Tag Archives: Japanese Rock

“The Farthest” – Deluhi

First off, let me thank Toshi San from Visual Kei Heaven for inviting me to do a guest post. It’s an honor, and I hope to do your brilliant site justice.

I’ve listened to Deluhi since Hybrid Truth, arguably their best song ever. Lately, I’ve felt their music has taken a turn towards the dissonant and downright nonsensical. I think they are trying to be a breakout VK act, which is great, but at what cost? I think this band is in a creative overload right now and their music isn’t making much sense because of it.

It’s difficult to gauge which direction The Farthest is trying to sway towards. Over the six minutes, eight seconds the song lasts, the song takes about a thousand different twists and turns. It starts as a rock-opera ballad sort of thing, flirts with the speed metal sound and machine gun-like drums that initially drew me to the band, and the chorus is like some kind of creepy waltz from heck. I’m sorry guys, but I have no clue what is going on here. The vocals are okay and the band itself sounds confused. Not a good thing, fellas.

In Conclusion: It’s great that Deluhi is trying to create a name and image for themselves, especially since so many VK acts fall into the mundane and predictable category. Still, this song is a crazy mess with no clear direction. Listen to Hybrid Truth instead. I can guarantee that you won’t walk away from that song with a migraine from trying to discern exactly what the song was about. I’m not trying to be harsh, but this single (if you’d call only one track that) fell beyond flat for me. It’s like this song fell off a hundred story building, then got steamrolled.

~Alisa~

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“Holidays In The Sun” – YUI

She looks so pretty! We've got a serious font-strosity going on, but its beyond forgivable.

Track Listing:
1. to Mother
2. again
3. Parade
4. es.car
5. Shake My Heart
6. GLORIA
7. I do it
8. Please Stay With Me
9. SUMMER SONG
10. Cinnamon
11. Driving Happy Life
12. It’s all too much
13. Kiss me

I loved the placement of To Mother. Such a gentle song.

Again is still just as good as always.

Despite being short, Parade is a bright and happy song. Perfect for this time of year. I’ve never heard her do anything as light as this cute little song.

I don’t understand es.car at all. It makes me think of MegaMan for no reason. I liked the melody but I just wasn’t feeling anything in YUI’s voice. I will give this one a few listens because its not bad at all. I just don’t feel any energy in her delivery.

Shake My Heart is an interesting, gospel-sounding piece. I haven’t heard YUI tackle something this soulful before. (I like that this album has so much experimentation, by the way) Her voice is so full of air and… well, soul! The people singing along with her on the chorus all sound happy so I feel good listening to this! The horns are also a nice touch.

GLORIA sounds so good coming right after Shake My Heart.

I was excited from the start when I heard YUI would be doing her own version of I Do It, originally written by her for Stereopony. Its like she rips Stereopony’s rendition apart saying “this is how it was meant to be done!” The arrangement of this song rocks, to say the least. The guitar and drums sound epic and YUI sings it with such power that you begin to feel a little afraid of her greatness. Wonderful.

Please Stay With Me is terribly sad, yet relaxing. I would play this long late on a summer night. You can feel the plaintive sadness in this song from the first few notes on. YUI has created an excellent song here because it literally breaks my heart. *sniffle*

Forgive me if this sounds bad or mean, but the fact that Summer Song is on this album reminds me of how long its been since YUI released an album! The fact that Summer Song is on an album that, in fact, came out in the summer and has a very strong summer theme is great though. It fits here perfectly.

Cinnamon, like Parade is very short. This song doesn’t cut corners, partly because it doesn’t have enough time to! I like that the song maintains a steady pace throughout. I feel energized!

From reading the title alone, I had pegged Driving Happy Life to be a total throwaway song. Sadly, it is. Its happy-go-lucky but it doesn’t have much else going for it. Its still nice on this album.

Its All Too Much is back! YUCK! Why didn’t she put Never Say Die instead? Seriously? I never liked Its All Too Much, and that’s something I’ve always felt sort of bad for.

Kiss Me is a wonderful way to round out the album. Its considerably more sultry than any other song on the album and makes you feel like you just listened to the greatest album in the history of the world.

In Conclusion: Without a doubt, this is YUI’s magnum opus, her best album to date. Every track, save for a couple, is pure gold. Dare I even say that ALL of these tracks can be considered a-side material? YUI has done things right by waiting so long to release a new album. She’s proven she’s still fresh. Brilliant brilliant brilliant. I have a feeling this album will be making up a major part of my summer soundtrack. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

~Alisa~

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“Kagerou” – SKULL

The parental advisory label intrigues me.

Okay, you guys. This is my 57th review. Because of a long-standing inside joke with my beloved fiance, (I know you guys are probably tired of me gushin’ over him, right?) 57 is my unlucky number. Thankfully, I can put my superstition to rest for once because of the single I’m reviewing today!

I’m like a Visual Kei amazoness, a hunter who seeks out good bands with a keen sense of smell…. and some basic Twitter skills. I noticed a new friend of mine, Toshi San, praising SKULL, a band I had yet to hear of over the course of several tweets. Naturally my well-honed instincts kicked right in.

They all look like regular j-rockers but they pack a punch, trust me.

Kagerou is a song with a thumping beat and some dark, almost evil guitars. I’ve said it before while yammering about VK. I like when a song makes me feel like I could beat the crap out of someone, looking sexy the entire time and never breaking a sweat. Yeah, this is the real world and I’m a pacifist by nature, but this song transports me into some new kind of persona which I both love and fear. The vocals are actually quite good too. My only complaint? The length. At three minutes, nineteen seconds, there’s not enough time to appreciate the greatness of the song! I usually like songs to be around four and a half minutes. That way they hold my attention and I can savor the song and enjoy it. Listen to Kagerou!

The second track, which I’ve seen as both Blue Fire and Blue Flame (which is correct?) is a little bit better of a melody than the first song and the length is just perfect. The guitar isn’t as intense, but I’m okay with it. There’s also some rapping (?) which worked better than you’d expect.

In Conclusion: Thank you thank you thank you Toshi San for introducing me to this band. I’ll check out their past and future releases for sure. A solid single that stood out to me. This isn’t the best VK I’ve heard, but its darn good which is enough.

~Alisa~

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“Precious” – ViViD

Isn't this cover.... "precious!?" *slaps knee* Ah, you just don't know humor like I do.

I’ll just start by being a jerk and saying the ViViD has never really been a band I have in heavy rotation. Usually their songs have been incredibly ordinary and honestly a little weak. Please don’t take it to heart, though.

Precious is another boring song that gets a little less boring on the second listen. The melody is basic and predictable but I can happily say that the vocals have improved. My problem with ViViD’s songs in part is that the vocalist takes too many “risks” while singing. He attempts notes that he can’t reach and the song suffers. He kept his voice in a comfortable zone this time around and while its obvious that he’s “playing it safe” so to speak, the song is smoother than previous works like Across the Border. Still, give the song a try because my opinion can always differ from yours. This song just had the same problem for me as giru’s “Color” in that every note was predictable, start to finish.

Things get a little jazzier with Bright Red Garden. Lots of trilled letter r’s which is something I like. I usually like jazzy VK songs like The Last Show (Nightmare) and Mad Tea Party (D) but this song sounds a little cheap with synths (I guess?) that remind me of playing WarioWare. Okay, maybe that was a bit harsh but that’s what I envisioned in this song. Wario riding a motorcycle.

Survive is typical ViViD. Really bad vocals and typical VK beat. Its… decent. Still the chanting in the song is laughable so I can’t take the song seriously.

悪女♂トリッキ- is the last track on the single and its dumb that they put the song that was closest to being enjoyable at the end. Regardless, the song is AGAIN basic VK with all the trimmings. Cool guitar solo at the instrumental break but.. meh.

In Conclusion: I just feel like this single was totally uninspired and that ViViD has nothing to distinguish themselves from other VK bands. They have no flavor of their own, no style of their own, and certainly no sound of their own. I’m not bashing this band and please forgive me if it seems that way but I think I’m too picky with VK. Try the single for yourself, because that’s about the best advice I could give you.

~Alisa~

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“Color” – Girugamesh

…but nothing will ever top my favorite Girugamesh song.

The cover is interesting because of its irony. There's not much color to be seen here. The band's pose is epic.

Finally, Girugamesh is back after their ingenious album NOW, released in December 2009. I thought the album was brilliant, at least. (Driving Time ❤ <3) COLOR is their latest single, which to me is a total step down from anything you could have found on NOW.

COLOR is an energetic track with some nice guitars chugging their way through the song. I’ll be honest. I tried and tried and tried again to like this song. I appreciate the energy and I think the emotion in performing the song is genuine, but the melody and instrumentation seem tired, like I’ve heard the same thing from other VK bands many times before. COLOR is a track I’ll keep in my iPod and listen to if it comes up on shuffle, but its not one that I would specifically seek out to listen to.

Sunrise starts with some tribal sounding drums and feels like its going to be a total mess before the guitars come in. Its a fascinating, summery track (because of those crazy drums!) and the call-and-response style yelling makes the track fun to listen to. Some might find the drums awkward, and I was skeptical of them during the first couple listens but somehow they work.

Rounding out the single is Flower which undoubtedly has the best melody of the bunch. The beat is really punk-ish but I liked it. Giru can always make interesting use of instruments which is one thing I’ve liked about them from day one. (I think this single is all about the drums) Flower is the most catchy song on the single and I swear I’ll be humming it later.

In Conclusion: Even though this single was a dud for me, I’m not holding anything against giru and you shouldn’t either. I can still feel they are making a conscious effort to please their fans and that’s good enough. They’ll never lose my support unless they just stop caring and it becomes evident in their music. But it hasn’t happened yet, so why worry about one single that missed the mark?

~Alisa~

P.S.- Happy Tanabata!

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XodiacK Ex-Guitarist to Release Single With New Band

Hizuki, the former guitarist of XodiacK

Hizuki, the ex-guitarist of XodiacK, will be releasing a currently untitled single with new band Orochimaru (Naruto reference, possibly? Let’s hope not.) on July 9th. I’m hoping its good because this guy could shred.

This is all fine and dandy, but when is the new XodiacK going to release? I miss Eros’ voice. 😦

Thanks to aramatheydidnt

~Alisa~

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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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