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Initially formed as a quartet at a military academy, Acidman tinkered in obscurity for a couple of years before a personnel change or two and finally a debut single in 2001 with "Sekitou," which moved up the Japanese indie charts quickly, garnering the band some interest and eventually a major-label contract with EMI. Refining their sound somewhat, they combined some existing singles with new material for 2002's full-length Sou, which debuted in the Top Ten on the mainstream charts. With newfound attention and fans, the band turned out Loop the next year before taking a small hiatus to rework their sound in a catchier direction. With Equal, Acidman completed their change of sound and fit into a light, melodic format even more accessible to Japan's pop-hungry crowds than their previous works had been. The group continued building fans and sales with 2005's And World and 2007's Green Chord, also continuing to grow musically -- bringing the guitar to the front in many cases and writing songs collaboratively. The group maintained its momentum with high chart positions for 2008's Life. While their sound has some slight elements of punk (and indeed they are often classified as such), the punk influence only goes as far as the exploratory aspects of groups such as the Police and the Clash. Acidman's guitar angle is generally light and melodic, the music driven heavily by the bass. Only the occasional slamming of the drum kit hints at a punk background. The rest has always been pure melodic pop. ~ Adam Greenberg