Kyoto Drive – This Is All We Ever Wanted

Album cover


  • For fans of This Providence, Owl City, Jimmy Eat World, Cinematic Sunrise, Saves The Day, YouMeAtSix, Piebald, Hot Water Music
  • ‘This Is All We Ever Wanted’ was produced, mastered, and engineered by Jim Turner at Waiting Room Studios. ‘
  • Split release between Engineer Records and Pacific Ridge Records.
  • ‘Kyoto Drive previously self-released an EP titled ‘Spotlights and Stars’ which was then released for promotion by Engineer Records.’

Track Listing

  1. Transitions
  2. I’d Give It All
  3. Make Up Doesn’t Cover Everything
  4. Are You Taking Me Apart Just To See How My Insides
  5. It’s Not About Revenge, Don’t Make It Personal
  6. Make This Alright
  7. Notes From Look Out Point
  8. Fighting Talk
  9. Hold Your Head High
  10. Waiting

About this Release

Kyoto Drive is a mash-up of old fashioned pop-punk and new wave progressive pop that makes for a familiar yet forgotten combination of styles reminiscent of Drive Thru circa 2005.

The Past
Kyoto Drive formed out of the ashes of two Birmingham hardcore rock bands, and when the two acts disbanded the remaining members came together to create Kyoto Drive. The four piece Pop/Rock act joined forces early in 2008 and have been playing the length and breadth of the UK ever
since. After their formation they recorded and produced a 4 track EP entitled ‘Spotlights & Stars’ which they released as a free download with promotional help from Engineer Records.

The Present
The band has followed up their EP by performing night-in and night-out, all while writing and recording their upcoming full-length debut titled ‘This Is All We Ever Wanted.’

The Future
2010 will kick off what looks to be a huge year for the band. With a turn-of-the-year tour of the UK already booked and a third release with tour partners Maycomb in the works, they’ll have their hands full and fans satisfied.


Lords of Metal (Holland)

Sometimes you’ve got these days you simply want te lay back and listen to a record that makes you nod your head, without needing you to think too much about its message or musical content. Listening to math metal or other complicated genres on a daily bases might simply drive you insane. Thank God there are still upcoming acts like Kyoto Drive. These are some young guys that play poppy punk without any deeper messages, and they do that very well!
‘This Is All We Ever Wanted’ is the first release of this English quartet and it’s an easy digestible release with catchy tracks and a punk oriented foundation. One might say this is barely original, but it also makes this record an interesting piece. A track like ‘Notes From Look Out Point’ is a good example of that, because it’s a great sing-along-song with a great drive. In this case the hit potential mixes great with the punky character. Actually, the complete record could be described in that way. Fans of the more progressive punk and hardcore styles will probably not dig Kyoto Drive, but for those that like mellow punk and rock this release is worth listening. ‘This Is All We Ever Wanted’ is easy digestible and a fun experience.
Kyoto Drive has produced a great punk record and the title ‘This Is All We Ever Wanted’ seems to refer to the musical ideas of the band: Why making this difficult if you can do it the easy way? And I guess there’s nothing wrong with that idea, because this record is a great ride and could be described as a mellow counterpart of the Jimmy Eat World songs. -Horst


Room Thirteen

Formed from the ashes of two Birmingham hardcore rock bands, Kyoto Drive came together as a new outlet for the remaining members to pursue their love of music. The resulting four-track Ep �Spotlights & Stars� gave them the opportunity to get their music heard.

Following on from Ep is the bands debut ten track full-length album titled �This Is All We Ever Wanted�. Overall it is a combination of old fashioned pop punk and new wave progressive pop. The record opens in true pop punk fashion with �Transitions� and from this moment forth, the guitars pound with riffs. The follow up, �I�d Give It All� is another demonstration of this and is incredibly melodious with a united bond between harmonies and music. This is the initial presence but it is something that remains constant throughout and is always welcomed. As �Make Up Doesn�t Cover Everything progresses, the harmonies are even more evident, as with ‘Make This Alright’ where chanting in key positions particularly pays off. This combined recipe of vocals makes the songs more variable and therefore much more significant to listen to.

The music is able to hold the pop punk focus close while on some occasions turning to something with a slightly darker tone. �It�s Not About Revenge, Don�t Make It Personal� gives off a little more anger through the darker use of guitar riffs and accompanying melodies. No matter how indulging the previous nine songs can be it is the final number that delivers the most impact. �Waiting� is an eight-minute long masterpiece, beginning with just simple vocals and an acoustic guitar. Although not as powerful as they have been, the vocals build with harmonies. Things change dramatically four minutes in when drums and guitars crash and although the pared down atmosphere remains it does so in a much livelier environment and remains the albums most moving tune that leaves its mark.

�This Is All We Ever Wanted� is the must own album of the minute! 11/13


The Biggest Letdown

Ramona is like earwax candy. I love it. The album MORNINGTON CRESCENT NOW OPEN is terrific. It’s like listening to a hidden album made from a mixture of Weezer, the Replacements, Nerf Herder and Tom Petty. There’s drums, guitars, synthesizers, singing, and a whole bunch of rock ‘n roll! Trust me, you’ll like this stuff!

I knew when I first put this CD into my stereo that I was in for a treat. I warm, fuzzy, almost illegal treat. And, I was right. These guys (and girl) know how to rock. I’m not surprised if you’re saying to yourself that you haven’t heard of Ramona. But, you need to. You need to know a lot more about them. You need to be one of those people who says: OH, RAMONA? YEAH, I KNOW OF THEM. I HAVE THEIR ALBUM. IT’S PRETTY GOOD. I WAS INTO THEM BEFORE THEY WERE BIG.

Some great songs that you can’t miss out on are KIDS IN TOKYO, ANOTHER MOUTH TO FEED, A WAY OVER, and HANGING ON THE WORDS. These songs are superb!


Waller Not Weller

Along with Canterbury, Kyoto Drive are one of the better groups involved in England’s flourishing underground pop punk scene. What may separate Kyoto from the pack though is their nose for unpredictability and adventure. Ballad Waiting slips into gentle electronica and transforms what may have been one of the weaker moments on the album to perhaps the greatest. Elsewhere there are chant friendly, hook ridden choruses to be found on Are You Taking Me Apart Just To See How My Insides Work and the essential Fighting Talk. Here vocalist Adam Binder lays down enough emotion to bring the likes of Jim Adkins to his knees. This is a really solid debut.


Sometimes they act with pep, other times melancholy and sweet melodies set the tone. Even though Kyoto Drive come from the United Kingdom, their music, which reminded me of Blink 182 and Jimmy Eat World, seems to be made for the American market.


Die Shellsuit Die

It�s over a year since I reviewed Kyoto Drive�s EP and in that time the Birmingham boys have been working on their debut full length This is All We Ever Wanted. I gave their EP some high praise so expectations were high when I sat down to listen to their new album.

What is clear early on in the album is the maturity that the band has gained since their Spotlights and Stars EP, though this doesn�t immediately translate to creating great songs. The album starts in a relatively underwhelming fashion, with the second track I�d Give It All sounding too much like a poor man�s Yellowcard song to have much lasting appeal. It takes a re-recording (and renaming) of a track of their EP to spark the album to life. Make Up Doesn�t Cover Everything is a proper pop-rock song and it deserves its place on the album. Perhaps its most important facet though is that it seems to kick the album into the next gear. The next three songs are as good as any you will hear on a UK rock album this year.

Are You Taking Me Apart To See Me Insides? starts the �trifecta of joy� (TM) with an anthemic sing-a-long treat, the type of which could become Kyoto Drive�s calling card. The song then seamlessly segues into It�s Not About Revenge, Don�t Make It Personal, showing that Kyoto Drive can turn the distortion up a bit more if they want to. Here the similarities between Kyoto Drive and The Early November and Spitalfield come to the fore, but by the time you have noticed that they switch their style again with the Moneen-esque Make This Alright.

However, the frustrating thing about this album is the low quality of the production. The guitars get blended together and the drums sound like they were recorded about 30 years ago. Someone needs to give these boys a chance to record with a decent engineer and when I think what someone like Mark Trombino or Mike Sapone could do with this band; it only serves to highlight just how talented I think this band is, and how big they could be.

But we have to live in the present and for now Kyoto Drive have to be content with putting out a fantastic album, which I�m sure will be pretty easy for them to do. I told people to watch out for Kyoto Drive over a year ago, now I think it will only be a matter of time before they take the next step and start getting the recognition that they, and this album deserves.


Audiodrome (IT)

Already popular after the Spotlights and Stars EP, Kyoto Drive return with a full album that firmly restates the direction of the Birmingham band (Jimmy Eat World and Get Up Kids style) and their ability to write weighty contempory pieces.
They also have a strong vein of pop that impregnates their entire songwriting. Kyoto Drive are distinguished from the many bands in this style by their ability to bring in the dose of punk energy that is required in these compositions. Obviously, it is sailing in distant waters from the intial hardcore and nihilism of the pure and hard punk sound, since the band far prefers to use emotional colours (and vanished inks), but it is still distant from plastic television garbage too.
This Is All We Ever Wanted has the enviable ability to stop itself from too poppy a slide and to remain within the borders of alternative decency. It plays on the edge but succeeds not to lose its precarious balance. That Kyoto Drive sound heads straight for the heart of all who know and appreciate the pop side of things alternative. It plays, it works, and it leaves a smile on the lips, and that seems a more than fair result.


Dosenmusik (DE)

The best style for college radio stations, hooks, hooks and more hooks… Reminds us of New Found Glory, Taking back Sunday and Jimmy Eat World


Rock Midgets

Kyoto Drive’s This Is All We Ever Wanted is an intriguing proposition, if only for a few minute flashes of brilliance. For the most part, the Birmingham-based pop-rock quartet peddle Jimmy Eat World/New Found Glory-esque melodies to the hilt on their debut full-length, but it’s other moments such as the excellent ‘Waiting’ that really showcase what this band are all about. A genteel acoustic ballad for the best part, the 8-minute plus brute sways gorgeously before exploding into a wonderful mix of soaring vocals and delicate electronic touches.

Elsewhere, it’s a record that generally fails to ignite the juices, with the band sounding much like a somewhat understated You Me At Six on the likes of ‘I’d Give It All’ and ‘It’s Not About Revenge, Don’t Make It Personal’. It’s a shame, as only on opener ‘Transitions’ does it sound as if the band aren’t phoning it in, and coupling that with the aforementioned closer makes it evidently clear that they’re capable of so much more. As it is, This Is All We Ever Wanted is one to largely file under the cookie-cutter folder, but if they can build on the obvious qualities of ‘Waiting’ and up the ante elsewhere, then there’s undoubted scope for the band to improve come time for their next release.


Rock Freaks

Get on this bandwagon before they make a (ed note: NEW FOUND GLORY ALBUM) “Catalyst” and it starts getting crowded!


Army of Freshmen

Enough pop punk in it to make it fun but just that touch of emo seriousness the kids like!” – CHRIS JAY



Chock full of the kind of loud hyperactive buzzsaw pop/rock that teenagers love!



I’d much rather listen to a band that’s passionate and can play, like Kyoto Drive, than most of the soulless rubbish that’s doing the rounds today and it’s therefore easy to see (and hear) why Engineer and Pacific Ridge have picked these guys up!” 3.5/5 – Paul


Alter The Press

Kyoto Drive now have the songs and talent to progress in their career and make a name for themselves.” 4/5 – Sean



10 Brilliant, Uplifting songs that are sure to go down a storm live. If we liked a flutter, We’d put a fiver on seeing their name around alot more this year!” K!K!K!K!


The Biggest Letdown

UK based punk/rock band KYOTO DRIVE is back with a full length album called ALL WE EVER WANTED. Damn, I’m excited about this album. Good stuff. It’s the kind of music that you damn kids out there are listening to these days. All songs are very uppy and rockin’. This is actually one of the better albums that have come out in recent months.

For those of you living in the United Kingdom, this is definitely a band you should see live. I get the feeling from the music that is in front of me that their live show is completely crazy. If you’re a fan of Owl City, Jimmy Eats World, The Snake The Cross The Crown, Saves the Day, and/or The Get up Kids, then this is an album that you NEED. Seriously, go out and buy it.

All the tracks are very catchy and worth mentioning, but the big ones that stick out in my head are I’D GIVE IT ALL, MAKEUP DOESN’T COVER EVERYTHING, IT’S NOT ABOUT REVENGE DON’T MAKE IT PERSONAL, and FIGHTING TALK. It’s songs like this that make me think that there is a spark of creativeness left in this world.


Alter The Press

First of all I want to start off this review, by apologising to the band for taking so long to write this review. ‘This Is All We Ever Wanted’ was recorded last summer, sent to me in October and left on my desk till December, which is unfortunate because this Birmingham pop-punk 4 piece have came on leaps and bounds since their ‘Spotlights and Stars’ EP.

From the start ‘This Is All We Ever Wanted’ sounds more confident and broader, as ‘Transitions’ is upbeat and fierce and leads nicely into ‘I’d Give It All’, a song which was first heard on our Autumn/Winter 2009 compilation a few months back and has good blend of light-heavy guitars and strong vocal melodies from Adam Binder, along with occasional ‘woah-oh-oh’.

Throughout the bands feel-good factor is consistent and nearly flawless, although at times not fully original. However the band have used the pop-punk/pop-rock to the best of their ability, as they show they can write a good hook (see ‘Make Up Dosen’t Cover Everything’).

Whilst ‘It’s Not About Revenge, Don’t Make It Personal’ hints at a more heavier sound, with thrashing guitars subtly hidden underneath Binder’s adrenaline-filled vocals. Closing track ‘Waiting’ is an 8-minute wonder, with a slow, passionate acoustic number leading into a somewhat predictable yet strong full band performance, with a chorus that is crying out to be sung along too, before ending to an section filled with electronic beats and vocal loops, which is all too similar to that of Jimmy Eat World’s ‘Goodbye Sky Harbour’.

‘This Is All We Ever Wanted’ is definitely a step forward in the right direction, and shouldn’t be written off as another UK pop-punk record, as Kyoto Drive now have the songs and talent to progress in their career and make a name for themselves. – Alter The Press  9/10



The band’s label describes Kyoto Drive as like Owl City, which leads me to think whether or not I’ve actually picked up the right CD. For the record, Owl City and Kyoto Drive could not be further apart in sound. The Midlanders released an EP/demo a year or so ago which had that 2002 Drive Thru feel and it suggested decent things lay ahead. This album, the band’s first, proves the talent is there and showcases a band that know how to write good songs. It’s sometimes a little aimless and maybe one or two songs too long, but overall this is a good, solid listen.

If you were looking for a more accurate comparison I’d suggest ‘Clarity’-era Jimmy Eat World – lots of subtle guitar work, driving riffs and soaring vocals. Catchy but not overly so. Obviously this isn’t as good as ‘Clarity’, but then you can probably count on one hand the number of albums ever written that are better than that one. Still, I’d much rather listen to a band that’s passionate and can play, like Kyoto Drive, than most of the soulless rubbish that’s doing the rounds today and it’s therefore easy to see (and hear) why Engineer and Pacific Ridge have picked these guys up.

I digress. ‘This Is All…’ not only shows promise, but delivers too. ‘It’s Not About Revenge, Don’t Make It Personal’ has a sweeping vocal hook that ends the song in fine fashion, even if it takes a little too long to get going. ‘I’d Give It All’ is a strong track, while I love the energy of opener ‘Transitions’. It’s a sound I hope the band will continue with in the future; the urgency and aggression works really well and make for an eyecatching start. On the minus side, some of the songs have musical intros which are too long and as someone with a short attention span I’m a fan of bands that hook me in after three seconds. I don’t like waiting 20 seconds for the vocals to kick in. One or two tracks could have been cut, but that’s about as far as my criticism goes. This is a good release and the boys can be proud of finding their own sound and sounding comfortable and natural at the same time. – Punktastic – 7/10


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