Kurayami Monogatari

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FLOW – FLOW THE MAX!!! April 1, 2014

Filed under: FLOW — solarblade @ 10:57 am

flowthemax

Track Listing

  1. HERO ~Kibou no Uta~
  2. Black Market
  3. Kimi Jishin BAND
  4. Brave Blue
  5. Red Hot Riot
  6. TOY MACHINE
  7. Won’t you stay
  8. UMBRELLA
  9. On my way
  10. Kanpai Hour
  11. Kyuujitsu ~Renkyuu Ver.~
  12. Celebration
  13. NAME
  14. CHA-LA HEAD-CHA-LA

1. HERO ~Kibou no Uta~

FLOW opens their album with the 2nd A-side released and final release before the album.  I was definitely enjoying the decision because FLOW had a pretty good streak of A-sides for this album.  Though it’s a bit anison because it’s tied to the Dragonball Z series so it’s a little lighter than “Brave Blue” but it still had a fun sound to it.  Great way to kick things off.

2. Black Market

I was happy to see that there was a LOT of new songs to the album.  Black Market was a surprise because we left “HERO” to this song which had a much harder sound, but also retaining that anison sound the band is well-known for.  KOHSHI’s vocals though are very wild here and it was just blazing through the song.  KEIGO also did well and his dialogue in the mid8 was odd to say the least…it was still a great track!

3. Kimi Jishin BAND

Moving from a hard song to a lighter affair?  Odd…  Kimi Jishin BAND sounds like another theme for an anime which at this point I think the band is trying to have a theme for this album.  The fluttery synths mixed with the band is different and I’m liking the lighter atmosphere overall.  Odd placement being after “Black Market” but this was nice.

4. Brave Blue

Then things seem to go back up a bit for the first A-side released for the album and I still really enjoyed this song since it sounds like a lot of the stuff they’ve released for the last couple of albums.  It’s like “HERO” and “Kimi Jishin BAND” mixed together and you basically get the gist of this song.  Great song!

5. Red Hot Riot

With a title, I was expecting a fiery song like “Black Market” and I actually got that but not without an intro sung in English.  It does remind me of their songs from their last two albums and I was happy because it’s just heavy and has a great presence on the album…though some of the song sounds like “ENEMY” from their “MICROCOSM” album.  Coincedence?  Not a bad song though.

6. TOY MACHINE

I was kind of curious with such a title like this and well it started out strange with KOHSHI having a digitized voice before the band comes in and has a mix of the synths and guitar riffs.  The auto-tuning on the guys’ voices are slightly strange to my ears but the chorus makes up for it!  It’s definitely the album’s oddest song which means something I guess and I kind of liked it…hmmm

7. Won’t you stay

Carrying over the synths to our next track, I was thinking this was going to be a rock ballad, but I was happily proven wrong as it’s a straightforward rock track with a little bit of synth in the background.  There’s just something strong about this song and the singers gave a lot with this one…one of my favorites among the new tracks!

8. UMBRELLA

I love the intro for our next track and funny enough, UMBRELLA is our rock ballad.  I don’t know why, but the light atmosphere in the verses really were pretty with KOHSHI’s voice and then the chorus adds up the band and it was handled nicely (though it did sound like a SID song, no?).  Very cool for a slow song and is another favorite.

9. On my way

Sadly the streak of great songs come to a stop with On my way.  I mean that introduction bothered me because their drummer and the rhythm was just messy as hell to me and the chorus was just a shout fest to me.  The good thing though is that the verses were pretty good and the 2nd half of the chorus as well…it’s just surrounded with flaws and not a lot of direction >.>

10. Kanpai Hour

So I’m guessing this is FLOW’s more sillier track might be.  I mean the beat and flow of the song (OIC) is a lot more laidback and has horns added to give it a bit more flash.  You can tell this was their fun song as the chorus kind of has that chanting feel to it.  It’s fun, but amongst the album songs, it does stick out in an odd way.

11. Kyuujitsu -Renkyuu Ver.-

As the only B-side released in the era, I was happy to see it on the album, but was surprised that it’s the only song on the album to receive changes from its single.  The biggest difference is that this version has extra ~hoo-hahs~ and some small arrangement changes but otherwise still the fun and energetic song we got from “Brave Blue”.  I also like that it suited coming after “Kanpai Hour” as they are both more party rock songs and just has a lot of energy!

12. Celebration

I was actually thinking this was going to be a hard song like “Black Market” but funny enough it reminded me of “Kyuujitsu” and “CHA-LA HEAD-CHA-LA” put together and I loved it.  Both singers sound great as usual and the chanting behind them is fun to listen too.  I was surprised this wasn’t the final track because it would’ve made a great ending!

13. NAME

Yup, every song on this album has a VERY anison sound when compared to their last album.  NAME kind of reminds me of a more upbeat take of “UMBRELLA” but has some good parts from the band.  Actually I prefer this over the mentioned song…it’s a really nice sounding track damnit!

14. CHA-LA HEAD-CHA-LA

So they begin with their DBZ tie-in and end the album with a very good cover of a well-known classic DBZ theme.  If there’s a band that could’ve made this track awesome and make it sound better than Hironobu Kageyama’s original, it’d be FLOW and they handled it well!  Great song and the band sounded lively and energetic!  Awesome way to end the album~

Tracks Recommended

  • Celebration
  • CHA-LA HEAD-CHA-LA
  • Won’t you stay
  • Black Market
  • NAME

Song of Avoidance

  • On my way

Clearly, FLOW wanted this album to be just full of their anison band sound and it was a great move.  I mean “MICROCOSM” was so serious and then “BLACK & WHITE” was more open but experimental but with FLOW THE MAX!!!, they just pulled out songs they knew they could do well and it’s their bread and butter anison songs.  It’s a surprisingly great album and despite having one misstep, I felt like they were going in the right direction finally!

 

3 Responses to “FLOW – FLOW THE MAX!!!”

  1. 26er Says:

    You’re a year late but great review! Please do Tokonatsu Endless, Ai Ai Ai ni utarete Bye Bye Bye, and 26 a Go Go next!

  2. BladeBlur Says:

    FLOW is my favorite band and my birthday is in a week, so do me a favor and review 26 a Go Go! I think if anything you’d like Ai Ai AI ni Utarete Bye Bye Bye


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