I got a few new CDs recently and reviews were in order! :3
First up, Pay money To my Pain - Breakfast[FEELS AHOY!]
The song just opens with an explosion and a scream and the vocals tear into you right away. The drums are INSANE, any metalhead would be proud of Zax for his attack on this song. As it goes it mellows out a little and becomes more emotional. I loved this song when the video came out, and I still love it.
Innocent in a silent room
This song, for me, starts out a little simple and feels like it might be a mid-tempo filler track until the second verse where the song seems to really kick into gear and grab you. It's so hard not to cry when listening to K's voice. His lyrics just touch my heart so much. And he soars vocally over the song and a lot of nice background tracks that keep the atmosphere more hopeful than somber, but it rides the bridge between the two. In almost every way the music backs up the lyrics sentiment of being in pain, but being optimistic that things will get better by starting a little dull and getting brighter and more intense as the song courses on. By the end of the song, I don't want it to be over. Honestly, I didn't want to listen to this song, because I always wanted there to be one "new" PTP song for me to look forward to with K. But I found myself pressing play before I even realized what I was doing. And then it was too late and I was hit right in the feels.
I'm not gonna do a song by song review of the rest of this disc because it's a best of and people are probably familiar with most of the songs. But I was a little sad some of my faves like Price to pay, Train, Reflection, and Deprogrammer were not on the disc, but they have so many amazing songs... it'd be ridiculous thinking all my faves would make it on there.
Her Name In Blood - Confusion
This is an older release from 2009, I think. I bought it because it was part of a sale package and I was buying their latest EP (review will be below this one) so figured I'd include it. ^^[MOSHING BY MYSELF]
I really like the guitar riff in this song, it's almost happy, which I wasn't expecting for a song called Confusion. MAYBE THAT'S WHY IT'S CONFUSING. hurdurr. XD Okay, no more bad jokes. I promise. But the guitar riff also helps it feel a little bit more modern than some of their other songs (aka the Decadence album) that seem to have more thrash metal influence to them. This song also has my favorite part of HNIB songs, crazy ass breakdowns. Low and slow, just how I like them. *O*♥ And the song is almost 5 minutes long so it really gets to take you on a rollercoaster of highs and lows and has a lot of dimension.
a clown drawns his self-portrait
They called this an "EP" but really it only has 2 songs. *side eyes* But it was also only ￥500 so I shouldn't complain too much. lol. Anyway, this song is much more what I would consider "classic" HNIB sound, lots of thrash influence with hardcore breaks. I think the gang vocals give the song it's personality. It gets a little monotonous in parts, imo, but still enjoyable to me if you wanna mosh around. It's much better with moshing. lol.
Her Name In Blood - THE BEAST EP[MY BBS ALL GROWED UP]
They come out swinging in the opening song. what I LOVE LOVE LOVE about this song is you FINALLY hear some actual singing in the background vocals. Now, HNIB are not a band that really -need- it, but when I heard it I felt like THIS will be what gives them a distinguished sound from other bands they play with that also do the metalcore-ish thing
(me and music genre labels. lmfao. I am horrible). They are coming into a sound that can be purely their own, and something that will make it known that you are listening to a HNIB song right away. I hope this stays with them. Seriously. It's a solid song, but but background vocals really are the most memorable part for me, aside from the tempo making me want to break everything in sight.
THE PIERCING EYES
I feel like this picks right up from the last song and kicks the intensity up one notch higher. I do like the guitar riffs better and find them to be a bit more, I dunno... I want to jump up and down and fist pump and spill beer everywhere. The sound in this song might also have more of a "western" edge to it and maybe that might be why I gravitate to it in some ways. It's got that familiar "chug chug chug" to it. But in a good way. And for once, I can CLEARLY hear bass lines with nothing else running over it. Which makes me happy because I have many feels for their dorky hipster bass player. ;~;
I really appreciate the bounce to this song, the drums really carry it for me for a while. But I feel like the song takes a little while to really connect to me. Its like we got a good driving beat, but a bit.. idk restrained? for the rest of them until right before the guitar solo and bass break (MOAR BASS YES). And then BAM I want to get in my car and just drive at excessive speeds to this song and chant along with Ikepy "YOUUUUUUU GOTTA GET IT AAAAAALLLLLLLLLL!!!"
CUT INTO PIECES
Hnnngggg Umebo's drums in this song fskdhfkdshfdskfhsdlfhdslfds!!! It's kind of back to another older HNIB feel, but it's so angry and intense that I have no complaints. OMG. It's fucking pure sickness. I can't. THE FUCKING BREAKDOWN. *melts* And I really like the lyrics to this one. Sometimes Ikepy is a little... err vague in his lyrics, but this one I get. I can relate.
"Why do you play double//Why do we have to coexist//Why do I have to compete with you//Why do I have to walk the same path as you//Why? Why am I asking why"
DANCING WITH THE GHOST
And the whole EP comes to an apex for me with this song. It has more fucking amazing backing vocals that I loved from UNSHAKEN FIRE and the song just feels so much more well rounded than a lot of the others. Again, this song also has a lot of start-stop-chug to it which we also know I like. Even tho this song is probably the farthest away from the band's core sound, I really hope they incorporate more and more of this sound. Because I can't get enough of it!!! This is definitely my highest recommended song to listen to on this EP for sure.
And after feeling so high, I get sad knowing this is the last song on the ep. I can see why they picked this one to do the video for, because this is the song that's gonna tear into a crowd right away and get them jumping. I think Ikepy's vocals fall a little flat for me in this, just because his patterns don't change much in the verses or choruses, at least until the beast scream at the end of the second verse. But then again, the song is just one of those that builds on itself, and this band has a way of grasping me again by the end of the song. And the video has a lot of good unintentional lols when Ikepy is being "interrogated". XD
This band blew me away in little live clips of them opening RTOC in 2008 in Tokyo and I am so proud of how much they've grown. They also do a fun Lady GaGa cover. X3
And finally we have, ONE OK ROCK - 人生 x 僕= (JINSEI KAKETE BOKU WA)!![ANGRY TAKA IS ANGRY (AND EMO)]Introduction ～Where idiot should go～
A nice orchestral/sound effect-y intro for the album. It kinda feels like a movie soundtrack. But doesn't honestly give me much of a feeling of what is about to come. But it's pretty?
I'm not gonna lie, the first thing I thought when I heard this was "did Taka just say "fucking"???? O_O And yes, yes he does. I don't remember him blatantly cussing like that before. I mean, maybe a "くそ" or "kiss my ass", but an f-bomb? Anyway, the song doesn't honestly do a lot for me. I like the drums and the tempo, but it's a pretty comfortable arrangement for the band and nothing that will shock a OORer to hear.
I had a chuckle at the title of this one. XD And Taka is a little pissed off this album. Because first verse we have more cussing hahaha. This song has a faster tempo than the last one, and I like that it's a bit angstier, but again, it's classic OOR. I don't feel like they are pushing themselves with this. Then again, what they do works for them and I still enjoy it so, if it ain't broken? I guess?
I LOVE THIS SONG SO MUCH. This song feels a bit more big and open and dramatic than what I'm used to from them. I don't know if they wrote it for the movie or had and then used it after a song was needed but it has that nice epic feel that is good for movie soundtrack. When this was the first I heard from this album (as it was released as a single) I was kind of expecting more of this kind of big sound.
OOR have a great sense of what songs to release as singles, I feel. As a person that normally finds the "commercial" songs used as singles the least favorite of most albums. It's always opposite for this band. Clock Strikes picks up on that feeling I got from a lot of their last album. The guitar lines really hit me in the chest, especially in the latter half of the song when the vocals really drive that note home. Feels. FEELS EVERYWHERE.
Be the light
If the last song didn't hit you right in the feels, this ballad should. I was at the edge and it just pushed me off. I think it could have used a nice acoustic guitar personally to make it a little richer, but they were going big and it's really lovely-- sad, but lovely. There are parts that sound like piano added in which I really love. It breaks up the mood in this album which was needed. This song also has not the first word in Japanese, either. Which I'm curious about because it sounds like it's about the disasters hitting Japan in recent years. But maybe it's bigger than that, too.
I was really digging the opening riff to this song, but it doesn't last long before I feel I'm back in familiar OOR song territory again. It really reminds me of their song "Nobody's Home" in parts. Which I'm not sure if I like when I hear a song and I start singing another song's lyrics and melody over it because it fits. It's not a bad song by any means, but it's another one in their safety zone. It was a single b-side and imo it should have stayed that way. >->;;;;
Again, fucking kick ass song opening, ONLY THIS TIME WE GET TO KEEP IT. This song jams and it will get you bouncing in your seat. There is some samples going on in the chorus transitions too which mix things up and feel fresh and exciting. And we finally get a little bit of a breakdown and Taka losing his shit screaming full on and YES. I am LIVING for it! A+ track!
Now we get a piano driven ballad and ALL MY FEELS again. The main thing this song focuses on is the vocal melody, it's simple and beautiful and yes.. sad again. Taka needs a good cuddling. ;n; Poor precious bb. Also the album has been in solely English since "Be the light" at this point, which is still weird to me but I love that he's feeling that confident in his English to even do that.
And I'm crying again because of the rumors that this song is about K and ughhhhhhh. TAT Either way, it's about a loved one passing on and gut wrenching. It's not quite a ballad, but sways back and forth and has a breezy feel to it. One thing I love about OOR, and especially Taka (since he writes so much of their material these days), is that I feel like we really hear them growing up and learning life lessons in the lyrics. They always seem very heart-felt and genuine.
This song brings back some fun (especially paired with the pv), it's got some funk to it and the vocal melody is kinda unique. I really like it and it sounds like it'd slay everything live. It kind of has a retro vibe to it but still really modern at the same time. Hard to explain, but I like it!
All I'm gonna say is from what I -can read- in the lyrics he says "please you, please me, that's the 69" (The mucker in me is way happier than I should be about that). *cough* I'll be needing a translation for this one because... reasons. Musically its interesting mostly because Taka is talking half of the song and the band is kinda taking a back seat until the chorus.
the same as...
Sadly when this song started I felt like I'd legit heard it before. Not sure if its "Lets take it someday" that I'm thinking of?? maybe. It's a good song but it kind of becomes background music for me when it delves into such familiar territory. Then again, when you have 1 person writing the bulk of the music, that tends to happen. And I while I love the sentiment of this song, I don't think it was strong enough to end the album. If they wanted a somber tone "Smiling Down" probably would have a been a better choice, imo.
Over all I still REALLY enjoyed this album, I just think maybe either Taka needs to let the other guys write a bit more, or really take some chances and try new things musically. The Beginning, Juvenile, and Deeper Deeper are a step in the right direction.
I also bought an old Mucc 日本列島混沌平成心ノ中 DVD from 2003. Which I'm not gonna review but you can have some 茫然自失 from it! XD