Kurayami Monogatari

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NICO Touches the Walls – PASSENGER April 16, 2011

Filed under: NICO Touches the Walls — solarblade @ 7:25 am

Track Listing

  1. Rodeo
  2. Mousou Taiin A
  3. Diver
  4. Page 1
  5. Kimi Dake
  6. SURVIVE
  7. Yougisha
  8. Yuujou Sanka
  9. Matroska
  10. Sudden Death Game
  11. Passenger

1. Rodeo

I love the fact that the album starts with a howling wolf and rattlesnakes shaking their tail with this kind of western mood going….I mean galloping horses and ~YEEEEEEEEHAWWW!~ adds to it.  After that, the song begins and it continues to carry the cowboy-ish kind of mood even after Tatsuya enters the song.  He sounds gritty and oddly enough fits the atmosphere the song has so it works.  Interesting opening song I will admit.

2. Mousou Taiin A

Getting into our next song, Mousou Taiin A sounds a lot like “Diver” if not way too similar than the A-side since it’s NICO’s regular formula of rock song.  I mean it’s energetic and Tatsuya does give a good vocal performance, but it just feels like it’s a repeat and nothing is really brought to the song.

3. Diver

Which makes it hard to listen to Diver since nothing totally has changed besides the melody of the song.  While it might be the second A-side of the era, Diver at that time was quite awesome to listen to, but still a bit plain on the J-rock side of things.  I still enjoy “Sudden Death Game” quite a bit more still and on the album Diver goes lower on my lists since we have “Mousou Taiin A” right before.

4. Page 1

Changing things up, Page 1 kinds of goes into a more upbeat and fun side to their music.  I thought it was kind of cute to listen to the song because of the bouncy rhythm and lighthearted energy that’s thrown in.  Tatsuya’s vocals aren’t as edgy like before, but it’s a nice change of pace and he sings pretty well in the song….Surprising that I ended liking this song quite a bit.

5. Kimi Dake

Hmmmm, Kimi Dake really throws the album for a loop as it’s piano-led but with this kind of epic tone.  I thought it reminded me of something from Arcade Fire except way different vocals.  I love the build up at the beginning that just rang in my ears and Tatsuya just had the vocals for this.  This has got to be the first song that caught my attention and it’s a quick favorite for me.

6. SURVIVE

After all that awesomeness, SURVIVE continues this with a lot of amazing riffs and hooks throughout.  It does feel like “Rodeo” minus the Western touches which is great for sure and I do feel like I can remember this song a whole lot more as well because of said riffs and hooks.  Whenever I hear this though it reminds of ASH…who’s a big band in Ireland…so it’s kind of cool I guess in a way.

7. Yougisha

Ack, another “Diver”-like track.  At least it’s a bit slower than said song and rides on a good rhythm.  I guess it’s not so bad after a while and there’s good parts done by guitarist, Daisuke.  It’s alright in the long run, but it’s nothing that’s totally special besides sounding like some ending to an anime.

8. Yuujou Sanka

As the only B-side to appear from “Diver”, Yuujou Sanka to me was a much better choice than “Naku no wa Yamete”, but slightly as both songs were a bit more tame than other songs on the album now.  I did like when it was after “Diver” since it was a lot less of a regular NICO rock track and had more flavor, but on the album it sounds like a mixture of “Page 1” and “Yougisha”.  It’s alright, but once again much better songs on the album.  I will say the whole ~baka~ thing in the middle was hilarious to me.

9. Matroska

Finally breathing some fresh air, Matroska ups the tempo and excitement quite largely and I felt after the last few songs, this was much needed and well-played.  I love Tatsuya’s vocals here quite a bit and he adds another level of energy.  It’s pretty rockin’ and was what more I was expecting from the band.

10. Sudden Death Game

I found it cool that their first A-side of the era is found towards the end of the album rather than the front.  Now, I’ll say this song impressed me a lot because it sounds like Incubus but in JPN and I do like Incubus so this comes to me as a welcomed surprised.  I still really enjoy this song a lot since its release and it’s one of the odder arranged songs but fun and yet serious….GO NICO!

11. Passenger

Closing the album with the title track, Passenger is a surprise being the album’s longest song at 7:24.  It starts off pretty slow with acoustic guitar and Tatsuya’s vocals.  It does grow slightly, but it seems to be the album’s ballad since it lightly grows as time goes by adding electric guitar and bass along the way.  Surprisingly the whole song is the entire time and not a hidden track stached anywhere.  Good song, but way too long for me.

Tracks Recommended

  • Kimi Dake
  • Matroska
  • Sudden Death Game
  • Page 1
  • SURVIVE

Song of Avoidance

  • Passenger

Ok, I will admit, PASSENGER for the most part isn’t a bad album at all, actually it’s quite good to be honest.  The songs for the most part rocked and the band changes up the pace quite enough to not make things stale which is a plus.  I’ll definitely keep my eyes on them ^_^