Kurayami Monogatari

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GRANRODEO – DARK SHAME November 8, 2012

Filed under: GRANRODEO — solarblade @ 9:30 pm

Track Listing

  1. DARK SHAME
  2. Brand New DAY
  3. DARK SHAME (OFF VOCAL)
  4. Brand New DAY (OFF VOCAL)

1. DARK SHAME

Something about DARK SHAME reminds me of T.M.Revolution for some reason, maybe it’s from that synth arrangement but it’s pretty cool since KISHOW gives such an awesome performance and his voice suited the atmosphere quite well.  It’s not as badass as some of the songs from “CRACK STAR FLASH” but this is a good follow-up and one of their more memorable A-sides.

2. Brand New DAY

Only one B-side this time?!?  That’s new to me… Brand New DAY is kind of the total opposide to “DARK SHAME’s” synth by being more focused on e-ZUKA’s guitarwork.  This song is pretty run-of-the-mill for GRANRODEO, but it’s a little brighter and happier which might not work very well for them, but I don’t think it’s a terrible track, just slightly normal stuff.

 

 

It hasn’t even been a full month since “CRACK STAR FLASH” was released and GRANRODEO is already beginning a new era.  DARK SHAME is pretty unique for the duo since they relied on synths for the most part, but it turned out well…even if it sounds like something T.M.Revolution would release.  Brand New DAY is kind of cheesy, but it’s OK…nothing amazing though.  Not bad of a single but they have better.

 

GRANRODEO – CRACK STAR FLASH October 12, 2012

Filed under: GRANRODEO — solarblade @ 9:49 am

Track Listing

  1. CRACK STAR FLASH
  2. Can Do
  3. NO PLACE LIKE A STAGE
  4. Urban Sweet
  5. Merry Go Round
  6. Mesmerize
  7. HAPPY LIFE
  8. RIMFIRE
  9. 0-GRAVITY
  10. Sameyuku Netsu
  11. Ai no Warrior
  12. Kibou no Kanata e

1. CRACK STAR FLASH

Not wasting anytime to start the album up with a strong track, we have CRACK STAR FLASH which is of course the title track.  I love the power and energy of the track for sure since SHIROW sounds so powerful and fits with the aggressive guitar riffs and the like.  Definitely a great way to kick things off the album for sure!

2. Can Do

I am so happy to see that all 3 A-sides made the album cut and they were all stellar tracks in my opinion.  Can Do (the 2nd released) comes first on the album and since it lies in between “RIMFIRE” and “Ai no Warrior” this was a really cool song.  The things I said in the review still apply here which is really I love the energy and speed of the song but worried about KISHOW’s vocals.  It’s just a really solid track and I enjoyed it ^_^

3. NO PLACE LIKE A STAGE

Jeeze, the duo really want to make this album come off powerful don’t they?  NO PLACE LIKE A STAGE is probably the hardest song I’ve come by yet on the album.  I guess to make up for weakness in the vocal department from “Can Do”. KISHOW sounds a whole lot better here and it seriously shows how powerful this tune is.  I really liked this song and e-ZUKA really gave a great performance too in the arrangement.

4. Urban Sweet

It’s nice to see half of the B-sides released in the era were included in this album as well even though most of them were weak.  Being from “RIMFIRE”, the song didn’t really stand out there because it was after such an amazing track.  On the album, Urban Sweet does end once again being underwhelming because it comes after “NO PLACE LIKE A STAGE” which is just baffling.  As a standalone, the song sounds good and fits the album snuggly, but it just isn’t as strong as many of the others.

5. Merry Go Round

Moving on, I was quite surprised our next song begun with a sitar solo mixed with e-ZUKA’s guitar playing and then seeing it led into this hard-hitting track!  Sadly, the song goes into a weird funk when SHIROW starts to sing and it’s really hard as well but gritty and kind of annoying to hear it.  Then the chorus happens and it’s slow and bright which is a total contradiction to the spazzy verses….I jsut didn’t like howt his song turned out.

6. Mesmerize

I was so happy to see Mesmerize make the album cut because this song was just amazing and was the best from “Can Do”.  I seem to really enjoy the more powerful songs on the album so far but while this has heavy parts, there’s some slower parts too.  I’ve mentioned this before, but KISHOW sounds like GACKT in this song with the love of vibrato that goes on here.  I liked it since it showed how much control he has and it sounds WAY BETTER than in the last track.

7. HAPPY LIFE

I’m curious to why they decided to add this over the other B-side from “Ai no Warrior” because this is one long song from GRANRODEO.  It;s still the longest track on the album and I still find that it’s uncharacteriscally placed wrongly on the album.  This would’ve been appropriate as the ending track becuase it’s bright, long, and would’ve made a great tour song.  Not my favorite on the album, but it’s not terrible…just a bit too long and weird as the middle song.

8. RIMFIRE

After that long track, it’s great to see RIMFIRE which is definitely my favorite A-side from the album.  It’s hard-hitting, KISHOW sounds great and takes the song by its horns.  It’s still a great song to listen to and just brings me back into the album after kind of losing a little interest after “HAPPY LIFE”.  Great song!!

9. 0-GRAVITY

Oh hey, I hear a little bit of V-kei out of 0-GRAVITY with that intro.  Though after KISHOW sings the intro, the song reverts back to their anison rock sound.  I quite liked the song even if it kind of rides under the other power-heavy songs.  Not much else to really say about the song but it’s average, I can grow to enjoy it.

10. Sameyuku Netsu

As the album’s slowest song, Sameyuku Netsu does a fine job here by including string to go along their arrangement.  For being a power ballad, Sameyuku Netsu brought back those GODLY vocals from SHIROW and he suited the song so well…I couldn’t remember any of the ballads from their last album, but this is really good!

11. Ai no Warrior

Even though it’s my least favorite of the A-sides, Ai no Warrior is still rather good on the album.  It’s also probably the most anison-styled track on the album which does make it stand out somewhat.  I guess it did slightly grow on me in time, but it’s still my least favorite A-side.

12. Kibou no Kanata e

I guess for the fact that “HAPPY LIFE” didn’t end the album, Kibou no Kanata e decided to tackle it and I approve of the acoustic nature of the song right from the beginning.  It’s another long track though and while it does brighten up at the chorus when e-ZUKA joins in, but the song doesn’t leave a mark on me….but it’s a nice final track.

Tracks Recommended

  • NO PLACE LIKE A STAGE
  • CRACK STAR FLASH
  • Sameyuku Netsu
  • RIMFIRE
  • Mesmerize

Song of Avoidance

  • Merry Go Round

I was pleasantly surprised with GRANRODEO this time around!  CRACK STAR FLASH is definitely an improvement over “SUPERNOVA” even if that album was good too.  There was seriously one track I loathed off that album, but the rest were pretty good in their own way….It seems like the duo is finally getting amazing!  Yeah I definitely *RECOMMEND* this!!!

 

GRANRODEO – RIMFIRE July 18, 2012

Filed under: GRANRODEO — solarblade @ 7:52 am

Track Listing

  1. RIMFIRE
  2. Urban Sweet
  3. Koi no HEAT WAVE
  4. RIMFIRE (OFF VOCAL)
  5. Urban Sweet (OFF VOCAL)
  6. Koi no HEAT WAVE (OFF VOCAL)

1. RIMFIRE

Getting into RIMFIRE, I wasn’t expecting KISHOW to come right out of the gate and powerfully shouting in the introduction.  I’m surprised at how much emotion KISHOW is showing through the song and I’m kind of loving it altogether.  As for the song, RIMFIRE is somehing else though because it’s so aggressive and just is in your face the entire time!  Definitely my favorite A-side of the era.

2. Urban Sweet

The first B-side of the single, Urban Sweet does tone things down slightly and kind of puts KISHOW into this funky rock’n’roll song that I respect because it’s quite down to its roots.  I hear some English but it’s accented so it’s barely understandable.  Still if you don’t like the wild nature of “RIMFIRE”, this might be more of your song.

3. Koi no HEAT WAVE

Makes sense that the duo would have a summer song of sorts with Koi no HEAT WAVE which definitely caters to their fans that love their fun tracks.  It’s a little strange for me because I’m not used to their experimental rock songs like this surfer’s track.  It kind of feels like it was suited more for BREAKERZ than GRANRODEO but I thought this was fun and unique.

 

 

I definitely found myself enjoying GRANRODEO’s 3rd and final single for their 5th album.  RIMFIRE was explosive and wild for an A-side and left the biggest mark over “Can Do” and “Ai no Warrior”.  Even the B-sides stuck out in a good way.  Urban Sweet is more of what they’ve been sounding like which is more good stuff and Koi no HEAT WAVE is a good, yet odd song from the duo.  This is a strong single over and earns a *RECOMMENDED*

 

GRANRODEO – Can Do April 22, 2012

Filed under: GRANRODEO — solarblade @ 6:26 am

Track Listing

  1. Can Do
  2. Love in shelter
  3. Mesmerize
  4. Can Do (Instrumental)
  5. Love in shelter (Instrumental)
  6. Mesmerize (Instrumental)

1. Can Do

Can Do is definitely an uppity song to listen to and a lot more poppier than “Ai no Warrior” was to be honest.  It’s fast and the atmosphere is pretty bright and KISHOW’s vocals seem to stand out from the song a lot more than before which is nice.  I will say he does have moments where I sense weakness in his tone but for the most part it’s good.  I remember this A-side more than their last so it’s a step-up ^_^

2. Love in shelter

Both B-sides are funny enough a minute and a half longer than “Can Do” lol!  Love in shelter is a bit more gritty and rockin’ which is a nice change here.  However, I felt KISHOW’s vocal performance was all over the place and didn’t fit in with the arrangement at various times.  It’s a solid song though arrangement-wise and the chorus is nice…but messy lyrically.

3. Mesmerize

As the hardest song on the single, Mesmerize was something I was wanting to hear from GRANRODEO since they are a anison rock duo right?  They should pull something hard once in a while.  I love the dramatic sound of KISHOW’s vocals…they almost remind me of GACKT’s but less.  He just sounds powerful in this song and the arrangement worked with it too.  Definitely my favorite track off the single!

 

 

I was hoping that their next single after “Ai no Warrior” would be better and in a lot of ways, it is!  Can Do might be a song that’s to the books and all that but it’s not at all that bad and I enjoy it equally to the duo’s last A-side.  However, this single ruled over because one of the B-sides was definitely better.  Mesmerize was damn good and quite the song to hear if you like that hard but dramatic kind of rock song.  Love in shelter could’ve been great if it hadn’t been for KISHOW’s wild vocals…still good single overall ^_^

 

GRANRODEO – Ai no Warrior November 24, 2011

Filed under: GRANRODEO — solarblade @ 2:44 am

Track Listing

  1. Ai no Warrior
  2. Beat it, Love!
  3. HAPPY LIFE
  4. Ai no Warrior (instrumental)
  5. Beat it, Love! (instrumental)
  6. HAPPY LIFE (instrumental)

1. Ai no Warrior

I gotta say that GRANRODEO have done well in A-sides and I enjoyed Ai no Warrior all the same to be honest.  It is a little brighter than previous ones though and KISHOW sounds great with this switch in styles.  The mix of guitars and synths are great and this song really does sound like a “SUPERNOVA” leftover but a strong one at that. 

2. Beat it, Love!

The first B-side is more or less a continuation of more rockin’ guitar riffs and synths but this one has a bit more flaws in it than “Ai no Warrior”.  The biggest one is the way KISHOW was singing.  It was kind of more nasally and not as impressive as I was in the leading track.  Though the way the song flows, it might be pretty awesome to hear live since it’s got that whole “audience participation” thing going with it.

3. HAPPY LIFE

It’s kind of strange that HAPPY LIFE is the happiest song on the single but suffers from a 7-minute length time.  It’s a little absurd to hear a song like this from GRANRODEO since they really don’t stray to do happy pop/rock like this.  I guess it’s different so that’s a plus and KISHOW is back to a more open and broader vocal tone.  It feels like another tour-friendly song so that’s good, but it’s long.

 

 

I’m happy that GRANRODEO came back with a strong A-side in Ai no Warrior.  Despite that it’s lighter than what I was expecting it showed off both members in a good light and they got accustomed to a brighter arrangement.  Beat it, Love! and HAPPY LIFE were ok but they both seem like songs they had done on a tour prior here.  HAPPY LIFE though was a bit too long for me.  Good single, but needs to be bettter on the next one.

 

GRANRODEO – SUPERNOVA April 20, 2011

Filed under: GRANRODEO — solarblade @ 6:17 am

Track Listing

  1. Rocket Ride (inst)
  2. SEED BLASTER
  3. ROSE HIP-BULLET
  4. SUPERNOVA
  5. Boku to Kimi no Kan
  6. Who Is The Witch? (inst)
  7. Witch Hunter
  8. Shinka to Daraku no Nigenron
  9. Uso no Iro
  10. Koi Oto
  11. Youkubou∞
  12. SEA OF STARS
  13. Shanimuni
  14. Haitoku no Kodou
  15. Bonus Track

1. Rocket Ride (inst)

Starting the album in the most hilarious way possible, it feels like it’s based in some restaurant and two guys are seriously on some serious drugs to be making some weird comments in ENGLISH!  I mean they even mentioned the Lakers (basketball team).  After they get into the car and some random conversation and a GRANRODEO song playing in the background, cops seem to start chasing and they basically turned on nitro and blasts away.  What a goofy intro and I wonder if the two guys were KISHOW and e-ZUKA…

2. SEED BLASTER

Wow KISHOW, you sure know how to make an album explode with power and SEED BLASTER is definitely great to follow after “Rocket Ride” and the speed, energy and force makes it like a continuation.  I love the performance and vocals from KISHOW since he gave attitude and spunk.  One of the album’s shiners already from the start ^_^

3. ROSE HIP-BULLET

As the third and final A-side released for the era, it’s been a long time since I took a listen to ROSE HIP-BULLET last and well listening to it now, it kind of feels underwhelming than the predecessors of the era which is a bit surprising since I liked the song when I first heard it.  I do love the fact that it’s not a light-hearted like the others but it feels like a visual-kei song for some strange reason but I still think it’s good, just lost a bit of its initial luster in time.

4. SUPERNOVA

Moving from last A-side to the lone promotional song for the album (and title track), SUPERNOVA does make a switch from the hard guitars and darker arranged “ROSE HIP-BULLET” to a more light synth-infused rock song with amazing riffs and power.  It is a little much like their various animu tunes though, but it’s still kickass and shows off both memebers in an amazing light.

5. Boku to Kimi no Kan

After all those power tracks from the duo, Boku to Kimi no Kan is a bit of a letdown since it kind of turns into a rockin’ mid-tempo of all songs and kind of ruins the flow of the album slightly.  KISHOW also is singing the verses quite low and deeper than some of his vocals than in the previous songs.  It doesn’t help the song much and in the end just….kind of sucked.

6. Who Is The Witch? (inst)

As the lone interlude and lead-in into our next track, I was wondering if we were going to get the same weird moment that we got with “Rocket Ride”, but we didn’t.  However, it’s dark and ominous like something evil is going to happen with the evil laughing and thunder in the background.  It ends with a blood-curdling yell and swiftly moves to…

7. Witch Hunter

Ahhh, I feel good that we get another darker-tinged song like “ROSE HIP-BULLET” on the album and the transition from its interlude was flawless and pretty damn sweet.  At first, I was like…was I listening to a Linkin Park song or just getting lucky that this sounds like American metal?  It’s just unfortanate that after a while, it feels more like the other A-side of the era and just doesn’t stand out passed the beginning parts.

8. Shinka to Daraku no Nigenron

A 7 minute song is next?  After the rockin’ “Witch Hunter”, I was surprised with how poppy and light-hearted the song was.  The ensuing brass section kind of made the song remind of BREAKERZ, but only slightly because it wasn’t long until KISHOW appeared and took the song on a trip.  It’s a fun song no doubt, but at seven minutes, it makes you wonder why such a decision was made for this song in particular.

9. Uso ni Iro

Then again our next song is at 6 minutes and starts off on a interesting note with strings and KISHOW.  As a much slower song (along the lines with “Boku to Kimi no Kan” but with more strings) it was a much better switch of styles and actually had a strong arrangement.  I will say that KISHOW does kind of over-express himself in the song with that crazy vibrato hurt the song a little, but it’s a valiant effort.

10. Koi Oto

It’s been a while since we’ve got an old track and well here we have what started the era.  I know I haven’t listened to the song enough to really make a better opinion out of it, but of the three A-sides (well, two since one is missing) I did prefer this song more than the other A-side since it’s kind of a great mix of anime-rock and well regular rock from the duo.  Props to e-ZUKA for this track. 

11. Youkubou∞

I guess to make up for the missing “We wanna R&R SHOW”, Youkubou∞ was the closest song to resemble said missing A-side and even though it does have a more bareboned rockin’ style going for it, there’s just something a bit too formulaic going on.  I did enjoy the chorus a whole lot though, but I don’t know about it otherwise.

12. SEA OF STARS

Then we get two B-sides next starting with the lone B-side from “We wanna R&R SHOW” and if it was my choice, I wouldn’t have chosen this personally but chose “Chicken Hero” instead to be in its place.  Just like “SUPERNOVA” it does start off with synths instead of guitars and the such…but once e-ZUKA comes in with the guitar riff…it kind of dies down quite a bit.  I mean it’s a bit better than when it was on a single, but it’s still kind of underwhelming.

13. Shanimuni

Learning from the single review (thx Yume BTW) that Shanimuni is essentially GRANRODEO’s take on Aki Misato’s “Scarlet Bomb!” (only in arrangement, not lyrically) it took on a whole new perspective for me since e-ZUKA is the handyman on this lil twist of a song.  I will say that KISHOW sounds even more out of place singing the song since Aki did an amazing job with this arrangement.  Still, it’s a pretty cool song, but nothing special.

14. Haitoku no Kodou

Closing the album off, Haitoku no Kodou is another one of their softer songs, but it’s interesting with the strings and almost jazzy feel.  KISHOW did a great job singing through the verses but the surprise is the exploding and powerful chorus.  I thought it did well closing the album for sure.  I didn’t even mind that it was a little long either…it was that good of a closer.

15. Bonus Track

I’m surprised that GRANRODEO added in a bonus track after “Haitoku no Kodou”.  However, this is way more of an ending since it begins with the two members talking quick and then KISHOW starts to sing and e-ZUKA plays the acoustic guitar.  Though both members actually have parts…it’s so weird.  e-ZUKA frantic lines were funny as hell and closed the album with a smile on my face.

Tracks Recommended

  • SUPERNOVA
  • SEED BLASTER
  • Koi Oto
  • Uso ni Iro
  • ROSE HIP-BULLET

Song of Avoidance

  • Boku to Kimi no Kan

I wasn’t expecting GRANRODEO’s album to be great, but they proved me wrong with SUPERNOVA.  A lot of the songs gave the duo great coverage and a lot of the songs sound great.  There were a few songs that were a little blah or way too long, but it still did good on my ears ^_^.

 

GRANRODEO – We wanna R&R SHOW April 14, 2011

Filed under: GRANRODEO — solarblade @ 7:36 pm

Track Listing

  1. We wanna R&R SHOW
  2. SEA OF STARS
  3. We wanna R&R SHOW (OFF VOCAL)
  4. SEA OF STARS (OFF VOCAL)

1. We wanna R&R SHOW

I just don’t know what to say about We wanna R&R SHOW at first since it starts off with KISHOW and lone piano…it was like…really?!? another slow song for an A-side?  At least after that long opening, e-ZUKA pops up and the song turns into anthem rock with loud and gritty guitars and cool vocals from KISHOW.  It’s has energy and punch but it’s not as quick-paced like their B-side, “Shanimuni”.  Good song though!

2. SEA OF STARS

As for the B-side, SEA OF STARS is a bit surprising since there’s synths involved and the song is a bit more like a straightforward rock track with KISHOW doing his thing as usual xD.  It’s an interesting song, but it kind of lacks something that makes me slightly bored of the song.  Maybe it’s because it’s kind of feels too slow for itself.

As the second single, I can’t say that We wanna R&R SHOW is better than “Koi Oto” since the B-side was a bust.  I am a little surprised that the A-side doesn’t even make the cut onto “SUPERNOVA” and I’m not sure why, but SEA OF STARS does which kind of sucks XD.  Now I’m curious about the album.