Edgy and sweet

OK — let’s get the comparrison blurb out of the way.

Nananine is the coin’s flipside to soulsberry.

There. Said it. Now let’s prove it.

Both bands traffic in a beefy, power chord-driven sound akin to Fountains of Wayne or a more polished Weezer, but Nananine edges precariously to the overused “emo” tag.

First off, singer Kawaseki Hiroshi has a less trained, more nasal voice than soulsberry’s Ishizaki Tomohiro. While Kawaseki’s voice may not have Ishizaki’s immediate appeal, Kawaseki definitely puts in a more emotional performance.

Check out Kawaseki’s workout on “Chasing Becky”. He practically makes his voice hoarse bellowing over Ono Kentaro’s energetic guitar work.

Nananine’s songs are also much brighter than soulsberry’s.

There’s no mistaking the exuberence of “Courtney” or “Orange” on Nananine’s first mini-album, Schnaff-rhythm for anything else.

soulsberry, on the other hand, might darken the edges a bit.

Although these differences seem subtle on paper — or rather, pixels — it becomes glaringly apparent in execution.

True, Nananine and soulsberry are aesthetic soulmates — right down to album covers — but scratch beneath the surface, and Nananine’s unpolished performance comes across as edgy and sweet.

Unfortunately, Nananine hasn’t quite graduated to the kind of studio budget that put viscera into soulsberry’s The End of Vacation.

If Nananine could hook up with a producer that could capture the essence of its live performance, the Fukuoka City quartet would definitely yield the album it has in them.

The Brilliant Green had better watch out — soulsberry and Nananine definitely have all the elements to snatch Kawase and co.’s alt-pop crown.