Japanese quartet One OK Rock blast into the Western market with their eighth album, Ambitions. After signing with Fueled by Ramen in late 2016, One OK Rock – led by Takahiro Moriuchi, who sings in impeccable English – take their songwriting and production quality to a new level, encompassing a full Warped Tour scope that incorporates pop-punk, alt-emo, and even a little atmospheric post-hardcore energy akin to That's the Spirit-era Bring Me the Horizon. Ambitions includes highlights like "Bombs Away" and "Taking Off," as well as singles "Bedroom Warfare" and the sparkling Hands Like Houses-esque "We Are." All Time Low's Alex Gaskarth appears on "Jaded," while 5 Seconds of Summer join "Take What You Want." The album debuted in the Billboard 200 and topped the Japanese charts upon release.
This excellent 3-CD set collects two 10" albums by Shank and 4 12" albums co-led by Shank and Cooper, all for the Pacific Jazz/World Pacific labels between 1954-58. The West Coast cool school was at its height at this time, and both Bud Shank and Bob Cooper were in the thick of it. The first disc gets off to a rousing start with the marvelously swinging VALVE IN HEAD from 1954, with Bud playing fluid alto sax. He's joined by three valve trombone players (Bob Enevoldsen, Stu Williamson, and the ringer Maynard Ferguson) on this tune and for the first half of the disc, an interesting concept. The second half finds him with Coop at Cal Tech in 1959. Count Basie's THE KING gets a rousing airing, and there's a nicely done ballad medley.