Tag Archives: Galactic Rock

XodiacK’s New Members and New Look

Praise the high heavens, I haven’t destroyed Visual Kei after all!

Swamp.. Monsters? Maybe??

I hope they can impress just as much as they did with “Shinrabansho -Setsuri-”

~Alisa~

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Filed under Japanese Rock, Sakurayume's Collection, Special Articles

“Nicola” – Vanilla Beans

Halloooooo, Shibuya Kei!

First, a shameless plug for one of my favorite Youtube channels! Aleceil posts all kinds of easy listening music that is so incredibly hard to find. I very much appreciate this person’s contribution to making my ears happy. Please check out the channel. Its excellent.

Shibuya-Kei, Picopop, Bossa Nova, and the like are complicated genres because not many people listen to or enjoy them. These styles of music and the images of the people who perform in them remind me of the kind of pop that the 1960s had, only with a modern spin. Vanilla Beans is what is called a “post-Shibuya-Kei” duo. Much like I said with Xodiack’s claim of being a “galactic rock” band, I have no idea what this means, but its good listening. Review time!

Track 1: Nicola- Listen to the track here at Aleceil’s channel!

Like with traditional easy listening music, “Nicola” has soft instruments and equally soft voices. The girls have a great amount of harmony when their voices blend and its so pleasing on the ears. The thing I could best compare this song to is a spring breeze. Its beautiful and light and has a little bit of a pleasant chill to it. Please listen to this song and let me know what it reminds you of!

Track 2: Nostalgy- Well. This is one long ballad. The beginning sounds like a song a kid would sing in their Bible School class. It has some very nice strings in it which are slower and a nice compliment to the lighthearted strings in “Nicola”, but the girls sound awkward and forced. They really do sound like those kids at Bible School who are tone deaf and really don’t want to sing in the first place. I know I’m running wild with this Bible School analogy but that’s just how I felt.

In Conclusion: “Nicola” is the perfect song for this time of year when the flowers are starting to poke up out of the ground and the entire world is regaining life. “Nostalgy” makes me want to hide under the covers and sleep. Perhaps the groundhog listened to “Nostalgy” before he went outside and saw his shadow. Yes, that’s it. We can blame “Nostalgy” for causing six more weeks of Winter, as this makes perfect sense.

All sarcasm aside, you should give “Nicola” a listen, as well as some of the the songs by this group, particularly “U Love Me” and “Shopping Kirari.” Enjoy!

~Alisa~

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Filed under Japanese Pop, Sakurayume's Collection

“Owari no Hajimari” – XodiacK

Single Cover

This is Galactic Rock, apparently. Sure, it looks like your average run-of-the-mill visual kei band but trust me. They're worth listening to.

Okaaaaay… This is my first review so hopefully this goes okay. (nervous)

XodiacK is a relatively new band. At first glance, anybody would peg them as a  standard visual kei band, but this group calls themselves “galactic rock.” What this means is beyond me, but I believe it translates into “awesome.” From what little information I have found on them I have seen that the goal of the band is to channel the spirit of the God Eros. (or “Cupid” to us average joes. How fitting, with Valentine’s Day around the corner!)  I guess this is why the vocalist uses the stage name Eros.

Track 1: Kuroi Taiyou – Oooooh, a song titled “Dark Moon!” You would expect this to be something hard and angst-filled.  You get the angst part, but the hardness just isn’t there. I don’t know why but I feel like this is the weakest track on the single. I just don’t feel it. I think my problem with this song is Eros’ growling vocals. I’m not going to sugarcoat this one bit. This man does not sound threatening by any means. His voice during the supposedly menacing portions of the song sounds to me like Scooby Doo got choked on a chicken bone. The vocals are great when there is actual singing but then it quickly moves into a masochistic squeal which disturbed me quite a bit on the first listen. The vocals are just all over the place, but the instrumentals are nice. Nothing spectacular, but there’s a touch of piano adding some class to the song. Not the best single opener, guys.

Track 2: Kimi ni Furu Zetsubou no Ame- Just allow me to say one small thing before I review this song:

HOLY CRAAAAAAAAAAAAP!!!!!!!!

I explained to my fiance last night while listening to this song that when I am looking for a good rock song that I want something that makes me feel like I could beat the ever-loving crap out of someone and look good doing it. This song fits the bill. The track begins with some hard guitar and nice use of the drums. Then, Eros begins to sing and we are treated to a pulse-pounding beat on the drums, an astounding bass line, and some other guitar that almost reminds me of Gackt-era Malice Mizer. The chorus takes flight as Eros flawlessly transitions from a hatefully low voice to a soaring falsetto. I would compare his vocal style to that of the legendary Asagi from D. This track never slows down or loses its thunder. You will be clenching your fist from the sheer intensity of this song for the full three minutes and fifty four seconds. This is the most refreshing J-rock song I’ve heard for about a year, and it is highly recommended. However, I have one bit of advice: DO NOT WATCH THE PV! As perfect as this song is, the music video is laughably bad. Just don’t watch it. I don’t want anyone’s experience with this song to be tainted by something as minute as a bad video.

Random photo of frightening XodiacK guitarist Agito! I am terrified of this dude.

Track 3: Kimi no Koe- After the awesomeness of the previous track, you can imagine my disappointment when I saw that there was only one song left on this single. It opens up with some very old-style guitar. I’m thinking of good ‘ol Luna Sea or X Japan when I hear it. I think that the main draw to this song is that it showcases Eros’ vocal quality and range. There’s a beautiful wolf-like howl around the middle of the song, and actually believable screaming. Eros is a great screamer, but he needs to never growl again. Ever.

In conclusion: I’ve seen a handful of bloggers out there saying that XodiacK is the band to watch in 2010, and I am happy to jump on that bandwagon. I am pretty sure that “Kimi ni Furu Zetsubou no Ame” will be their signature song and I doubt they’ll ever top it, but I am curious to see what kinds of experiments they pull off with their “galactic rock.” Hopefully they will not disappoint.

~Alisa~

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Filed under Japanese Rock, Sakurayume's Collection