Category Archives: Music Talk

CD Review – KOSAME 1st EP “”The 8th Farewell

TEXT: Ryu

Rating: ★★★☆☆ (80%)

KOSAME releases her first EP “The 8th Farewell”.

KOSAME is a solo idol whose music is a mixture of black metal, death metal and beatdown hardcore and also Converge style riffs. Her singing changes from grunting to clean singing in a very emotional overwhelming style. Also other genres sneak into her music such as emo and rap, well everything you can think off it’s mixed into an amazing “Metal” style vibe, which if you love black/death metal surly will love.
It’s not a EP you listen to on a day you’re in the mood of calmly sounds.

With this EP you will dive into KOSAME’s world of angriness and sadness…

Track explanations:
コード(CORD)
⇨Tells you a story about a girl who was abused mentally and physically by her parents because her parents put education on the first priority of life.
Inside this song, it are all KOSAME’s own feelings which you totally can feel when you listen to this song, her angriness and sadness flows out the song straight into your mind.

待って (Wait for me)
⇨ Tells you about any Mental Conflicts that happens to your feelings on inevitable moments of farewells.

寡欲グランマの憤怒 (The anger of grandmother who doesn’t expect much)
⇨Tells you a story about the anger of a GRANDMOTHER who survived the war and lost all her friends because of the falling bombs. Because of her awful and hard past, she feels that nowadays young people are too fragile and too sensitive to stress and any other small not fun happenings. She feels mad and frustrated that young people complain and see big problems in any small things.

ダーティ•ウーム(DIRTY WOMB)
⇨ Tells a story about a wife who is married for 10 years and asked the “Revenge Committee” to give her husband a painful sanction, because of his affair.


After listing to all songs, you surely are overwhelmed with various feelings. Might you feel angriness, might you feel sadness, might it even lighten up your heart.
Every song is nicely mixed so that any melody flows into each other without giving you a weird feeling of “something isn’t right“, whenever you flow into a heavy or soft melody part.
The EP also gives you a different vibe way to listen to KOSAMA’s music. What I do miss on stage is a backing band to feel KOSAME’s live power to the fullest, while if I listen it as audio I’m finally able to feel all power she has put into each song to the fullest, which is a big plus for me!

Be sure to add this EP to your Japanese music collection! You won’t regret it!

The 8th Farewell” will be released on July 17th 2022 via IDOL UNDERWORLD.
Pre-orders for the album are available via the webshop of IDOL UNDERWORLD.

You can follow Kosame on Twitter and Instagram.

If you are wondering how KOSAME sounds and feels live, here are great live atmosphere example!

Music video

CD REVIEW – Miho “life”, 1st full album.

CD REVIEWMiho “life”, 1st full album.

Rating: ★★★★☆ (95%)

Today I will listen to Miho’s first full album… Huh, idol music? Yes! For a few years I slowly also discovered the world of Japanese idols. Via via, I encountered Derek’s idol support and became also interested in the idols he currently produces. After watching Miho live videos and her music of “doubt”, I couldn’t wait to listen to her first full album! How would she sound on disk? Would it give me a different feeling? Well, let’s figure it out! Firstly I’ll explain each track, and at the end I’ll write a short message about my own feelings! 

Miho’s 1st full album contains 7 tracks. The vibe of this album is pop with a taste of rock and soft-feeling-metal as well. Also two songs are written about her loss of her own father. Every song is very easy to like and listen to. If you are a fan of pop/idol music, be sure to check it out.

Tracklist: 1. SE –  2. Doubt – 3. A Knife of Words – 4. Come On – 5. Matryoshka – 6. Ito – 7. Good Day

The album starts with a short but lovely SE track which leads you beautifully into the track “Doubt”. This song you surely have heard lots of times in its live version and I’m sure you already have enjoyed the MV as well. This song is about how the world has torn us all down and we feel so much doubt in various things in life. We don’t even know what’s true anymore. Because the kings and Queens of this world make us feel like losers, but we have to fight back, it’s like the card game “Doubt”. The song is sung in Japanese with a few English words and sentences.  It’s really lovely how Miho pronounces the part “Fuck you!! Shut up!!” (In English) It fits perfectly with the musical vibe of the song but also how the lyrics are sung. 

From the feeling of being stuck in this world, were transferred into “A Knife of Words”. Which is yes about bullying with words, in the old days it was a simple stab into your face, while nowadays you can read all horrible words online, which can lead to horrible ends. The melody of the song sounds dreamy yet with a very strong nuance which makes all sung words strongly sting into your heart. 

After listening to some thoughtful lyrics it’s time to listen to a love song, right? “Come On” will bring it to you! It starts with a nice drum beat and strong guitar solo. The lyrics are about how you wanna make love to someone you love. The strong rock/metal sound makes it feel even stronger that you want to love someone deeply in a lovely, deeply romantic way. Miho’s voice is simply hot as she sings parts of the lyric merged with the melody. It’s a nice song to play when you wanna make the atmosphere with someone you love.

However we all also lose our most dear ones, the next two songs are about such loss. “Matryoshka”. It’s a song about dealing with the loss of a dear person, telling you aren’t the only one with the same problem, so that you shouldn’t give up your hope but to release all sadness. The way how Miho sings this track you can feel her own sadness but also her own strong “hope”. “Ito” Is about how much Miho misses her father and that she still wishes to be connected with him. Inside this track there are also guest vocals by Dai-san, the vocalist of ZEROSHIKI, he plays the role of the father in this song, which is totally wonderful and heartbreaking. Whenever the lyrics are sad in an abstract way the melody also gives you power to stay strong! Whenever you have lost a parent, brother, partner… etc. Or might you haven’t lost someone yet, both songs can give you the power to stay strong.

The album closes with the song “Good Day”, It was the first song written for Miho (Of course she wrote the lyrics herself), How the song is written it fits her voice perfectly. It’s a song about finding joy and happiness in our daily lives, just how we face life daily. The happy upbeat melody already gives you a happy mood while listening to it. So if you have a bad day it’s the perfect song to smile again. This song also gives me nostalgic jpop feelings, which is also enjoyable.  

While I wrote the little paragraphs about each song, I played the album over and over again, each song flowing smoothly into the other and Matryoshka and Ito stays heartbreaking but also gives you lots of power. The overall power of this album is amazing, it has been a while since I’ve listened to such a powerful pop album, usually I wouldn’t like all songs, but this time I’m just overwhelmed and keep on listening to each track endlessly. Miho’s voice is also easy to listen to and easy to like. I’m usually not a big fan of ‘female vocals’, but each track is lovely written to fit the vocal sound of Miho. 

I would totally recommend it to those who prefer solo idols. I also think it’s an album you can play to everyone, I doubt anyone would say “It hurt my ears, please put it off”. 

You can buy this CD via the idolunderworld webstore, there are 6 buying options. If you love Miho already or if you can miss 12,000 yen out of your pocket, be sure to get that version, because you will also receive some great bonuses which you surely wouldn’t regret.

If you want to know a little bit more about Miho and didn’t watch her interview with IDOLONCHAOS* last year, then please watch it now.

Note: IDOLONCHAOS sadly has stopped its activity. 

Artist Spotlight: 平 一洋

The story behind one of J-rock’s most prominent vocalists, 平 一洋, is rather convoluted and long. However, I will do my best to break down his activities, his bands, and what he is up to. (For the sake of continuity, I will be calling him Tenten throughout the article.)

2000-2003: The 餞 years

平 一洋 (Taira Kazuhiro), better known as his stage name “Tenten”, is a vocalist that started his career with the band MADARA. While little is known about the band, or what I can even find, he really didn’t gain much recognition until his next band (hanamuke). The group formed in 2000 and signed with indie label “PS Company”. The label (also being a branch of Free-Will – known for Dir en grey) was only formed a year prior and signed other bands like Dué le quartz. After releasing several singles and mini albums, would eventually disband in 2003.

2004-2009: The KuRt years and solo endeavors

About a year later in 2004, Tenten would form a new band called KuRt. The band would also include ex- guitarist 癒茉. The band would sign with label “Speed-Disk”, home of bands like +D’espairsRay+ and ナイトメア (nightmare). KuRt was very well received and until their disbandment in 2007, released a good amount of singles, mini albums, and really good best-of album. KuRt is what I would consider one of Tenten’s staple groups. The band showcased and highlighted his incredible vocal capabilities. Sadly, he left the group at the very end of 2006. This would result in the band disbanding in very early 2007.

The next few years were rocky for Tenten. He attempted a solo career under the name 朱ィ。(beni) in the summer of 2007. He would end up releasing two singles before calling the project off. In 2008, Tenten would attempt another solo project titled MY BactEriA Heat iSland. While nothing was officially released from this project, the name itself will make an emergence in the coming years.

2009-2012: The ケミカルピクチャーズ years

In 2009, Tenten would end up forming one of his biggest and most ambitious projects yet. That project is none other than ケミカルピクチャーズ (chemical pictures). Signed by “Speed-Disk” once again, the band was a force to be reckoned with. With a brand new sound including elements of jazz, ska, and a rock sound that is somewhat KuRt-like, the band would go on to release a bunch of singles, a mini album, and two full-length albums. The band was active until the end of 2012. It’s also worth noting that in the same year, Tenten also had two side projects as well that also ended at the end of 2012. One was a limited side project called kiss my way. The project would put out two releases – a single (in two forms – both having different B-sides) and a mini album. The secondary project was yet another solo project attempt titled 骨. The solo project would only put out one single.

2014-2016: The My BACTERIA HEAT IsLAND years

Tenten would be pretty quiet until the spring of 2014. Remember his solo project titled MY BactEriA Heat iSland? Well, the project officially re-formed – as a full-fledged band. Another interesting note is that this time around, the spelling was My BACTERIA HEAT IsLAND. The band would end up signing to “Speed-Disk”. The band was very different from Tenten’s previous works in that it was more of a hardcore/metalcore sound with a lot of heavy screaming. The band would end up releasing a few singles, albums, and before its disbandment, a “best-of” album as well. The band would call it quits after the members ended up leaving in the summer of 2015. Leaving Tenten by himself, he re-named the band as Re:MY BACTERIA HEAT ISLAND and, once again, re-formed it as a solo project. The solo project would end up releasing two singles in 2016 before pausing the project indefinitely that autumn.

2016-2019: The ラッコ years

Around that time, Tenten formed a new band ラッコ (LACK-CO. ) featuring other members from My BACTERIA HEAT IsLAND, NEGA, D.I.D and Moran. Swaying away from the metalcore sound of his previous band, this project would introduce familiar sounds and stylings of chemical pictures with the jazz, funk, but also some hard rock songs. The band would sign to “GLK MUSIC”. While unfamiliar, the label did have notable bands including Black Gene For The Next Scene (ex-XodiacK vocalist band) and Leetspeak Monsters. LACK-CO. would end up releasing many singles, mini albums, and full-length albums. The project, while not as popular as chemical pictures, was proof that Tenten was still on his peak performance vocally. The band would end up going on a hiatus in the spring of 2019.

2020-Present: The 3470.mon years and beyond…

https://youtu.be/GZ3Vv9Wob-k?t=44

After taking a year break, Tenten would come back in the summer of 2020 with a new solo project titled 凄い人達 (sugoi hitotachi). He would end up releasing two singles under that name before re-naming the project as 3470.mon almost a year later. While having support members along side him, this project is still technically considered a solo project on his behalf. Since its re-naming, the project has released a few singles and one mini album. The projects latest single was released this February 2022 and the band itself is also going on tour this summer in support of the one-year anniversary of its re-naming.

While continuing on with his solo project, Teten also has a apparel/clothing company he started in 2020 called 9b2. The company stands for “9th back, two outs, bases loaded”. From his website, you can purchase 9b2-branded hoodies, hats, jackets, and t-shirts that are designed by Tenten himself.

My Final Thoughts

So, now learning this history of Tenten, all his side projects, bands, and so forth, I decided to make this article to give you a further insight of this vocalists incredible resumé. He is honestly one of my favorite vocalists of all-time. His talent is unmatched. How he can belt out beautiful harmonies while also screaming at the top of his lungs. It is very impressive. However, I will never understand his sporadic dissolution of bands and projects. If you think about it, HANAMUKE, KuRt and chemical pictures all lasted no more than 3 years. I will not count LACK-CO. only because they are technically on a hiatus. There have been rumors that the band members themselves never really got along and that Tenten is honestly hard to work with. However, those are rumors and I don’t want to spread any misinformation.

Regardless of how his projects and bands have ended up, Tenten himself has an incredible back catalog of music. It’s really amazing what he has done over decades and I am happy to see he is still very much active in the music scene. Thank you so much for reading about Tenten.

Official Links:
3470.mon OHP
3470.mon Twitter
Tenten personal Twitter
Tenten personal Instagram
9b2 Official Apparel Website

Artist Spotlight: Paledusk

Writer: Guyokai


Hailing from Fukuoka, Paledusk is a five-member band  that has been getting a lot of recognition lately due to their unique sound of blending EDM and metalcore. The band released their debut EP, obsidian, in the summer of 2015. While rather standard in sound for a metal record, it wasn’t until 2019 that the group started to experiment with electronics and almost glitch-like elements with their singles “Varied” and “9 Smiles”. 

Continuing to craft their newfound sound to stand out, they released their 5th EP, Happy Talk, in 2020. This was a huge moment for them as they then started to gain a following and even ended up signing with Australian music label Greyscale Records. Following in the footsteps of Happy Talk, the band has been pretty consistent with releasing one-off singles. 2021 saw the release of “Black Ice” which also incorporates an almost J-pop like chorus while still staying true to their metalcore sound. Most recently, the band released “SLAY!!” featuring rapper Hideyoshi in February of this year and “BBB” featuring pop singer Such in April.

The band has been doing mini tours through the year but will also be embarking on their first Australian tour this summer. This is huge for the band as this will be their first tour outside of Japan. 

Paledusk is a band to look forward to as I feel like big things are to come. Since perfecting their electronica/metal sound, it looks like they know their identity and will show it to the world.

Official website: paledusk.com

FUJI TAKASHI (M-BAND) x KEITH (ARB) PART 2

FUJI TAKASHI and KEITH? Who are those two persons? M-BAND and ARB? Who?
That’s a question I receive a lot when I talk with people about Japanese rock music. I didn’t know M-BAND myself yet and after checking Fuji’s website I wished to know more about him, he released a brand new mini album ROOTS OF ROCK as a digital release which is available to purchase and to stream world wide too. Music style? Amazing rock music which brings you back in the time back to the beautiful rock sound. You can check it here via spotify.

But who is KEITH? Well, KEITH is the drummer of ARB, ARB was a very well known rock band in the 80s. And yes you also can listen to ARB on spotify! ARB is still around however without lead singer Ryo Ishibashi. But KEITH keeps ARB alive with playing their songs time to time with wonderful musicians, the line-up isn’t always the same. Also KEITH support various musicians for playing (support) drums. So can follow KEITH on twitter and facebook.

However what is this video about?
Well FUJI just started his own youtube channel which he wish to fill with various content as so also introducing rock artists he works with, his first guest is KEITH. KEITH joined his new mini album ROOTS OF ROCK. Also he will join the special release live on October 3rd which KEITH will support as guest.

PART2
In this part we learn that back in the days a roadie was called “BANDBOY”. Also that KEITH started as a roadie for the band “Jackey Yoshikawa & His Blue Comets” [YOUTUBE] [WIKIPEDIA JP] Blue Comets played the genre グループ・サウンズ (GS) (Group Sound). Music which was extremely popular back in the days. KEITH was their roadie for a while until his body couldn’t handel the stress etc. However after stayed home for some time he went back to Tokyo and started to be the roadie for FLIED EGG [YOUTUBE] also KEITH started his own band Orange Peco [YOUTUBE] [WIKIPEDIA JP] Which also sounds very much as popular group sound. After KEITH discovered that Orange Peco didn’t make the music he actually wanted to play he started ARB.

ARB early music style wasn’t also that much ROCK at the beginning but much more a idol boyband feeling similar to “Bay City Rollers”.

Also we learn that KEITH was a support drummer of the UK band The Stranglers which he supported on their Canada and USA tour.

The Tempters & The Golden Cups are two famous Japanese bands from back in the days.

You can watch my translated version here. If you understand Japanese well, be free to correct anything. You also can download my subtitles here. Keep in mind that my translation isn’t perfect, but it gives a good feeling about what they are talking about. So any corrections are welcome! And the band also appreciate it!

If you still do have any questions please drop me a message!

If you think, I should write more article like this.
Please drop me a tweet to @jrocknroll_

This second part was really hard to translate, and even while writing this blog post I made a few corrections to the translation. But hopefully everyone is able to Enjoy it!


ARB debut song Norainu (野良犬)

AKIRA (The song they talk about at the end is at the end of the interview)


FUJI TAKASHI
Twitter
Facebook
Website

FUJI TAKASHI (M-BAND) x KEITH (ARB)

FUJI TAKASHI and KEITH? Who are those two persons? M-BAND and ARB? Who?
That’s a question I receive a lot when I talk with people about Japanese rock music. I didn’t know M-BAND myself yet and after checking Fuji’s website I wished to know more about him, he released a brand new mini album ROOTS OF ROCK as a digital release which is available to purchase and to stream world wide too. Music style? Amazing rock music which brings you back in the time back to the beautiful rock sound. You can check it here via spotify.

But who is KEITH? Well, KEITH is the drummer of ARB, ARB was a very well known rock band in the 80s. And yes you also can listen to ARB on spotify! ARB is still around however without lead singer Ryo Ishibashi. But KEITH keeps ARB alive with playing their songs time to time with wonderful musicians, the line-up isn’t always the same. Also KEITH support various musicians for playing (support) drums. So can follow KEITH on twitter and facebook.

However what is this video about?
Well FUJI just started his own youtube channel which he wish to fill with various content as so also introducing rock artists he works with, his first guest is KEITH. KEITH joined his new mini album ROOTS OF ROCK. Also he will join the special release live on October 3rd which KEITH will support as guest.

PART 1
Part 1 teach us that FUJI and KEITH do know each other already for a long long time however both didn’t contact each other for years. One of their last encounters was in the Yamamoto-line to Shinjuku when FUJI got into a quarrel fight with some businessman. KEITH entered the train when FUJI was in the middle of the quarrel, KEITH stopped them by saying “What are you doing?!” and told FUJI that it is not good to quarrel around. Also it teach us that FUJI was a fan of ARB and that he loved to watch them from the second floor of Kudan Kaikan venue. Also KEITH said that the lives of ARB were well visited and that more and more fans came to watch them, however their CD’s were not sold that well. Also ARB’s Major debut wasn’t on a usual label, no they signed up to a PUNK label. Punk bands really thought Why is a ROCK band signed to our label?!

You can watch my translated version here. If you understand Japanese well, be free to correct anything. You also can download my subtitles here. Keep in mind that my translation isn’t perfect, but it gives a good feeling about what they are talking about. So any corrections are welcome! And the band also appreciate it!

Please look forward to PART2, I will also roughly translate it. PART2 might will tell us more about why KEITH loves rock so much and how he made his debut. So definitely look forward to it!

Let’s enjoy Japanese ROCK music!

If you think, I should write more article like this.
Please drop me a tweet to @jrocknroll_


FUJI TAKASHI
Twitter
Facebook
Website