Shounan Zoku -cannibal coast-
V. Madonna Schizoid
Hot Blood Workout
Border of the Dead
Economaical Animal Superstar
1. Flare Stack
I think Flare Stack has one of the coolest sounding intros ever! I love how that synths sound then mixing in with the lower ones before we see EXO-CHIKA comes in. It’s not as dark as I thought it was going to be from the title, but I love the slower electronica feel I get from the song. I’m trying to remember what it reminds me of, but I really love the song right now and kicks the album off in a great way.
2. Shounan Zoku -cannibal coast-
I’m happy they decided to choose Shounan Zoku to represent the album and the PV is quite something. Since none of the songs from the digital releases were changed for the album, I was happy with this song staying the same because this song is just pure lust. It’s got that dark atmosphere and with EXO-CHIKA making it sound sexy, I was surprised. One of the best Aural Vampire songs out there.
As the only digital single released for the album, Freeeeze!! is another one of those songs that just kind of sticks to you after you listen to it. I did totally forget how the original went, but I do feel this is the more productive version and the various random noises thrown in are for good kicks. It’s pretty darn catchy and I still love RAVEMAN’s synth work here as well. Good song
4. V. Madonna Schizoid
Ending out the first E.P. that was released, V. Madonna Schizoid was a song that really never garnered my attention because of its rather empty arrangement. It still doesn’t really leave a mark on me, but I like the rhythms and EXO’s fun vocals. I also totally forgot the clapping and time changes as well. Ok, it’s not terrible, but after 3 strong tracks, this is the first slip for me. Then again it’s pretty short only topping a little above 3 minutes.
5. 69 Balloons
I do admit that 69 Balloons was my favorite out of the 2nd E.P. I think it could be because of the loud synth arrangement. Then I start to notice that EXO is oddly nasal in the song, especially when she’s holding out longer notes. I guess since then this has died down for me, but I still love the aggressive nature of the song and the random speeding up for the interlude was ridiculously random haha.
It’s kind of strange when you start off a song without any traces of electro, but this addition of guitar, bass, and actual drums fitted quite nicely with RAVEMAN’s lessened synth involvement. I’ve actually grown to like this song a bunch since I reviewed it last. It’s catchy, straightforward and fun…which is odd for me since it’s not uber dark. I like it!
7. Hot Blood Workout
There’s really only one word to describe Hot Blood Workout and that’s funky. I don’t know why but the simple arrangement with this low synth melody was pretty strange and gave this off-sounding sound. Even then there’s various countermelodies that make this song a bit more funkier. I’d say this is their oddest song in the collection.
I still adore Innsmouth because it’s energetic just like “Shounan Zoku” if not more to be honest. Though the name of the game to this song is repetition, but I don’t mind it because I’m loving this arrangement. Edgy synths, 16bit moments, and never letting up on the great tempo that it’s set in. Great tune
9. Border of the Dead
As the lone song from their 3rd E.P., Border of the Dead is a bit more like they mixed “Shounan Zoku” with “Transcrypt” and we ended up with this song. I don’t mind it at all because it’s actually throwing the duo back into some darker-tinged music. It’s got a pounding rhythm that never lets up as well and just expects you do keep dancing the entire time. The only time it does is for the very short bass solo. Still not a bad song. About 3:40, we actually get an interlude as well…as this is a new addition to the song. I don’t really understand because the interlude is like this voice saying ~bubble, bubble, bubble~ in this heavily distorted voice. Freaky little bridge into our next song.
After all the previous released songs we get into voodoovocoder which turns out to have been released, but not onto their official discography. I haven’t heard the original yet, but the new cut of it sounds rather lowkey and somewhat boring. It could be EXO’s kind of detatched singing that’s off putting. The music as well doesn’t sound as energetic as it should be either. I don’t think I enjoy it much.
Finally a new song!!! I was surprised when EXO came in the verses that I was reminded of Ayu’s “Sexy little things” because of that same kind of groove both songs have. It just seems like Aural’s take of it and I once again finding myself loving it because of its actual liveliness and EXO’s vocals sounding stronger. Though I can’t defend that ending…that was a bit of a slip-up.
Awesome, we get a new recording of the final track off their debut album, “Vampire Ecstasy”. Now from the original take, it sounds a lot more refined and EXO-CHIKA’s vocals aren’t filtered in the song as much as the original as well which is so much better. Also this version is about a minute shorter because it doesn’t have that ending from the original (y’know, the song being messed around and cuts to the final speaking moments with the creepy guy). This one actually fades out. I still love PNPFN even though it’s the biggest WTF the album has to offer because it’s so upbeat and positive. Almost Perfume happy XD. Still a good song!
13. Economical Animal Superstar
When I listen to this, I get these deja vu moments because the arrangement reminds me of Xtina’s “Genie 2.0”. The song suffers from the absence of full sound for me and kind of gets draggy…and this is an up-tempo song. The chorus though is what’s good about the song. It’s just alright.
14. Darkwave Surfer
I think out of the songs that were reedited, Darkwave Surfer was the one that disappointed me the most becuase it did take all that was good from the original and took it away. At least they kept it sounding like a Mortal Kombat tune right? I guess that’s why I still kind of like it a bit.
Another song that was known beforehand, but wasn’t added to their official discography till now, Kaidoku is different and is the closest counding to “Preservative Woman” but without the oriental shtick. Though I do wonder why there’s a dog barking in it…Like what kind of random is this? I think this is also the first time there’s vocals that aren’t EXO’s in the song. I liked knowing that, so that makes it stand out on the album.
16. MAD SPORTS
Ending the album off with a new song, MAD SPORTS is definitely the hardest hitting song off of ZOLTANK. At first it’s like wow, I did not expect this at all because of the aggressive mood and loud arrangement. It’s like a bit shocking. After the chorus it dies down and gets into it’s breakdown before coming right back into uber fast rock sound. The initial song is like 3:18, but since this is a 7 minute track the rest just seem to be more of an annoyance than anything. Let’s say that it’s a bit like how “Border of the Dead” finished with that interlude. The first part is a robotic voice talking right bout to 6 minutes while the last minute is just even more weirder shit. Ok, I much prefer “PNPFN” ending the album still.
Song of Avoidance
Aural Vampire debut album under avex was actually surprisingly a little less memorable than “Vampire Ecstasy”. I mean don’t get wrong this is a great album, but I think maybe they could’ve left a few songs off and added more to it. For the most part the new songs were actually good songs…well except MAD SPORTS since that was just too messy for me to handle. Otherwise, Aural Vampire has done quite well here!