Kurayami Monogatari

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SID – V.I.P November 18, 2012

Filed under: SID — solarblade @ 8:51 pm

Track Listing

  1. V.I.P
  2. Soumatou
  3. Sympathy (Live from TOUR 2012 “M&W”)
  4. V.I.P -Anime Ver.- (Anime edition only)
  5. V.I.P -Instrumental-

1. V.I.P

After “S”, I was kind of wanting to see SID continue releasing hard stuff since it was a breath of fresh air and all that.  With V.I.P, they kind of took their sound to an interesting area and it sounds WAYYYY anison…like almost 5pb. worthy!  I’m not used to it and it really felt uncharacteristic for them to be pulling this off (something tells me they’re trying to be less of what they used to be).  I don’t know it’s a weird song for me to be honest.

2. Soumatou

I love hearing erhu so it made me happy to hear Soumatou begin with a pretty intro and keep it going.  The song does have more of a rockin’ feel and less anison than “V.I.P” and I really enjoyed hearing a pretty song like this.  The chorus does remind me of some of the songs from “M&W” but it stands out primarily because of the erhu presence.  Not bad and I was more comfortable listening to this.

3. Sympathy (Live from TOUR 2012 “M&W”)

I definitely remember Sympathy since it was one of my 5 top favorites from “dead stock” and I remember it being the edgy and cool closing track as well.  Seeing the single having a live version had got me excited for sure!  Mao sounds sooo good live (I think I’ve said that everytime I reviewed a live track).  The energy is great and the crowd is loving it as well.  Just a great song live!

 

 

As they start their 4th major era, V.I.P is a very odd way to start it off IMO.  V.I.P is such a strange conundrum of uncharacteristic vibes and strange dive into the anison world (granted SID has done many anime themes, but none that sounded so…typical anison…).  Soumatou might not be their most unique B-side, but the erhu was a nice touch to what could’ve been a plain rock song….and the live take of Sympathy was great…Overall it’s just a strange single…

 

HALLOWEEN JUNKY ORCHESTRA – HALLOWEEN PARTY October 15, 2012

Track Listing

  1. HALLOWEEN PARTY
  2. Penalty Waltz

1. HALLOWEEN PARTY

Wow, what a cast of people chosen for this song!  I mean you have both members of VAMPS, Anna Tsuchiya, Kanon Wakeshima, Tomoko Kawase in both her solo monikers, yasu, DAIGO, KYO, Tatsurou, Aoki and various other musicians (which I’ll talk about in the next track).  This track is just dark and fitting for the occasion for sure.  A lot of different vocals and tones that it is messy but in the way that only Halloween would deem it perfectly fitting.  Now seeing as hyde has the most vocals, it was great hearing familiar voices as well like all of the above (especially the female singers).  The hook/chorus of the song eerily sounds like Tomoko’s own “Lollipop Candy♥BAD♥girl” but still this song is a great song and everyone that took part (even the secondary guys in the PV should get a pat on their back for this awesomeness). 

2. Penalty Waltz

So for K.A.Z, Hitsugi, RINA, Aki, and whoever else plays instruments in the group, they get their own instrumental track and it’s a pretty interesting waltz.  It’s funny to see how it moves and then get interrupted by sounds of monsters breaking things and making sounds.  I mean it doesn’t stick as strong as “HALLOWEEN PARTY” did, but I guess it was to make up for the people that didn’t sing on the main track so I can understand why this is here.

 

 

Wow, HALLOWEEN JUNKY ORCHESTRA is a unique and quite awesome of a group filled with known stars in the rock field.  This single was pretty awesome and definitely is colorful and bizarre and just all kinds of random.  I think another song would’ve been a lot better than Penelty Waltz, but I understand why it’s there….I hope they can do something in the future and not be a one-time thing.

 

SID – M&W August 20, 2012

Filed under: SID — solarblade @ 5:35 am

Track Listing

  1. Konagona
  2. Ghost Apartment
  3. Fuyu no Bench
  4. Ito
  5. Cafe de Bossa
  6. S
  7. MOM
  8. Itsuka
  9. Dress Code
  10. gossip!!
  11. Nokoriga

1. Konagona

SID opens up M&W with Konagona and wasn’t surprised that was a pretty straightforward rock track from the band.  I will say that I liked the verses and the chorus broadened things out in a good way too.  Mao’s vocals are quite nice and doesn’t seem to bore me so I felt overall, this was a pretty good first track.

2. Ghost Apartment

I really think that the album begins with Ghost Apartment because this stood out to me in a lot of ways!  I mean, I love the big band feel of the track and fits the title nicely.  I think the thing that stood out for me the most was the fact that the band just rolled with what they got and it turned out to be a winner for me…Great song here!

3. Fuyu no Bench

Moving onto the second A-side released for the album and the album’s wintry tune.  It does seem a little weird that they placed it after the exciting “Ghost Apartment” but whatever it’s still early in the album.  Fuyu no Bench has slowly grown on me over time but I still am a bit bored with the song because of its closeness to the other A-sides (sans “S”).  Mao sounds also much tamer than the previous track which is nice too.  Good rock ballad for them though.

4. Ito

Back to the new tracks, Ito is also considered a rock ballad as it’s much lighter than “Fuyu no Bench” is.  I really didn’t know what to say because I was kind of tired of listening to the slower tracks from SID and here’s another one for the album.  I do kind of think it is better than most of the other tracks on the album since it’s not boring and it does get cooler once the guitar solos kick in. 

5. Cafe de Bossa

If you wanted something to lighten things up, Cafe de Bossa comes in as a strange light-hearted tune that has that Starbucks laidback atmosphere mixed with the band’s sound.  It’s a strange mix like I said and it’s refreshing but I don’t feel like I remember this song compared to the others.  At least it doesn’t make a next track feels as random have it been after “Ito”.

6. S

About our next tune, S is their hardest track they’ve had in a long while and I’m happy it’s on the album, but it still doesn’t seem to fit very well simply because of it’s hard rock sound.  The thing about it that struck me the most is how that it harkens back to their older days which to be honest a lot more stronger than what they have been doing (even though I did like “dead stock”).  S just shows that that flame in SID hasn’t died out yet!

7. MOM

Kind of strange to see MOM come after “S”, but this song is quite funky and represents the good side to SID’s experimentations.  I was surprised to hear how much saxophone was actually present in the song and the funky guitar riffs to be added as well.  A rather good surprise for the album, not better than the previous track but MOM is probably one of the better album tracks ^_^

8. Itsuka

The oldest of the A-sides, Itsuka escaped my mind because I didn’t think it was really memorable for me.  Hearing it now, it’s like a mix of “Fuyu no Bench” and “Nokoriga” by being slow most of the time but having a quicker chorus.  Actually to be honest, it reminds me more of “Konogona”.  Itsuka isn’t a totally bad song because I do like how it flows and Mao sounds great and all, but I feel other songs surpass it. 

9. Dress Code

The shortest song at 3 minutes, Dress Code takes after “Ghost Apartment” but has less excitement going on but still kind of has a mysterious but classy glow about it that I enjoy.  The chorus is stronger and I love the piano fiddling around the arrangement.  The only thing I kind of was frowning about is the slower middle section that kind of had an awkward transition…otherwise this is good enough to be passable.

10. gossip!!

The final new song, gossip!! is pretty much a fun song to listen to actually.  I’m loving the California-esque feel of the song and Mao sounds a bit more interested in singing the song, scratch that…the entire band sounds like they’re having a blast with it.  I liked this track for it’s basically cool style.

11. Nokoriga

Appropriately enough, SID decided to make Nokoriga (the 3rd A-side) close the album out.  I find it better on the album as compared to being the single after “Fuyu no Bench”.  The main problem I had was that it sounded like the A-sides previous and really didn’t have identity on its own merit.  I still do feel the same way but as it’s the album’s conclusion…I find it oddly better.  I still do consider the 2nd A-side better but Nokoriga is slowly growing.

Tracks Recommended

  • S
  • MOM
  • Ito
  • Ghost Apartment
  • gossip!!

Song of Avoidance

  • Cafe de Bossa

I was kind of worried with M&W compared to “dead stock” this time around simply because the A-sides weren’t all that great except “S”.  The album is good for what it is, but it’s just not as good as their last album.  It just feels as it SID took it maybe a but too easy this time around and I kind of wanted more out of it. 

 

SID – S May 13, 2012

Filed under: SID — solarblade @ 7:00 am

Track Listing

  1. S
  2. Rainy Day
  3. Utahime (Live from “3.16 SHOOTING LIVE”)

1. S

After all my complaining so far in this era, S totally blew me away with it’s edgier atmosphere and risky nature which is something I’ve been craving since “Ranbu no Melody”.  The arrangement does have a certain UVERworld qualiy that I enjoy but with Mao’s vocals which are quite expressive and strong to listen to.  Definitely one of my favorites from SID yet!

2. Rainy Day

The B-side is more or less something they’ve been doing for A-sides since the end of the “dead stock” era ended.  It’s a lot lighter of course and has more of a laidback setting compared to “S”.  Sadly since it kind of does follow in the reins of “Nokoriga” it’s kind of boring for me and lacks colors where the A-side had so much of.

3. Utahime (Live from “3.16 SHOOTING LIVE”)

From the “sleep” single, Utahime always stood out to me as a fun song to perform and it carried over to its live version.  They sound great live and they purely sound like they were having fun performing this tune.  Not much more to say though but it’s a solid live.

 

 

After being so ehhh for a while, it was great to see SID burst the door down with S (funny though how it was only released about a week after “Nokoriga”).  S was just badass and is right now the best this current era has for them (not counting B-sides).  However, the fact the A-side ended up so good didn’t really lend itself to its B-side in Rainy Day which is kind of more of the same from SID that they’ve been releasing in recent days.  The live version of Utahime was good however…so overall it was a good single ^_^.

 

SID – Nokoriga May 1, 2012

Filed under: SID — solarblade @ 2:33 am

Track Listing

  1. Nokoriga
  2. Graduation
  3. Higasa (Live from JACK IN HE BOX 2011)

1. Nokoriga

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised SID would continue on this raher mid-tempo streak as of recent.  Not that I hate it or anything but I like the group back at an energetic state since Nokoriga kind of reminds me of their last A-side, “Fuyu no Bench” because it’s slower and sounds like a ballad but with the band playing along…plus Mao sounds no different here to then.  I’m just not impressed.

2. Graduation

Which is why I’m always up for SID’s B-sides because they are always better (now I just believe SID’s problems are the fact that better songs aren’t chosen as the lead track.  It’s not as vibrant as past B-sides but at least it has more movement and less blandness all-around.  Once again, Mao doesn’t seem to be making any strides to be more flashy or exciting but it’s a small step above “Nokoriga”.

3. Higasa (Live from JACK IN THE BOX 2011)

Fun that they chose a song from more recent times, Higasa (from the “Uso” single) manages to be done live and make this single as a live version.  I never heard Higasa prior so it comes unfortunate that I was even more bored with this song than with “Nokoriga” to be honest.  It’s slow and just doesn’t really work wih me very well.  Oh well….

 

 

SID’s third single and they still haven’t released an upbeat A-side which is quickly making me bored of them.  I mean “Fuyu no Bench” did somewhat grow on me…but I don’t find anything special about Nokoriga really.  Graduation is better but not by much and still nothing like “Ranbu no Melody”.  The live version of Higasa isn’t exciting either but still does a good job showing that SID is great live.  With “S” coming out soon, I just hope things gets better as they get near their third major label album

 

SID – Fuyu no Bench December 24, 2011

Filed under: SID — solarblade @ 11:07 am

Track Listing

  1. Fuyu no Bench
  2. Otori
  3. Alibi (Live from “dead stock TOUR 2011”)

1. Fuyu no Bench

SID and ballads?  I would have never expected for the band to make their winter song to be as softly done as Fuyu no Bench was.  Though I will say that I’m kind of bored with this one despite Mao sounding really nice.  I mean I guess it’s alright and it’s a little more memorable than “Itsuka” but this is kind of being too soft and a little meh.

2. Otori

They never seem to ever disappoint in their B-sides and Otori continues this tradition quite well.  I’m like the faster pace of the song mixed with latin acoustic guitar and this kind of surfers feel (at least that’s what I think of).  Mao’s also singing better as well and it just left a better mark on me than friggin “Fuyu no Bench”.

3. Alibi (Live from “dead stock TOUR 2011”)

Of course, SID’s single is going to end with live version of one of their songs, this time it’s Alibi from their sophomore album, “Hoshi no Miyako”.  I love the strings that open the song and then hearing brass also being incorporated in the song as well.  I was surprised I missed this because it’s catchy and the right kind of light and spaz.  Yeah it’s really good.

 

 

SID ends the year off with a kind of disappointing A-side in Fuyu no Bench.  I’m not sure why but so far in this era they’ve been kind of slumping on their music (kind of how the first two singles from the “dead stock” era turned out).  At least it had Otori to fall back on since it turned out to be feisty and fun…but c’mon the live version of Alibi was what I wanted to hear more from SID…hopefully 2012 will be better for them.

 

SID – Itsuka September 26, 2011

Filed under: SID — solarblade @ 8:04 am

Track Listing

  1. Itsuka
  2. Akikaze
  3. NO LDK (Live from “dead stock” TOUR 2011″)

1. Itsuka

Whoa there Mao, let’s not overdo that opening eh?  Itsuka to me comes off as a regular rock track from SID and as much as that sounds bad…it kind of isn’t considering their last few singles lol.  It’s a bit tame and toned down when compared to their last single “Ranbu no Melody” but this has a nice feel to it though.  Mao does a good job of singing the tune and the added strings was a nice touch as well.  Though yeah, after their last A-side…I was kind of expecting something different, but this was nice.

2. Akikaze

I love SID’s B-sides so much more than their lead in songs (which makes me hope for a B-side collection in the future).  Akikaze might not be as oddball as some of their previous B-sides, but it’s different enough from “Itsuka” to make an impression on me.  I mean it’s brighter and there’s some good light guitar notes in the song that gives it this playful nature.  The guitar solo was a bit random, but for a song meaning autumn breeze, this is really nice.

3. NO LDK (Live from “dead stock TOUR 2011”)

Rounding out the single is a live version of the first track off their last album, “dead stock”.  I remember having mixed feelings about the song, but the fact that the dance beats are not as prevalent here is nice and the band takes over the song much more.  I think they do great when they pull live versions of songs and they pulled off NO LDK quite good.

 

 

SID begins a new era with an alright single with Itsuka.  After all the awesomeness in the “dead stock” era, it’s really weird that Itsuka kind of pulls them down to a normal level.  I still think the B-side, Akikaze was the best off the single…but I think that’s been the norm with SID.

 

SID – dead stock February 28, 2011

Filed under: SID — solarblade @ 8:25 am

Track Listing

  1. NO LDK
  2. Shelter
  3. cosmetic
  4. Ii Hito
  5. Ranbu no Melody (ALBUM MIX)
  6. Rain
  7. dog run
  8. one way
  9. 2-gatsu
  10. Wife
  11. sleep
  12. Sympathy

1. NO LDK

SID opens up the album quite nicely with NO LDK.  I still love whenever they tested out the sort of danceish side to their music and NO LDK kind of takes off on it, but it’s not as evident like “Utahime”.  I love Mao’s vocals though as it’s as strong as it has been during the era.  Shinji’s solo also fits a bit…but I don’t know why, but it’s not as strong as it was and it ends the song.  Ok…

2. Shelter

Next up is the album’s shortest track, Shelter.  I’m not really sure what to make it of the song since it has a whole lot of Yuuya for some reason which kind of turned me off, but things quite clear up after a while.  It’s not the most interesting of songs off the album but at leads it’s nice to have more songs right? 

3. cosmetic

As the album’s 4th A-side released in the era, cosmetic stood out for me because it’s not like the rest of the 4 A-sides released in the era.  To me the more jazzy-ish light side of SID stuck out in the song and I loved Mao’s interest within the song.  I have to say, if there’s a song that represents SID’s classyness, I’d go for this song and it even has a solo for both Shinji and bassist Aki.  Fun, fun, song!

4. Ii Hito

Taking it even more slower, Ii Hito actually feels more jazzier than friggin “cosmetic” did.  It doesn’t have SID whippin out hard guitars and J-rock this time which is a sweet thing.  To me, Ii Hito is for the people that really loved “Danro” off the “Ranbu no Melody” single and I will say it’s just as so odd and yet so sweet to listen to.  It’s very abstract of a group like SID, but I love these kind of experiments since most of the time, they get it right!

5. Ranbu no Melody (ALBUM MIX)

I find it funny that Ranbu no Melody (5th A-side) was the only song that got edited for the album.  Even then, the changes are slight as they are only in some instruments, but there’s more prominence of Shinji’s guitar parts for sure so it might make the song better for some of it.  All I care is that it’s the same Bleach song that made me yell ~shizuka ni, shizuka ni~.  I mean that’s so catchy XD

6. Rain

Going from a song that was tied to Bleach to a song from Fullmetal Alchemist, Rain might have been the first song I’ve ever heard from SID, but it’s not the only ballad A-side (sharing with “sleep”).  While it gets into rockin’ SID in the chorus, Rain has since went down a few notches, especially with the amount of songs that were experimental, it made this one seem kind of one-dimensional of a song, but I still like the song since it’s my first SID song.

7. dog run

Back to strange land, dog run is so goofy of a song that it almost makes me want to make SID and oshare-kei band, but they lack the visual freakiness XD.  dog run’s arrangement just screams ikimono-gakari for some reason but I love it since it’s so upbeat and relatively cute for a band that does a whole lot of serious music.  I think they really stuck the odd chord though with Shinji’s solo.  It’s not totally out of place, but it’s something you wouldn’t expect in such a song.  I liked this hahaha.

8. one way

I guess one way is the fastest song off the album huh?  I guess it’s just me but after the last few songs, I feel like this one was the J-rock typical track from SID and while I don’t hate it, it kind of feels like the song was just a stepping stone before they rocked the era with the rest of the A-sides.

9. 2-gatsu

I’m guessing we’re at the low point of the album?  2-gatsu does feel like something different from SID since we really didn’t have a straightforward mid-tempo track from them.  I like the kind of American-like sound I get from this song and Mao’s vocals sound quite controlled moreso than in most of the other tracks.  It’s alright, but nothing too fancy.

10. Wife

Another bizarre song from SID, Wife almost wants to take a latin twist with the way it moved and how quick the song was presented.  I thought it was pretty spiffy of them to that and I love the accordion here as well.  However it’s only 3 seconds longer than the shortest song on the album so that should tell you it’s a quick hitter.  I actually ended up loving this song quite a bit for it’s spastic nature and randomness xD

11. sleep

A ballad after something like “Wife” should be reprimanded for such a rift.  As the era’s 2nd A-side, sleep was kind of the weakest A-side for me in the era.  However, seeing as it was kind of like “Rain” in the arrangement though coming first I’m torn.  I do love Mao’s vocals quite a bit in the song, but at the same time he sounded quite the same in the next A-side.  I need to change my mindset I guess because I think I can enjoy this track more than I am now.

12. Sympathy

Closing SID’s sophomore major label album, Sympathy sounds like it should’ve been located more in the middle of the album but it makes for an epic album closer since this is the most energetic song that’s not fully experimental.  Yeah, I love the energy I get from the song and it’s obvious from how the band is workin the song hahaha.  Good closer!

Tracks Recommended

  • Ranbu no Melody (ALBUM MIX)
  • Ii Hito
  • Sympathy
  • cosmetic
  • dog run

Song of Avoidance

  • Shelter

Being as this is my first SID album, I must say I’m impressed with the material we got on here.  I was initially worried that the lack of B-sides meant the album was just going to be either rock (Ranbu no Melody & one way) or a rock/ballad (Rain and sleep) with cosmetic being the wild card.  However, most of the new songs were more experimental than cosmetic and it turned out that I really liked em.  They had some slips, but I still had fun with the album and it turned out great!

 

SID – sleep February 24, 2011

Filed under: SID — solarblade @ 6:56 am

Track Listing

  1. sleep
  2. Utahime
  3. Aikagi (Live from SID TOUR 2009 hikari)

1. sleep

To me, sleep actually reminds me of “Rain” which is oddly enough the single right after this single.  Both are more along the lines of a rock ballad, but for some reason this one has a bit more of a stronger ballad sense.  However, because I came in listening to “Rain” first, this is a little odd to say, but I feel like a bit torn, between which of the two A-sides is better. 

2. Utahime

So of course with the B-side, we get a new side to the band that I haven’t seen on other reviewed singles.  I mean SID doing a sort of discotheque kind of song?  It’s strange on paper, but seeing them execute the song and give it such a fun atmosphere worked for me since it’s quick and peppy. 

3. Aikagi (Live from SID TOUR 2009 hikari)

From the same tour that they performed “Doyoubi no Onna” off their last single, Aikagi appears on this one and since it’s the B-side from their second indies single “paint pops”, I was interested in hearing this and I was surprised it was another rock ballad from SID.  However, unlike “sleep”, Aikagi actually gets a bit more oomph out from the band than sad song so it’s not a typical full ballad.  It’s great and Mao sounds pretty smooth as he usually does in lives…I do question the beginning with the guitar…but…it’s alright otherwise.

sleep to me does feel a lot like “Rain” in the main song they’re both ballads.  However, I loved Utahime’s danceish atmosphere and the live version of Aikagi was nice as well.  Still, it doesn’t feel as strong as I thought it’d be and to be frank, even “one way” was slightly better.  Thank god they brought it for the rest of the era.

 

SID – one way

Filed under: SID — solarblade @ 6:38 am

Track Listing

  1. one way
  2. Kaitou Neon
  3. Doyoubi no Onna (Live from SID TOUR 2009 hikari)

1. one way

Since this was their first A-side of the “dead stock” era, I guess I had to come back and review the single eh?  Sadly it’s a bit depressing that I chose to not review this first because one way feels so very unmemorable when compared to the later singles (with the exception of “sleep” since I haven’t reviewed it yet).  To me, it feels quite like the basic kind of song to be expected from SID, but Mao’s vocals have energy and the rather quick tempo of the song works for me, but it feels iono…like nothing else really stood out.

2. Kaitou Neon

SID’s B-sides are always interesting, sometimes even more than the A-side.  Kaitou Neon is a pretty interesting sound to it that almost wants to touch the genre of big band almost with the groovy rhythms and Mao’s sweet tone for the song.  I love Shinji’s playing in the song and really made me wanna get up and dance along.  Good B-side

3. Doyoubi no Onna (Live from SID TOUR 2009 hikari)

Seeing as that ever since SID became a major label group they’ve had live versions of songs on each single, it’s no surprise that the first of the era continues to do em.  Doyoubi no Onna (a song off their debut indies album “Ren’ai”) surprised me since it’s so light and kind of mysterious in its own way.  I love Mao’s sly and kind of sexy vocals in the song…it gave it a whole lot to go by for sure.  Good live cut here.

Beginning the “dead stock” era, one way might have been a slight stepping stone after “hikari” (then again I wouldn’t know, since I’ve never listened to “hikari”).  It just seems that since I started listening to SID through the third of the era, it just seems this was just the beginning of what was to come and it clearly has gotten better.  Of course I wasn’t disappointed in either Kaitou Neon nor the live version of Doyoubi no Onna.  It’s a good start ^_^