Posts Tagged ‘Review’

Stitch Doll: Now that I can ACTUALLY hear it!

ボーとして(zoning out)

So the latest single from Suicide Ali, Stitch Doll, came in the mail this past weekend. The single has two new songs and two versions of older songs.

Stitch Doll and Traitor are the newest songs, with Traitor being much more heavy on the screamo vocals.  Stitch Doll, as I said in my previous post, reminds me much more of Revandish Ring in that there is more singing-songy-melodic stuff going on.

What I really want to get to are the new version of Chainsaw and the remix of 誘拐ごっこ (Yuukai Gokko). This new version of Chainsaw is somewhat different from the original version most are familiar with (the following being the original version):

The new version is considerably clearer in regards to vocals and being able to hear individual instruments. Overall, I like it.

誘拐ごっこ has been remixed by DJ Manik (of HimemaniK, a group you should totally listen to if you dig female vocals and gothic-industrial music). The original version is much slower (I cannot find it on Youtube…) but the new one I can totally picture being played in clubs. It’s pretty upbeat, and DJ Manik has a way with mixing beats that just make you want to dance.

The CD is on sale on Darkest Labyrinth, and there is a regular version and a special package version that includes pictures, a comment DVD and autographs. You may have to email the company if you can’t find the latter listed on the shop page.

This is a clip of the DVD, by the way.

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Stitch Doll and some S.A.

Suicide Ali and I

So this past April at Tekkoshocon (the local anime convention), Tainted Reality brought Suicide Ali and Luzmelt to perform. To be honest, I could have cared less about Luzmelt, as they were too new and I didn’t have a good feel of their music. I was, however, ECSTATIC for the opportunity to see Suicide Ali. During my year in Kansai, I was unable to see them due to either schedule conflicts or just a general lack of shows to choose from. La Carmina managed to score some passes for my friend Shiori (who took all these wonderful pictures) and I, so off we went! Unfortunately, I was coming down with the flu during the week, so when the con-time came, I was dying. I did a ton of stupid things I shouldn’t have/didn’t want to (I left a voice recorder in the interview room, and Suicide Ali had to return it to me later, and also I was shaking people’s hands [I am a germ-a-phobe], so I had multiple mini panic attacks). But the performances did not disappoint in the least, and I am trying to get my butt to Tokyo for their one man (solo show) on Christmas. It was the first time I had seen them perform live since I found out about them back in 2006…sadness.

There will be a new single out the 23rd of June, Stitch Doll, and Tainted Reality had a preview on the broadcast. Now, here’s where I have to bitch a bit: It was INCREDIBLY hard to hear most things on that broadcast. I don’t tune in enough to know whether that’s a regular thing or just how it was that night, but my speakers were knocked up to 11. However, after making sure I was guaranteed an earache by pressing my ear onto the already-turned-up speaker, I really liked what I was hearing. It was much more in line with the song レバンディシュリング(Revandish Ring), which is probably one of my favorites of theirs (but 人間の要[Ningen no Kaname] is my all-time favorite, which was played an as encore THANK GOD). I immediately pre-ordered the Stitch Doll single from Darkest Labyrinth, and paired with the Variable Messiah (Goshi and Hiroshi’s old band) best-of album.

Goshi

Suicide Ali has been around for six years now, and Goshi and Hiroshi about ten. It just amazes me that not many people know about them when the music and vocals are extremely well done. I take that back, the first time I heard Suicide Ali induced a WTF expression on my face that caused my insane Venezuelan roommate to laugh at me. I wish I could remember what the song was, but I suppose I just got so used to their style that I blocked it all out…At any rate, I adore this band and will make every effort to see them in either Osaka or Tokyo, despite the fact I am stuck in Obihiro (with an airport 20-30 minutes away ;])

I recommend:

正しい魔法の作り方 (Tadashii Mahou no Tsukurikata) (single, includes 人間の要 new version. The video on youtube now is the older version of the song, fyi.)

受継がれた指輪 (don’t trust me on this, but Uketsugareta Yubiwa, I THINK) (mini-album, has the version of Ravendish Ring I like the most)

Youtube. Use youtube on this because it links you to so many other songs. CDBaby.com also allows you to preview before you buy, whereas Darkest Labyrinth sells only the CDs with no preview, but also sells signed pictures and posters.

Kozi

I love these pictures. More for the hell of it.

Hiroshi

Hisashi

My CDs shipped today! I can’t wait to get them ❤

What band should I review next? Any opinions?

Visual Kei Review: 愛狂います。ー サイコXレタア

The first Visual Kei band review I will do involves a very unique group from Nagoya.  

愛狂います。, read as Aicle., are self-described as “those apple-looking people”. Really. They said it at a concert in Takadanobaba Area in summer 2009. This could be because ルビ (Rubi, Guitar) has a fascination with attaching “large apples to his head”. Actually, he constantly has some form of apple paraphernalia on his body at any given point in time. This statement could also be from the fact that えみる (Emiru, Vocals) used to have half-red and half-green hair that was spiked up, thus emulating an apple. The other two members, 玲音 (れおん. Leon, Drums) and さらん (Saran, Bass), have less-apple-themed attire and hairstyles. However, that does not mean that the styling of this band focuses solely on the vocalist! Lately, the entire band has done a shift in styling, moving away from their former, more color-centric attire toward a style that can only be described as being bitch-slapped by a  rainbow. (By “color-centric,” I mean each member has one color that they focus on in their wardrobe) They are truly embracing kote-kei and making it their own. I have also heard them described as “Nagoya-kei”, however I am not entirely sure what this phrasing entails. It was also used to describe Lupo Label (now disbanded), yet the music and fashion styling of the bands do not really compare.

Their latest single, サイコXレタア (Psycho Letter),has えみる appearing to channel some SiSeN with his belly shirt, shorts, and color combinations. At any rate, the title of the song is a very accurate description, as the song is rather random and blends multiple styles together. What makes Aicle. great, though, is their ability to actually pull off these combinations. It has, in a sense, become their signature music style. Other Visual Kei bands often attempt to do this type of music style combination, but more often than not they fall on their face in the attempt. There is no other way to describe Aicle. but “unique,” both in the sense of their style, music, and interesing music style.

Here’s what’s going on musically in this single:

さらん may appear to be playing some boring bass lines, but before the bass solo (which is rather simple), he is often playing slap-style. His alternation with ルビ also makes for some interesting plays off one-another musically. Very interesting bass lines going on with this band, very interesting indeed….

玲音 is a soild drummer. Let’s be honest: a good drummer can hold any band afloat. There is a lot more programming in this song, but he holds a steady beat and throws in a few tricks every now and then.

ルビ has been holding down the fort as the main guitarist since the rhythm guitarist, ケイタ (Keita) left in early 2009 due to family issues. I’d say he’s been doing a brilliant job and he is all over the neck of that guitar. I adore the pedals and such that they use, it rounds their unique style out.

えみる. Either you love his vocals, or you hate them. I, personally, like how he can turn off the vibrato for certain parts and back on again for the chorus. His voice is rather high-pitched by male standards, but it works in his favor, adding another layer of unique musicality to the mix. The vocals are standard Aicle., so you have to listen to more songs to understand exactly what I mean by turning on and off the vibrato.

Aicle. is, to me, a true Visual Kei band. They experiment musically and also in the realm of fashion, and pull it off. They are experiencing a huge jump in popularity, selling out shows not only in their native Nagoya but in Tokyo and Osaka as well. If possible, I highly recommend seeing them live, as the fans are just as unique as the band. (They have a certain name, these fans, but I have forgotten it….It was a play on 狂い) There is also a lottery that the goods stand has, called a クラクジ (kurakuji). for about 200 yen, you pull out a lollipop that has a number on it. This number indicates you prize, which ranges from a button to an autographed poster to (this only happened once as far as I know) a meeting with the band for pictures. I won the autographed poster, an autographed photograph of 玲音 before he dyed his hair from blonde to the pink-red-orange, a few candid live photographs, and a hand towel (it’s a Japanese thing…). I also met them after a concert once, sans makeup. That was a bit horrifying, but it was cool just the same.

For those new to Aicle and wanting to hear more, I recommend the following songs, as they give a good overview of what this band can do (and they can all be found on youtube!):

心臓 (Shinzou)

トウメイニンゲン (Toumei Ningen)

ハマー*ヘッド (Hammerhead)

ゴメンナサイ (Gomen Nasai)

Choco Sand Biscuit Cream

That’s all for this review (wow, that was lengthy…) but I hope it was enjoyable! If you have any bands or singles that you want me to review, just post them in the comment section or shoot me an email!

Aicle. circa Hammerhead