Posts Tagged ‘Osaka Base’

A&D-Revolution Music

A&DWhile I was studying in Kobe for a year, I blindly bought a ticket to a visual kei concert that was showing approximately 7 bands. The ticket was cheap, about 2,500 yen including the drink fee, and it was on a day when I had no class and could hang out in Shinsaibashi beforehand. I wasn’t expecting anything thrilling, just a nice night listening to music to try and find a new band to follow.

That night I saw A&D, Deluhi, Aicle., xTriPx and Velgreed. To this day I follow them all, and despite their vastly different styles, they bring quite a lot to the visual kei table. A&D, however, stood out more to me than the rest. Ska-inspired visual kei music? What?

That is exactly what they are. Their songs have this playful sense to them and melodies that remind me a great deal of the repetitive nature of ska. But it is the layout of their mini-albums and singles that fascinates me. Namely in that, interspersed with the ska-like happy-go-lucky tunes, there are some serious metal rifts going on. When I first saw A&D, they had just released their first mini-album, Aquarium, and the show was about one month after their formation. In other words, they were incredibly new. And yet their music had a confidence to it that most other bands strive to achieve for the duration of their careers.

Aquarium consists of six songs. No->Eternity opens with a gorgeous piano tune before breaking into melodic guitar rifts and vocals. Though the music itself is relatively slow, the vocals are upbeat. Title track Aquarium follows, and is much slower than the opener. It, for some reason, reminds me of the relaxing bubbles of an aquarium, making it an aptly-titled piece. The third track, Revolution Music, was the song they opened with the day I saw them. It’s the reason I am hooked on them. The bass line is stereotypical ska, but the whole thing is interspersed with catchy rock rifts and vocalizations. To this day, it is my favorite song by them. Go To My Way Go should be the background music to a road-trip scene. It’s light, upbeat, and again hold true to the undertones of ska while just being a fun jam piece. Breaker, a dramatic departure from the other songs on the mini-album, shows the band’s musical prowess and grasp of other genres, fully evidenced later on their follow-up single, Quill. There are strong elements of metal in Breaker, and is more of a mosh piece than the rest of the mini-album. Nanairo Sky rounds out the mini-album, with an upbeat tune much like Revolution Music. It’s a fan favorite, and keeps true to the overall theme of the album.

This is an excellent album, not just in the visual kei genre but in regards to music in general. They put on amazing live performances, and actually promote selling higher-quality merchandise in an effort to give back to the fans as much as the fans give them (just ask the manager and Yuki, the leader of A&D!). A&D adds a lot to the visual kei scene, and I recommend them to all my friends, whether said friends participate in the scene or not. Everyone has loved them so far, so I believe that means they are more than worthy of a chance.

Their website is: http://www.air-dignity.com/ and the members are Shizeru (v), Yuki (g), Saki (g) and Kage (b). This particular album might already be sold out on online stores, but I hope they will appear on a download website sometime in the future. Or you can look on ebay or yahoo auctions. Sorry I can’t be much help in this regard to fans outside of Japan. For those in Japan, there are definitely copies floating around, especially in used shops. They are also embarking on a one-man tour this summer, so people in Japan: GO SEE THEM!

Yes, he says OH MY GOD. And Youtube killed this video, but it’s a great example of their high-energy lives and the sound is excellent. If you can’t stand the video, here’s the recording:

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