Kurayami Monogatari

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chatmonchy – Henshin October 26, 2012

Filed under: chatmonchy — solarblade @ 2:27 am

Track Listing

  1. Henshin
  2. Hatena
  3. Thermae Roman
  4. Shoujo E
  5. Convenience Honeymoon
  6. Yes or No or Love
  7. Hatsu Hinode
  8. Aruku Object
  9. Kirakira Hikare
  10. Futari, Jinsei, Jiyuugaoka
  11. Utatane
  12. Mangetsu ni Hoero

1. Henshin

Cool that the duo started the album off with the title track for sure.  Henshin begins smoothly with a nice guitar intro that leads into one of their more different styled songs.  It has a bit of a chanting style (even though Eriko and Akiko do not sound great trying to be melodic together.  It’s a simple track overall but I don’t think it really stood out to me beyond the repetitive hook.

2. Hatena

I am SOOOO HAPPY that “Yume Mitai da” did not make the album cut (since it was an A-side and all as well).  Tying with “Thermae Roman” as the best A-sides of the era, Hatena really surprised me.  I think that it’s because it’s more energetic and both ladies are into the song (unlike in “Henshin”).  It was really fun and the track catered to Eriko’s distinct vocals nicely.

3. Thermae Roman

Which led to my other favorite A-side, the shower song, Thermae Roman also worked for the duo.  It’s nice as loud as “Hatena” but I really found myself loving the arrangement and melody of this track.  I still kind of wince a little at Eriko in the chorus, but this song is pretty friggin good!

4. Shoujo E

Moving on to another new track, Shoujo E starts off with a cool percussion beat and then Eriko comes in with guitars and the song kind of has this darker style which I instantly got hooked to.  Eriko’s voice sounds a little more stronger and less whiny which is a good sign!  Definitely an impressive track right here.

5. Convenience Honeymoon

As the 5th and final single from Henshin, Convenience Honeymoon is kind of strange because it feels like it suits more as the ending song rather than where it is here.  I think the song is reasonably good, but it’s nothing that we haven’t heard so it doesn’t stand out on the album unfortunately.

6. Yes or No or Love

Something about the song sounds nostalgic when I begin it.  It might be the keyboard that makes it sound a little old.  I also noticed there was a guy singing alognside some of the track which is nice, but this song is simple and doesn’t really get more exciting.  I just kind of forget about it in the end since it doesn’t really leave much of an impression.

7. Hatsu Hinode

The next track, Hatsu Hinode sounds like a mess to me since it also has a minimal sound to it but only with guitars and drums (and a lil bass).  There’s just something about the track that just doesn’t work and I think it’s Eriko’s vocals here.  The fact that it’s only slightly under 3 minutes helped, but the song is still underwhelming.

8. Aruku Object

Moving from one of the shortest to the longest track at almost 7 minutes, Aruku Object had me worried since some of the songs previous have not been good.  I do like the song is a slow one from them and it includes strings to king of make the song sound more complete (at least more than the previous two tracks).  It is a little long, but I liked it overall.

9. Kirakira Hikare

Funny how we go back to a short song (actually the shortest song on the album) which was also an A-side.  For being so short though Kirakira Hikare was pretty fast-paced and energetic.  Eriko’s performance is a little too shrill but for what its worth, it’s not a bad track.  I’d say it’s good, but a little shouty in areas.

10. Futari, Jinsei, Jiyuugaoka

Back to the final two new tracks, Futari, Jinsei, Jiyuugaoka is probably the closest I think the group goes to sound like something off their last album.  Sadly, like the other new tracks, it doesn’t really stand out nor does it really do anything positive.  It’s just kind of there…meh.

11. Utatane

The last new track, I was at this point kind of tired of the new tracks for being mostly unimpressive.  Utatane is another slow jam but I feel like they went a little too slow since it kind of moves at a snail’s pace.  Nothing exciting to listen for here either sadly….

12. Mangetsu ni Hoero

At least the album ends with Mangetsu ni Hoero. which was the first release they after Kumiko left the band.  It’s funny that I remember this song the most because of its chorus which Eriko screams out lol.  The song has grown on me a whole lot since I reviewed the single, but it’s still kind of loud sometimes.

Tracks Recommended

  • Shoujo E
  • Thermae Roman
  • Hatena
  • Mangetsu ni Hoero

Song of Avoidance

  • Hatsu Hinode

This album was bad…and I would assume it was from Kumiko leaving the band that’s affected the group in a negative way.  I thought they had it together with the singles for the most part, but they let the album tracks just fall flat entirely (cept Shoujo E).  This is a major flop when compared to their last album, “YOU MORE”.  Ugh….so depressed after this one…

 

chatmonchy – Convenience Honeymoon September 23, 2012

Filed under: chatmonchy — solarblade @ 8:41 pm

Track Listing

  1. Convenience Honeymoon
  2. CHA CHA CHA

1. Convenience Honeymoon

As I would’ve expect, chatmonchy would put out a slower track as an A-side and for some reason, I kind of really enjoyed the toned down vibes and for the most part, Eriko didn’t sound bad here.  It might not be the strongest song of the era, but it did its job and stayed true to the band.

2. CHA CHA CHA

I wish I could say the same for the single’s B-side.  It’s actually VERY off the wall for the duo.  I mean it sounds ridiculously cheap and has most of the song focus on this synth line.  I’m actually surprised this is another cover (from Akemi Ishii).  I still can’t believe that this song is the only track in the era that doesn’t really feature guitars period!  I’m kind of on the fence if I actually really enjoyed it or despise it.

 

 

As it’s the duo’s 5th and final single before releasing their first album as a duo, “Henshin”, Convenience Honeymoon might not be their best release, but this wasn’t terrible.  The leading track is a bit laidback from their previous 4 but it’s a solid A-side worthy of being on the album.  The B-side isn’t as big of a disaster like “Yume Mitai da” was, but it’s very unusual for them IMO.  Not bad and I liked that Tamio Okuda produced and sung on the tracks too, gave the duo a deeper voice for the single.

 

chatmonchy – Kirakira Hikare July 9, 2012

Filed under: chatmonchy — solarblade @ 3:25 am

Track Listing

  1. Kirakira Hikare
  2. Karisou Method

1. Kirakira Hikare

chatmonchy has been really shoveling these A-sides out haven’t they?  Now I’m not their biggest fan of theirs but they’ve been doing quite good since becoming a duo for some odd reason lol.  Produced by Ajikan member Gotou, Kirakira Hikare is pretty rockin and all but did a lot of it have to be yelled by Eriko?  I mean she kind of makes me squint when the chorus is around.  The other parts are nice though and for being under 4 minutes it’s not bad…just got parts that were off like “Mangetsu ni Hoero”.

2. Karisou Method

Their B-side though is something else but in a good way for some reason.  I mean the guitar riffs have more oomph and Eriko sounds really strong.  I will say, I wasn’t expecting a male vocalist to be in the track too (Goto perhaps?).  I like that line of ~ra ra ra ra ra lu ra la~ that melody is kind of cool and catchy.  It’s different in a good way actually!

 

 

Like I said, chatmonchy has been feveriously releasing singles in 2012 and Kirakira Hikare might be the best of the four so far.  I think Kirakira Hikar as a song, is alright but the usual Eriko problems are here but they aren’t a red flag to the song (plus the PV was funny to me hahaha).  Karisou Method on the other hand was better and the collaboration of the guy vocalist helped and made the song more playful. Is there an album next for the band?

 

chatmonchy – Hatena/Yume Mitai da May 4, 2012

Filed under: chatmonchy — solarblade @ 1:17 am

Track Listing

  1. Hatena
  2. Yume Mitai da

1. Hatena

After their last two singles, Hatena actually did a good job at bringing some interest back into the group.  Eriko doesn’t sound all wild and aggressive as she is normally heard.  I love the guitar riffs that open, including the harmonica parts as well.  This song is pretty damn good and I’m happy this was released hahah.  Not bad!

2. Yume Mitai da

I’m surprised that the other A-side is actually a cover of “Proofs” from MATES OF STATE…you wouldn’t expect that from chatmonchy right?  However, it’s kind of off they made this an A-side at the last minute because it’s really only 2:40 in length and a lot more stripped down than the feel of “Hatena”.  However, I just don’t enjoy the song…it is a cover of an indies song…but it’s still so unattractive to me that I really wished it just stayed as the B-side as it originally was planned to be.

 

 

chatmonchy’s third…Hatena/Yume Mitai da is good and bad in ways XD.  I love Hatena and is there best since becoming a trio (granted there’s not many songs for the duo right now XD).  However, Yume Mitai da was probably an idea they should’ve not dove in with since it’s just kind of bad all over 😄  I’m not sure how to feel for the single as a whole though…just get it for Hatena 😄

 

chatmonchy – Thermae Roman February 9, 2012

Filed under: chatmonchy — solarblade @ 6:38 am

Track Listing

  1. Thermae Roman
  2. Thermae Roman (TV Edit)

1. Thermae Roman

I guess when you’re chatmonchy, you can get away with odd songs once in a while and Thermae Roman is definitely one of those huh??? songs.  Learning that Eriko has actually become the drummer (as well keeping the lead singer title), she actually sounds a bit better here than in their single last week in “Mangetsu ni Hoero”.  In a way Eriko sounds a little like Shion Tsuji here.  Besides the odd topic of showers, this song is surprisingly good from the duo!

 

 

I’m a little confused why the duo released two singles in two weeks…it’s kind of random and could’ve been easily made into a double A-side if they wanted but whatever xD.  Thermae Roman is quite nice actually and really shows the group at their best (despite their loss).  Though I’m wondering if this means something in the future for them…

 

chatmonchy – Mangetsu ni Hoero February 1, 2012

Filed under: chatmonchy — solarblade @ 7:47 pm

Track Listing

  1. Mangetsu ni Hoero
  2. Mangetsu ni Hoero (Piano Inst)

1. Mangetsu ni Hoero

Mangetsu ni Hoero by chatmonchy is kind of a bit slower than previous A-sides (though let’s not forget their last single was back in 2009).  I will say that it sounds like good ole chatmonchy with a solid rock melody but I’m not sure if I can really take Eriko’s screaming in the chorus very much since it’s kind of piercing in headphones.  Though I can see this being a popular song sung live actually. 

 

 

Since it’s the first for the era, I was surprised at Manatsu ni Hoero since it’s not really bad of a song but Eriko can still manage a sour note here and there.  I will say since it’s the first single since their drummer Kumiko left the band, it feels like nothing has totally changed but it’s an alright song…I wonder how “Thermae Roman” will turn out.

 

chatmonchy – YOU MORE April 18, 2011

Filed under: chatmonchy — solarblade @ 5:15 am

Track Listing

  1. Birthday Cake no Ue wo Aruite Kaetta
  2. Lady Navigation
  3. Kingashinnen
  4. Sougen ni Tatsu Nihon no Ki no You ni
  5. Namida no Yukue
  6. Boyfriend
  7. Sakura Zensen
  8. Last Kiss
  9. Shounen no Jump
  10. Kenjuu
  11. Yoin

1. Birthday Cake no Ue wo Aruite Kaetta

Beginning the album with the promotional song for the album, I thought it sounded a lot like something YUKI would’ve sang since it has that light pop/rock kind of atmosphere going.  Oddly enough Eriko sounds good singing here, but it could just be the fact that I mentioned above how similar the two are…but still pretty good.  Good song and the interlude was quite interesting as well.

2. Lady Navigation

Going into our next song, Lady Navigation sounds a bit more edgier than the previous song of course, but the time signature will throw you off at first since it doesn’t sound like normal 4/4 time.  I still can’t find a good groove for the song, but now with the more aggressive sound, I do think it reminds me of Stereopony, but only slightly.  It’s a good song and not annoying….at least after getting used to the weird melody.

3. Kingashinnen

I don’t exactly understand the beginning, but Kingashinnen pulls us back into the rather light-hearted and fun side to the trio and I must say Akiko (their bassist) stands out to me more than the rest of the band for some reason but that’s good.  I like the little Taiko drum additions in the song as well…however that’s for the good stuff.  Eriko kind of ruins the experience by returning to her more outrageous notes that sound terrible and off-pitch when she hits them…random song, but icky vocals.

4. Sougen ni Tatsu Nihon no Ki no You ni

I wish Eriko would try to stop going for those high ass notes because they really suck and hurt my ears whenever she demonstrates her perserverance for them.  As the shortest track on the album (barely over 3 minutes), Sougen ni Tatsu sounds quite awesome arrangement-wise and is a much more energetic song than “Kingashinnen”, but the vocals once again stops the song for becoming 100 times better…sorry but I can’t take Eriko’s squeaks.

5. Namida no Yukue

I can tell this album is entirely opposite to “Kokuhaku” from the amount of light songs and somewhat upbeat.  Namida no Yukue does surprise me since it’s reggae-styled but in chatmonchy style which means no other instruments which is pretty cool.  I do give points here since Eriko doesn’t stress her vocals and sounds actually good in comparison to the last two songs.  I do feel that a little more could’ve been done with the arrangement which at random parts feel quite empty and lifeless. 

6. Boyfriend

Acoustics next?  Boyfriend isn’t too much of a surprise and once again it’s showing off a more cuter side to chatmonchy that reminds me of life “LOVE is SOUP” from their last album.  It’s simple and Eriko’s cuter vocals push the song forward.  It’s not too bad and she controls her notes a bit stronger, but the song could’ve used a bit more.

7. Sakura Zensen

Our next song does feel a bit more filled out with Akiko and Fumiko being louder.  Still, for being one of the mid-tempo songs on the album, it felt like it was just stale and kind of emotionless throughout from the band and depended too much on Eriko.  It’s just a bit forgetful, but Eriko doesn’t sound too awfully bad.

8. Last Kiss

I do like that there’s a serious song on this album to slightly get away from the gushy cuteness of the songs before so this is a nice reprieve for the moment.  Sadly, Eriko and serious songs somewhat have a rocky road due to her kind of grating vocals.  I will say hearing Kumiko and Akiko singing in the chorus was an interesting treat.  It’s a good song on this album but if it was on any other album, I’d say this is forgettable.

9. Shounen no Jump

I actually kind of enjoyed our next song quite a bit since it’s so bright and has a great guitar hook throughout.  Eriko is sitting on the line of blah and not blah, but it’s not totally bad and she doesn’t force it like other songs have shown off.  It’s oddly enough one of the album’s best songs if not the best that was offered.  Fun and groovy!

10. Kenjuu

Out of all the songs on the album, Kenjuu has the loudest arrangement with tons of guitar and bass and drums to fill the speakers.  It does have that power that “Last Love Letter” presented us during the “Kokuhaku” era.  I must say I found myself really enjoying myself with this song and everything felt good and strong from the trio….I actually liked it more than “Shounen no Jump”.

11. Yoin

Closing the album out, Yoin feels like a song that should’ve been towards the first half of the album rather as the ending.  It’s light and cute with the uber cute Eriko vocals that I’ve come to sort of dislike.  I take that back, if it was placed earlier, I probably would’ve been quickly bored of the song…then again I am bored here, but not as much.  It’s still pretty plain.

Tracks Recommended

  • Kenjuu
  • Shounen no Jump
  • Birthday Cake no Ue wo Aruite Kaetta
  • Lady Navigation
  • Boyfriend

Song of Avoidance

  • Sakura Zensen

It hasn’t really been that long since “Awa Come”, but damn did this surprise me.  YOU MORE is actually not that bad of an album and the trio worked hard to make this a much needed improvement after both “Kokuhaku” and “Awa Come” and this was a good move.  I still think Eriko’s vocals are mediocre, but some of the songs shown some hope for her…also interesting move to make this a lighter album than before as well…hmmm I might take time to listen more of this album.