Sincerity and authenticity matter. There is a lot of hubris and noise coming from bands. The music and delivery is intense as fuck, but they aren’t really saying anything. It’s a problem. Sincerity counts, everyone. This is what makes Kaji is a very compelling band. It’s what makes What Safe Means is such a promising record. They are sticking close to the genre staples in terms of sound, but they’ve got more than enough going on to be very engaging.
It’s a very good EP. It touches on a variety of topics, but it all that fall in a similar theme. It’s a record that discusses the concept of feeling safe. It’s a vulnerable record that filters the overall theme through topics like abuse, identity, and self worth. It can get a little heavy, but never overwhelmingly so. It’s not really a record that invites itself to quoting random lyrics out of context, and it’s not a record that really allows itself to be pigeonholed when it comes to content. This is an absolute strength if ever there was one. It shows that Kaji have made a singular piece instead of some random collection of songs.
It is, on the other hand, very easy to discuss from a musical standpoint. It definitely excels in the realm of post-hardcore. It also has a fair amount of a screamo influence as well. It’s really not hitting all the genre touchstones of the latter, but it has enough for it to be an apt description. The music is heavy, the vocals are forceful, and everything has a lot of muscle behind it. There is something here for anyone who enjoys music under the greater umbrella of hardcore and punk.
It would be easy to overhype things here, but I’m not going to bullshit you. This is an EP that is worth your attention. It has a lot of heart. It has a lot of passion. And, ultimately, it’s worth a listen based on that alone.