Kurayami Monogatari

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VAMPS – AHEAD/REPLAY February 18, 2014

Filed under: VAMPS — solarblade @ 5:47 pm

ahead

Track Listing

  1. AHEAD
  2. REPLAY
  3. AHEAD (Instrumental)
  4. REPLAY (Instrumental)

1. AHEAD

Wow, VAMPS seems to just really always have that edgy and powerful sound that catches my eye.  I’m pretty impressed with hyde’s vocals as it’s so gritty and he’s singing mostly in English in the track as well.  It’s not super aggressive, but it definitely has it’s moments of badassery.  I definitely enjoyed this song!

2. REPLAY

On the other hand, the other A-side has a bit more synth found here and kind of has more of a darker tinge in comparison to “AHEAD”.  hyde’s voice is kind of sly and in the chorus has more of a desperate tone which pulled me in a lot surprisingly.  I don’t know why but I quite like this from VAMPS as we never get such a synth/rock track very much.

 

 

After a change of labels, VAMPS returns with AHEAD/REPLAY and it’s pretty solid for the most part.  AHEAD shows more of the rockin’ side of the duo while REPLAY gives us a taste of something a little more daring.  Of course two months later they would release a best album (doesn’t include this single) it makes me hope they’ll pull a 3rd era of singles because this is a good sign!

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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.

 

VAMPS – MEMORIES/GET UP December 15, 2010

Filed under: VAMPS — solarblade @ 11:18 pm

Track Listing

  1. MEMORIES
  2. GET UP -JAPANESE ver.-

1. MEMORIES

Seeing that this song was just on VAMPS’ most recent album, “BEAST”, MEMORIES was a surprise choice for me to have re-cut since it wasn’t one of the stronger songs from there, but I guess seeing how it’s special, I can’t complain.  Also it seems weird they chose this song since it’s light and summery which is totally weird at this point and time.  It’s alright for me since it’s been just OK enough to be A-side material, but iono…Just not the song I would’ve chosen HYDE and KAZ.

2. GET UP -JAPANESE ver.-

Seeing as it’s the only real reason to buy the single, GET UP gets lyrically changed into their native tongue.  I really don’t see it much since there’s still quite a bit of English.  Anyway, GET UP was one of the more powerful songs from the album and this was good to see get changed up.  It’s not bad, but was the language twist really needed?

For being a recut single, I was mostly not surprised what we got with MEMORIES/GET UP since not much has changed in the songs that we were given earlier in the year.  MEMORIES is alright, but there was better songs to have made recut status but w/e.  The new version of GET UP was only slight, but the song is still pretty damn good.  At least this wasn’t like their last recut single, “SWEET DREAMS”.

 

VAMPS – BEAST August 4, 2010

Filed under: VAMPS — solarblade @ 4:32 am

Track Listing

  1. PLUG IN
  2. DEVIL SIDE
  3. ANGEL TRIP
  4. MEMORIES
  5. EUPHORIA
  6. VAMP ADDICTION
  7. REVOLUTION
  8. THE PAST
  9. PIANO DUET
  10. RUMBLE
  11. GET UP
  12. SAMSARA
  13. MY FIRST LAST

1. PLUG IN

Beginning VAMPS’ sophomore effort with an introductory track, PLUG IN sounds so not like them because it’s just a lot of synth and such.  At least it’s about 30 seconds long so it doesn’t put me off too much.

2. DEVIL SIDE

Then I guess they wanted to get through the A-sides out of the way pretty quickly.  Starting with the first of the era, DEVIL SIDE is still one of the best J-rock songs I’ve heard this year and partly because of Hyde and his awesome Engrish.  I don’t know why, but for how edgy and expressive he is in this song, he should get a trophy for this song.  I just love this song to death and it’s a good representation of me in a way hahaha.

3. ANGEL TRIP

Then we get into the second and final A-side of the era and ANGEL TRIP is a bit like the antithesis to “DEVIL SIDE”.   I mean besides being tons lighter than the last song, it’s very summery which fits the release of it quite nicely.  I’m still not the biggest fan of the song, but I’ve finally let it catch on to me and Hyde’s vocals are easy to listen to.

4. MEMORIES

Keeping on a lighter note, MEMORIES has Hyde in his more deeper tone to differentiate between the two songs, but I still feel the summer feeling kind of flow in the song, but I don’t mind that one bit.  After a while listening to the song, I start to dismiss the summer flow and it sounds more serious and stronger than I initially thought.  It’s not a bad song really.

5. EUPHORIA

So getting into our next Engrish song, EUPHORIA follows in the footsteps of “DEVIL SIDE” since it’s more of a hard-hitter and dark-tinged kind of tune.  I liked the addition of synths and keyboard to the song to give it that epic dark sound.  It bridges between being much creepier than “DEVIL SIDE” and being a melodic masterpiece.  It’s definitely one of my favorites of the album.

6. VAMP ADDICTION

Bursting into our next song, there is so much more synth here.  Now Hyde has been singing differently through each song and VAMP ADDICTION is like “lets just see how many of them we can utilize here”.  I love his mysterious whisper-like vocals through the verses and then his full singing voice in the chorus just made it powerful.  I do think the short length of the song actually worked in this case since it didn’t feel that short to me, but w/e.  Still good.

7. REVOLUTION

If there was a song that made me think Green Day off this album, REVOLUTION would exactly be that song.  Hyde really kicks things off by screaming in Engrish and just being loud haha.  The stomping beat is pretty nifty and makes me wanna join in the fun.  However, for me it seem to be a little repetitive for me especially with the main repeated line of the song. 

8. THE PAST

I wonder if this song is supposed to be about the songs from “VAMPS”.  I could be wrong since I never gave it a listen, but THE PAST reminds me of something Lariku would release.  That being said, it doesn’t really stand out for me and just seems to be just plain VAMPS.  Not bad, but could’ve been stronger.

9. PIANO DUET

Yes, by guessing at the title…the song is beyond the oddball of the album.  I mean it’s a piano song that has no K.A.Z. (unless he’s playing the piano or bass) either way it’s the slowest song off the album so far and I’m oddly enjoying the song a bit.  Then the chorus rushes in and there’s K.A.Z. with his guitar chords.  It’s a calming song that’s for sure and I commend them for putting this on the album.

10. RUMBLE

I guess “PIANO DUET” was being a bridge to the more strange songs off the album.  RUMBLE begins with some fast piano playing with this strange jazz/swing-like sound.  I don’t know why, but I’m finding myself being disappointed in the song because the direction of the song is a bit mashed in places and while Hyde’s vocals are filtered in the verses and open for the chorus, it just didn’t get to me. 

11. GET UP

GET UP goes back to the summery sound that we heard earlier in “ANGEL TRIP” and to be honest, I prefer this song since it was progressive and mostly in Hyde’s great Engrish.  I think of the songs off the album, this song is the brightest one, but at the same time Hyde sounds amazing in this mood as well.  Maybe he could bring it back to Lariku perhaps?

12. SAMSARA

As the album’s lone interlude and right before the final song, SAMSARA is a strange interlude.  Like there’s instruments and sounds that you would not expect VAMPS to include.  There’s a female voice that says the title and mixed in with this light Arabian sound is strange but at the same time very relaxing.  I still don’t understand the reason…that is…

13. MY FIRST LAST

The final song of the album (also in English) carries the same Arabian touch that “SAMSARA” began with.  Hyde sounds totally different in the verses since he’s trying to clearly say things under English, but the whole accent gets in the way.  As bizarre as the song is and IMO, the arrangement does sound like something KOKIA would uphold, Hyde doesn’t too bad here and it’s kind of mysterious and chilling.  Even the later addition of echoey chants and sitar adds more personality.  Definitely a good final song from the duo. 

Tracks Recommended

  • DEVIL SIDE
  • EUPHORIA
  • MY FIRST LAST
  • GET UP
  • VAMP ADDICTION

Song of Avoidance

  • REVOLUTION

Even though I’ve not heard their self-titled debut album, BEAST is definitely a strong album from VAMPS.  I’m not sure why but after hearing the singles beforehand, I was majorly thinking it was going to be a one-sided album with just rock songs, but for the most part with songs like PIANO DUET and MY FIRST LAST they show a lot of potential of becoming huge since their arrangements are mostly strong.  I just wished Hyde would show this enthusiasm back in Lariku…time will tell huh?

 

VAMPS – ANGEL TRIP July 28, 2010

Filed under: VAMPS — solarblade @ 7:09 pm

Track Listing

  1. ANGEL TRIP
  2. KYUKETSU -SATSUGAI VAMPS Ver.-

1. ANGEL TRIP

I thought ANGEL TRIP was a pretty cool way to begin the summer months since in reality it is a summer rock tune.  I was happy to hear Hyde singing back in his native tongue, but there’s a lot of Engrish to be heard here as well, but I don’t mind it because the song was pretty catchy and light, unlike its opposite, “DEVIL SIDE”.  I might not like it as much as the other A-side of the era, but it’s still pretty enjoyable.

2. KYOKETSU -SATSUGAI VAMPS Ver.-

Weird they’d make a version tag on a new song.  Anyways, if you thought “DEVIL SIDE” was epicly hard hitting, KYOKETSU is downright death metal at its core.  I was not expecting hearing such a hard tune after “ANGEL TRIP”.  To be honest the first thing I thought of when I heard Hyde singing was Dir en Grey because it really sounds like something they would release and with Hyde growling and low vocals, it just puts that image in your mind.

 

 

ANGEL TRIP is definitely a strange single for me because while I was expecting something like “DEVIL SIDE”, this single has two different feels going for it.  One is the summer side which worked for ANGEL TRIP for sure and KYOKETSU represented a way darker side for the duo.  It was a hard single to swallow but in time I might enjoy it more.

 

VAMPS – DEVIL SIDE June 21, 2010

Filed under: VAMPS — solarblade @ 3:53 am

Track Listing

  1. DEVIL SIDE
  2. LIVE WIRE

1. DEVIL SIDE

I think there’s too much awesomeness that can happen when you let HYDE loose.  Yes, I’ve known of HYDE in the days when Lariku was amazingly huge (they still are…), but I mean the days when “SMILE” was charting like crazy and their FF and FMA tie-ins were ruling the charts as well.  Anyways on the flipside…I only knew of KAZ because of Spin Aqua and that was pretty amazing too.  Getting the two together to form VAMPS might have been a blessing in disguise.  While I haven’t trailed back to their debut era, DEVIL SIDE might be the most darkest, angriest and almost sexiest song I’ve heard in a long time coming from a J-rock group.  I’ve noticed HYDE sounds so much better than I remembered last.  The almost pissy mood coming from HYDE just adds the eccentric slap across everyones head like he’s not kidding.  It’s just that good!  Might be THE best J-rock tune of the year so far for me.

2. LIVE WIRE

I’m surprised the attitude in LIVE WIRE is rather lighter and more upbeat than “DEVIL SIDE”.  Though, HYDE is growling a bit more strongly here which is nice to hear that he can still pull that off.  By the way, both tracks are in English so no JPN for y’all thinking this was going to be actual J-rock.  LIVE WIRE isn’t too bad, but pales in comparison to the A-side.

 

 

VAMPS begins the “BEAST” era with…well a beast of an A-side with DEVIL SIDE.  I’ve missed the passion of J-rock and with this song…it totally rocked socks off.  I doubt there’ll be anything this hardcore and amazing to surpass this so with that…I’m happy.  LIVE WIRE is alright but nothing like the A-side, but I’m alright with that ^_^