Kurayami Monogatari

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SuG – sweeToxic September 25, 2012

Filed under: SuG — solarblade @ 8:19 pm

Track Listing

  1. sweeToxic
  2. fat inside horror
  3. LOVE SCREAM PARTY (Rebirth version) (Regular edition only)

1. sweeToxic

That intro was giving off the wrong vibes at first because I thought it was going to be hardcore.  With sweeToxic, it isn’t rough, but at the same time the song doesn’t seem to really impress me much otherwise.  I mean the typical stuff of brass and it just seems to lack the SuG spark that I’m so used to (well “Fukanzen Beautyfool Days” still sucks).  It just sounds like a mess!  Something about Takeru though bothered me and I’m not sure why since he usually sounds like this…maybe it’s just that he didn’t fit with the song perhaps?  I don’t know…

2. fat inside horror

Then the B-side comes in and I’m kind of pushed away because this is the hardest I’ve heard SuG and Takeru is kind of doing those growling and other weird things going on and I’m just not into it.  At least the chorus sounds pretty awesome but the verses were a total mess and the growlin’ just doesn’t work for SuG IMO.  At least it’s short…

3. LOVE SCREAM PARTY (Rebirth version) 

Like on their last single, SuG decided to update one of their already existing songs.  From their debut mini-album, “I SCREAM PARTY”, LOVE SCREAM PARTY is a track I’m not familiar with, but with the fact that it’s a really old tune, I like that they updated it.  I am enjoying Takeru and find him rolling syllables to be rather unique.  Strange that this is pretty much my favorite track off the single.

 

 

SuG begins a new era with a pretty bad single (even worse than “Fukanzen Beautyfool Days” which was their last single.  sweeToxic doesn’t resonate with me and somehow Takeru even doesn’t fit the song for some reason, it just is a wall of sound for the most part.  Same can be said about fat inside horror as well since it tries to make SuG hardcore but it doesn’t work for them either…At least LOVE SCREAM PARTY is something good…however it’s a redone tune so that might not count here….maybe they’ll pick it up on the next single…

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SuG – Lollipop Kingdom May 1, 2012

Filed under: SuG — solarblade @ 6:18 am

Track Listing

  1. Lollipop Kingdom
  2. Pastel Horror Yum Yum Show
  3. ☆Gimme×Gimme☆
  4. Toy Soldier
  5. No! More! War!
  6. crispy.
  7. Howling Magic
  8. sleazy ARMY blood
  9. yellow strider
  10. SWEET COUNT DOWN -Album Ver.-
  11. Kitanai Kotoba
  12. Fukanzen Beautyfool Days
  13. DOKI DOKI TV CREW
  14. Fancy Cake Yum Yum Show
  15. Tokidoki Suteki na Kono Sekai (Regular edition only)

1. Lollipop Kingdom

As the introductory piece, Lollipop Kingdom is a short (almost 3 minute) track that kind of fits the atmosphere of the cover of the album (not the one above but the limited versions).  It has a lot of weird things going on and the vocals are a bit all over the place as well as the arrangement giving this chaotic sound overall…it’s just strange and a couple of times we hear Takeru clearly, but it’s mostly focused on it’s wild arrangement.

2. Pastel Horror Yum Yum Show

There has to be a connection between this and later song “Fancy Cake Yum Yum Show”.  Anyways continuing on with out circus-y atmosphere, PHYYS is quite dark for SuG but also carries they playful energies quite nicely.  I love the strings and brass being included along with the band’s gritty feel to make it pretty unique.  I will say there are some parts that are somewhat awkward to listen to…but it’s fixed with its chorus which is pretty cool.  Not bad and the instrumental parts with the accordion is creepy!

3. ☆Gimme×Gimme☆

I’m not sure if there was any changes done to the first A-side of the “Lollipop Kingdom” era but the title has slightly changed (it was originally written in katakana but the album has it down in english and with that extra ×.  Their A-sides have been mostly straightforward which is a surprise considering some other things but it’s in the past.  I like that after the previous tune, they cut back on the wackiness just for a bit and gave us a song like this.  I mean I still prefer stuff like “Crazy Bunny Coaster” and all but this was quite strong as an A-side!

4. Toy Soldier

I thought “☆Gimme×Gimme☆” was good, but I thought Toy Soldier was the best A-side from this album.  I do love their wacky songs here and there but Toy Soldier was kind of a mix between wacky and just cute for some reason to me.  I can forgive Takeru for singing in a more cutesy pitch than normal since it fits this song so well!  It’s a fun ass song from them!

5. No! More! War!

Getting into a string of new songs, No! More! War! kicks things off very strangely with that yell that took me out.  No! More! War! is very freaky for me for some reason…like it belongs in a different time.  It’s like 90’s R&B/Pop (ala Janet Jackson-ish).  It’s a very unorthodox style for SuG and not even Takeru could pull seriousness off here…they tried to hard on this one and it kind of annoys me here.

6. crispy.

Moving from that awkward mess into crispy. is pretty freaky not gonna lie.  I mean this track is so laidback and relaxing to listen to for some reason and that’s a good sign.  Takeru is actually singing quite lightly which gives him a little more depth to his style of vocals.  It’s different and I liked that about this song a lot…quite impressive actually…though I could live without the disc scratching parts.

7. Howling Magic

Howling Magic would be the second promotional song for this album, (the other was actually “Pastel Horror Yum Yum Show”, and I MUCH preferred this over the latter.  It’s a lot more together of a song and took the strings that worked well already and added to this song.  It kind of rides like “☆Gimme×Gimme☆” though it might be me but I hear f-bombs XD.  It’s interesting and there’s places where it has a certain circus-y theme but small parts.  Not bad of a song.

8. sleazy ARMY blood

sleazy ARMY blood might take the role as the album’s hardest hitting songs because of the guitar chords and the angsty tone Takeru is shooting with his lyrics.  Otherwise, I don’t really remember the song beyond the fact it’s heavy and aggressive…some might enjoy this though I have to admit.

9. yellow strider

Going into the album’s interlude, yellow strider is just as heavy and aggressive like “sleazy ARMY blood” but more wild because Takeru does a bit more growling and shouting which would normally turn me off but it was OK since it was short. 

10. SWEET COUNT DOWN -Album Ver.-

Even though the entire “Fukanzen Beautyfool Days” single never leaked, the one that did had this song which is good.  Now it’s a new version of course but once again if there is any changes to the song, it’s very minor.  It is a little clearer which is nice but after a while it felt like it was made pretty quickly because it still feels like it was undermade at places…meh.

11. Kitanai Kotoba

Why am I not surprised the album’s longest song was going to be a ballad?  Kitanai Kotoba and it’s 6:20-ness comes after the rather plaid “SWEET COUNT DOWN” which isn’t good news but at least SuG is trying to keep things interesting.  They didn’t succeed very well though since it didn’t get any better for me.  It’s like they were told to have a ballad somewhere.

12. Fukanzen Beautyfool Days

Their third A-side comes next and I still can’t really stand it very well.  I really don’t know why because like “Pastel Horror Yum Yum Show” the strings are great and they give a playfulness that the band couldn’t get with just their instruments.  However, that chorus just annoys me to no end for some reason.  It’s just Takeru saying the title and I’m already turned off xD. 

13. DOKI DOKI TV CREW

I liked the band themselves when I listened to this song because it was quick-paced and the fast notes were pretty good…plus I loved hearing more bass in this song.  It’s still kind of weird in that sense because it’s like western but not at the same time.  Takeru is having fun too singing all over the place and all lol.  Not bad though as well.

14. Fancy Cake Yum Yum Show

Like I said, I’m willing to say that this and the second track are connected somehow but the final song for both Limited editions end with this big band song which is quite something and kind of cute in a way which is great to see.  It’s got a nice sound to it and Takeru kept it safe so it wouldn’t be ridiculous.  Nice closure!

15. Tokidoki Suteki na Kono Sekai

As the Regular bonus track, Tokidoki Suteki na Kono Sekai kind of reminded me of an idol song at the beginning but quickly becomes a speedy little tune.  Takeru’s vocals are kind spotty in places but I’m still kind of WTF at the brass used here since it makes it sound like some AKB track.  For being a one-edition track, it kind of doesn’t stand out.  I think it would’ve been better somewhere in the middle of the album and not the end since “Fancy Cake Yum Yum Show” did a better job as the closing.

Tracks Recommended

  • crispy.
  • Toy Soldier
  • Fancy Cake Yum Yum Show
  • Howling Magic
  • ☆Gimme×Gimme☆

Song of Avoidance

  • No! More! War!

As it’s SuG’s 4th full album, I have to say that I was enjoying this as much as I did with “Thrill Ride Pirates” since a lot of the songs were just merely ok and some of them were just not all that great.  I mean the singles were good (cept Fukanzen Beautyfool Days which was bad).  Still, there were some good stuff but this album wasn’t as good as their last.

 

SuG – Fukanzen Beautyfool Days February 7, 2012

Filed under: SuG — solarblade @ 9:18 pm

Track Listing

  1. Fukanzen Beautyfool Days
  2. SWEET COUNT DOWN (CD+DVD A & B Editions only)
  3. Vi-Vi-Vi <Rebirth Version> (CD C Edition only)
  4. Boom Boom Neat (Regular Edition only)

1. Fukanzen Beautyfool Days

It’s kind of strange that coming from “Toy Soldier”, we get this rather odd and kind of effortless song in “Fukanzen Beautyfool Days”.  I mean there’s points of the song that sound rather alright, but otherwise the song doesn’t feel very energetic and lacks the spark SuG songs usually has.  It’s just standard rock…sadly it’s their worst A-side of the era yet.

2. SWEET COUNT DOWN

As a B-side it’s not surprising that I was more interested in this a little more than “Fukanzen Beautyfool Days”.  There’s a bit more excitement here and Takeru is doing a little rapping on the side in the song.  The cool thing is the guitar has more of a presence and is more edgy than before.  It’s like they took “☆Gimme Gimme☆” and made it better. 

3. Vi-Vi-Vi <Rebirth Version>

On another version of the limited single, we get a new version of Vi-Vi-Vi (which was originally from their first album “n0iZ stAr”).  I’m not sure of the changes of the song, but I’m guessing it’s probably just updating the tune.  I’m loving the synths though and Takeru gives one of his stronger performances than he had in a while.  Definitely a strong song and I’m happy they brought something back from the past!

4. Boom Boom Neat

On the regular, we get another brassy track with Boom Boom Neat and I also found myself liking this until Takeru starts to sing.  He kind of overdoes it in the song, but the song is still kind of infectious in a way.  I think it’s all right, but this song just kind of sits on the fence.

 

 

SuG disappointed me with their third single of the current era.  I don’t know why, but Fukanzen Beautyfool Days lacked a lot of the usual goodness that makes SuG songs so good!  However, SWEET COUNT DOWN did make up for that by being wild and having Takeru do a little rapping here and there.  Vi-Vi-Vi is pretty good retouch of their original song and I like that.  Boom Boom Neat is ok, but a little under the other GOOD tracks on the single.

 

SuG – Toy Soldier November 2, 2011

Filed under: SuG — solarblade @ 8:12 pm

Track Listing

  1. Toy Soldier
  2. KIRA-KIRA
  3. #9 garbage (Regular Edition only)

1. Toy Soldier

There’s just something about SuG that just stands out for me with their music for sure and Toy Soldier is no exception because it’s fun, unique, and just is what SuG is made of.  Takeru sounds good along with the bright arrangement and he and the band is just having fun with the song for sure!  I loved this a whole lot more than “☆Gimme Gimme☆”.

2. KIRA-KIRA

As the main B-side, KIRA-KIRA might be a little surprising being after such a fun and goofy song in “Toy Soldier”.  To be honest if it wasn’t for the amound of synths, I would’ve been almost saying that it could easily be passed off as a SID song.  Even though I know Mao’s vocals are totally different from Takeru’s.  It’s a nice song and it brings out more of the laidback and maybe serious stuff from the group.  It gives them multiple moods which is what I love about SuG.

3. #9 garbage

Found only on the regular edition of the single, #9 garbage once again gives a different feel of the band by giving us a more edgier and wilder song that leans more on the strange.  I mean when you have Takeru rapping in the song and the song has this tinge of hip-hop goin’, it’s just an interesting song.  I could do without the yelling, but it’s alright but the other two tracks are better.

 

 

It has been a little while since their last single, but I think the time off did well for them because Toy Soldier was such a fun single to listen to that’s for sure.  Toy Soldier is their crazy ass random song that somehow works for me and while I still prefer “Crazy Bunny Coaster”, this was pretty good.  KIRA-KIRA is also pretty good by just being a straightforward kind of tune.  #9 garbage isn’t as good, but I can see it growing after a while.  Awesome single though!

 

SuG – ☆Gimme Gimme☆ June 20, 2011

Filed under: SuG — solarblade @ 7:13 pm

Track Listing

  1. ☆Gimme Gimme☆
  2. Kinishii Yankees
  3. Keiyaku Kanojo, Ikenie Kareshi (Regular edition only)

1. ☆Gimme Gimme☆

After the strange things that their last A-side, “Crazy Bunny Coaster” brought, it was nice to see SuG at a more normal side of their music and Gimme Gimme is pretty much their last A-side but without the multitude of synths and strangeness.  Takeru’s vocals are a bit more child-like here or way emphasized, but it stands out for me.  It’s pretty good of a song but I think I prefer some of their stuff previous IMO.

2. Kinishii Yankees

Which is funny because Kinishii Yankees reminds me more of “Crazy Bunny Coaster” but slightly slower.  Since this song features prominence on the synths more than the guitars, the song is very strange, but I like the arrangement a whole lot.  Takeru though….ehhhh he’s alright but he seems to be out of the song in places…it’s just weird.

3. Keiyaku Kanojo, Ikenie Kareshi

So the regular edition has ended up with another song and this is kind of unusual but pretty damn cool nonetheless.  I like the brassy feel of the tune and yet it retains the oddness of SuG like Takeru’s rapping (odd right?).  It’s funky and quite classy when it wants to be and I love that a lot about the song!  Not bad!

 

 

SuG begins a new era on a very weird note with ☆Gimme Gimme☆.  The main track was good to bring back the band to actual rock but Takeru’s vocals were oddly too cute for that song.  Kinishii Yankess follws their synth-loving side though but Takeru there felt out of place.  At least things picked up at Keiyaku Kanojo.  Strange single overall! lol

 

SuG – Thrill Ride Pirates March 19, 2011

Filed under: SuG — solarblade @ 4:27 am

Track Listing

  1. welcome II
  2. mad$hip
  3. R.P.G. ~Rockin’ Playing Game
  4. Crazy Bunny Coaster
  5. funky Idiot
  6. Fast Food Hunters
  7. Pimp My Cars
  8. Extreme fall
  9. Mujouken Koufukuron <album version>
  10. “Kuchiyakusoku”
  11. TRiPbeats
  12. Koakuma Sparkling
  13. Ultra Spin Tea Party
  14. Rocket World
  15. scramble Wa ga Dou
  16. Misora (Regular Edition only)

1. welcome II

Starting the album off with an intro, welcome II is about a minute long and while I know SuG is a strange band as it already states, welcome II is a very weird intro.  It’s weird because I know SuG for their upbeat songs more…and the opening feels dark and creepy in a sense.  It’s pretty cool no doubt, but I’m not sure if it made sense as the intro.

2. mad$hip

Or does it?  Getting into our first vocal track, mad$ship actually follows through with its dark and edgy atmosphere quite nicely.  Takeru’s vocals in the song sound pretty sweet and gives the song a quite strong touch.  To be fair, I still like their straightforward rock songs more than their off the wall stuff, so I may be biased but I like this song quite a bit.

3. R.P.G. ~Rockin’ Playing Game

As the second A-side released in the era, R.P.G. is pretty much lighter than our last song for sure, but it still carries a good melody and it still sounds just as energetic as when it was first released.  Takeru’s vocals to me sound higher pitched as well which might usually have turned me out, but I like his energy so it’s not much of a negative.  I will say the addition of synths are a bit cool however.

4. Crazy Bunny Coaster

I do find the transition into the third A-side in the era very confusing.  Crazy Bunny Coaster is still wacky and bizarre to listen to for sure.  It’s mainly because of the poppy genki stuff that’s in the song, but at the same time I found this rather interesting in the long run and that pseudo rapping is lulzy.  I’ve gotten used to this and it’s one of my favorites from the album.

5. funky Idiot

An interlude this early on in the album?  Why yes!  funky Idiot is at a whopping 30 seconds.  Even stranger is the fact that the song has nature sounds from the rainforest and ends with a jaguar roaring…it’s a little strange and kind of random for SuG (moreso after “Crazy Bunny Coaster”).

6. Fast Food Hunters

Funny enough the interlude does carry on for Fast Food Hunters (HILARIOUS TITLE) and becomes a little more serious of a song with more focus on the guitars and the band rather than the synths.  Takeru is sounding pretty good in the song, but nothing like he did in “mad$hip”.  It’s passable basically.

7. Pimp My Cars

Lulzy title intact, our next track goes for a little more spark and Pimp My Cars got it right in my opinion.  I love the arrangement in the song and the fact that Takeru’s vocals has a bit of filtering going on, but it works since the song has tons more focus on the beat and synths.  There’s a female vocal in the song….is it one of the members?  Hmmmm…  Either way I found this song to be quite epic!

8. Extreme fall

With a title like that, it’s no surprise Extreme fall is one of the hardest hitting songs on the album if not the only one to do so.  I’m not sure how I totally feel about SuG going in a direction like this because it seriously sounds like D’s music but with Takeru’s vocals hahaha.  It’s pretty good right up until the solo with the disc scratching…that was poor planning.  Otherwise, it’s good.

9. Mujouken Koufukuron <album version>

As I’m guessing, this is a new version of Mujouken Koufukuron which was on a DVD-only release which I didn’t review of course.  Since I didn’t listen to it then, I can’t specify what’s different from that to the album version of the song.  I love the beginning of the song since it’s the softest opening I’ve come across yet.  Once Takeru joins the song, it becomes poppy and cute but not at the levels of “Crazy Bunny Coaster”.  It’s just right for them and it’s nice overall. 

10. “Kuchiyakusoku”

Another soft song from the band?  I guess I shouldn’t say anything because I still am not sure what to expect for the rest of the album.  It keeps at a steady for the entire song, but I didn’t know if it was Takeru singing or someone else because it surely felt like a different voice.  I kind of enjoyed listening to this most of the time lol.

11. TRiPbeats

So another interlude pops up at us and this time it’s another minute interlude.  This one kind of follows in the reins of the intro where it sounds a bit darker and the electronic sounds in the song take over.  It’s alright, but nothing that really stands out.

12. Koakuma Sparkling

Finally landing on the A-side that began the era, Koakuma Sparkling gives us the poppy and interesting side to the group with the majority of the arrangement filled with either the band or supporting brass instruments.  Once again, not as silly and outrageous like the 3rd A-side, but this is pretty close and Takeru really scored points with me on this track, it’s so catchy XD

13. Ultra Spin Tea Party

Yeah, this is what I mean, even more wacky songs from the band.  Sadly, I’m not really feeling Takeru’s vocals since he was trying way too hard to be somewhat cute and it really took a toll on the song.  Add that the chorus gives me a headache doesn’t really do much for me.  Yeah…it’s very genki…that’s all I have to say.

14. Rocket World

Endless supply of genki songs I guess, Rocket World might be the shortest of the vocal songs on the album, but this one actually left a good feeling after listening to it.  While I’m still kind of ignoring the cutesy stuff of the song and trying hard to not bag Takeru’s vocals here, the song is fun and full of life.  Yay!

15. scramble Wa ga Dou

So on the limited edition, this would normally close up the album.  Ending the album on a positive note, scramble Wa ga Dou takes some similar pages out of “Koakuma Sparkling” with all that brass, but the song is a total mess otherwise.  I mean the verses were just absurd to listen, but some of the other parts of the song is catchy.  Still I think I’m tired of the upbeat stuff on the album and want something else. 

16. Misora

The regular edition has an extra song to tie the package up and Misora is one of the album’s slowest tracks which is great because it was what was missing on the album.  The slower tempo and steadier vocals really made the song come alive and Takeru did a great job.  If only it closed both versions of the album….xD

Tracks Recommended

  • Pimp My Cars
  • Crazy Bunny Coaster
  • “Kuchiyakusoku”
  • Mujouken Koufukuron <album version>
  • Rocket World

Song of Avoidance

  • scramble Wa ga Dou

SuG’s third album, second major…Thrill Ride Pirates was a very strong effort from this Oshare-kei band for sure and I enjoyed a lot of it.  One side being all rock, the other more silly and abstract.  It’s a very interesting album and while the cutesy side got tiring towards the end, it still left a good impression on me.

 

SuG – Koakuma Sparkling February 24, 2011

Filed under: SuG — solarblade @ 9:21 am

Track Listing

  1. Koakuma Sparkling
  2. Five Starz ~Gomaime Haiyuu~
  3. kanon (Regular Edition only)

1. Koakuma Sparkling

SuG, has so beyond have been surprising with each single and it’s no surprise that Koakuma Sparkling is any different to be honest.  I love the brass-like energy that’s coming from the song mixed in with the band’s guitar-laced riffs.  To me it’s like J-rock meets Idol-pop and Takeru does a great job at being cute in the song and yet keep an edge to the song.  It’s wild and silly and I liked it!

2. Five Starz ~Gomaime Haiyuu~

For the first B-side, Five Starz continues this almost cutesy style but instead of brass at the front, there’s a lot of synths.  I also found it pretty cool that there’s another singer in the song…but I don’t know who it is…after his part, Takeru comes in with a slightly slower part, but jumps back up in the chorus.  It’s even more of an absurd song when compared to the A-side, but it’s not bad at all…just a little different.

3. kanon

Only found on one edition of the single, kanon actually feels like a normal kind of J-rock song and strangely enough, it’s odd for SuG XD.  I do think the keyboards sound really pretty in the song and I love the more serious tone in Takeru’s voice a lot more.  Is it weird that I prefer this song over the rest of the single?

While this is the first single released in the “Thrill Ride Pirates” era, Koakuma Sparkling is just a wacky and strange as the other two singles that came after it.  The almost silly feeling I get with both the A-side and Five Starz is hard to ignore, but it shows personality and I liked that.  However, kanon really popped out of nowhere and impressed me even more when they get serious with the music.  I hope there’s gonna be a few on the album!!!