makoto split. The aptly named Critical Hits sees both bands at the top of their game, with some subtle surprises along the way.
But for fans of either band, the main surprise here is the split itself. Mikoto and Hyper Olympic, if you didn’t know, have relatively different sounds. Makoto shreds all things progressive. Hyper Olympic is spastic math punk. So how did the two bands end up collaborating on such a strangely satisfying endeavor? We’ll let them tell the story:
“Makoto, a progressive post-hardcore outfit between North Carolina and Florida, were scrambling to book the first half of their debut tour in December 2019. After days of frantically posting in Facebook touring groups, with only days until the tour was expected to be announced, a band quickly came in and saved the tour dates. This band was Hyper Olympic, an Atlanta-based math rock duo. Upon arrival at the first date of the tour, sleep deprived and ready to escape the van, the two bands immediately hit it off. From that first date onward, conversations started about the inevitable ‘Hyper Olympic x Mikoto’ collection.
Fast forward to January 2021, and a typical round of joking between friends led to the question “but what if we REALLY DID that split?” It was all downhill from this point on. Working collectively at Kotosound Audio in North Carolina, the two came together diligently to record a group of tracks that truly showed the best of both bands.”
And that they did. Hyper Olympic’s last EP Life is But A Dream Team was a crunchy, nostalgic wave of 90’s alternative flavored goodness. Here they show off a slightly more thoughtful side, maybe even a darker one. “Carmello Yellow” is classic, spastic HO. But when we got to “C.C.C.R.E.M.I.X.,” a distillation of one of our previous favorite songs, “Carcarcar,” we felt it even deeper. Makoto’s J-pop flurries are impressive as well, and they make for a perfect first half for the diverse, but somehow totally cohesive split. “Hello” and “Iro” proudly posture themselves like instrumental anime themes, but if you don’t find yourself bobbing your head to it, you may want to get it checked.
In conclusion, Critical Hits covers a huge amount of ground, particularly when you consider the distance between the two band’s sounds. But the chemistry is undeniable, and hopefully more bands take similar risks. Sometimes opposites attract, and for good reason.
Don’t forget to grab a physical copy from our friends at Killer Tofu Records here! Those little tape variants look dope as hell too in that mint/blue finish. But so do the pink ones. If you wanna buy us a coffee and keep the site from falling into WordPress chaos, feel free to do so here. Regardless, we’ve got more cool stuff coming your way soon. It’s gonna be a crazy year.