DESURABBITS – JUMP (Type A)

DESURABBITS

Listen to JUMP, the latest album of the death pop group DESURABBITS which brings old and new together, possibly for the final time.

DESURABBITS is quite an interesting group. Comprising of four members — Karin, Yuzu, Emi, and their producer Buchou (Akira Kanzaki) — come together to create a genre known as death pop by mixing heavy metal, digital hardcore and electronica. After spending almost 8 years together, in November of 2020 they announced that they’ll be disbanding come June due to the pandemic heavily affecting their roles as a performance based unit. However, before they go, they’ve left not one but two albums in their wake: JUMP Type A and Type B.

Upon looking through their discography, it appears that both versions of the JUMP albums contain singles from throughout their long career alongside original songs. Type A contains 17 tracks and clocks in at an hour and fifteen minutes, their longest release to date. It opens with an instrumental track titled “Op.Track” that has a nu-metal style, mixing a raging band with record scratches of a turntable. “Isshunde” (“In The Blink of an Eye”), which was promoted as a single last year, comes next with a blossoming opening of string instruments. The chorus exudes a fun and energetic beat, and the girls take turns in the verses with Buchou’s screams and growls. “Mushi suru na, kimi no iro wa kimi de kimereba ii” (“Don’t ignore it, you can choose your own color”) teeters on the edge of being a ballad, but the rock instrumentation comes through much stronger, and there’s a bit of electro pop in the bridge before closing out with Buchou’s screams.

“Rayword” rips right into some heavy metal, while “Don’t Think, Feel!” has more of a thrash metal attitude to it. Buchou’s verses contain the more hardcore elements, where as sections with Karin, Emi and Yuzu are a complete switch up with the introduction of piano. “Demo, Nigenna” utilizes more of an electronic pop/rock sound. With an extremely catchy chorus, and a rap verse from Buchou around the 2:30 mark, it makes for a great song to dance to. “Sotsugyou shoujo -Mirai e-” (“Graduation Girl -Future Picture-”) is one of my favorite tracks on the album, with digital hardcore being the dominant genre at play, neat vocal effects and sweet hints of piano throughout. “Tokyo no Sukima” is a rock ballad with a more melancholic feeling, which immediately separates it from the other songs. The feeling of the song makes you want to raise your lighters (or phone flashlights) and sway to the heartfelt singing of the girls. Towards the end, there’s a key change with English lyrics!

“I’m On My Way” is another song with a heartfelt emotion in vocal delivery while still retaining a hard edge with elements of hard rock. Buchou’s verses have a sick glitch effect to them and Karin, Yuzu, and Emi’s parts all showcase gorgeous harmonization. “Magic of Butterfly -Seichou-” opens with piano, then kicks up the energy with a power metal flair. “Aikotoba” follows in the same vein but introduces traditional Japanese instruments as well, and employs quite the fun chorus.

“IdolSTAR Wars (Re-Singing Version)” is a redone version of their single from 2013, and is one of the shorter tracks on the album. Buchou’s growls take center stage in this track before the girls come in with a cuter vibe in the pre chorus and chorus. Alongside “Anger”, which features some jazz elements in the mix, and “Desuma supuringu ~Sorosoro keigo o tsukatte mimasenka~” (“It’s Spring ~Let’s try using honorifics properly~”), they make up the oldest tracks on the album. “Chaban Chaban Ban”, another favorite of mine, is a track that makes use of DESURABBITS‘ digital hardcore sound with spoken verses. The track is so much fun, especially in the way it suddenly switches up at 1:20 into dance pop. The guitar solo towards the end is absolutely killer as well.

The final two songs almost feel like a fond farewell. “I Love Desurabbits” is another heavy metal banger that has Karin, Yuzu and Emi taking center stage, with Buchou employing his screams briefly throughout (and some sick gutturals at 2:45). The lyrics feel happy, and there is a very sweet part in the beginning of the bridge expressing thanks and love. The final song, aptly titled “Last Song”, has a magical feeling with softer vocals and a dance beat, before ending with the girls saying “goodbye” and Buchou joining in for one final “We are Desurabbits”.

JUMP is quite the long journey, with almost every track coming in at four or five minutes, but it’s one worth making and a familiar road to travel for longtime DESURABBITS fans. Though the death pop unit will be leaving us in the summer, this album will serve as a fond reminder of all the memories they’ve made and the impact they’ve left on the idol scene.


代代代 (DaiDaiDai) – The Absurd Is The Essential Concept And The First Truth

代代代 (Dai Dai Dai)

Listen to DaiDaiDai’s new album The Absurd Is The Essential Concept And The First Truth, which brings us into a world of suspense, confusion and serenity.

November of last year held some great news for fans of solid chaos pop group 代代代 (DaiDaiDai): Hime Kanon would be returning to activities after undergoing surgery. Though the future started looking promising once more, we received news in April that Kanon will be graduating from the group on June 20th over concerns with her health and her studies. However, the five members promised to bring their brand new album, The Absurd Is The Essential Concept And The First Truth — titled after a quote by absurdist philosopher Albert Camus — on February 27th. It was fully released March 6th, 2021.

Now, prior to this I have had no exposure to DaiDaiDai. I’m a newbie to the idol underground but I’m willing to get my feet wet and venture deeper into the waters, so when Vladkorados sent me this to review I wasn’t quite sure what my expectations would be. Certainly a mouthful of an album (and quite the interesting title, might I add), but I was definitely not expecting the journey that it took me on.

Clocking in at only 25 minutes, the album has seven tracks. The first track, “Fuan” (“Anxiety”) starts off with bursts of electronic noises before introducing the members’ vocals with some really cool robotic effects layered in and random cuts of white noise. The song encapsulates the feeling of anxiety well in the bursts of sound and the uneasy nature of the vocals. Once the chorus hits, though, everything takes an overwhelming turn like you’re caught in a frightening chase. It ends with the bits of white noise increasing in frequency alongside an almost teasing chant, giving a very creepy feeling.

The next song is “Fumei” (“Uncertainty”), a very short and entirely instrumental track. I’d describe it like you’ve entered a heavenly realm within a video game, with shimmering sounds. When you listen to it you almost feel like you’re floating. After that is “EHM”, which opens with a rock intro and once again employs cool vocal layering and effects that make the girls sound distorted. The vibe of the song grows increasingly sinister, especially after the 1:15 mark, and once again explodes into walls of sound before the end. The last thirty seconds close the track out with some interesting ticking noises. The fourth song, “Piranha”, begins with eletronica before mixing with some guitar, sounding like something akin to a major boss fight in a game. At the two minute mark the energy of the song picks up into an almost breakcore styled beat alongside a shouted chorus from multiple members.

Whereas the previous tracks had very amped up energies about them, the next two tracks stand out in their more mellowed out, emotional feeling. Track five, “Shinigami” (“God of Death”, which got a lyric video that you can watch above), opens with an orchestra alongside dreamy synths. There’s no vocal effects in this song, giving you a chance to hear the voices of the girls loud and clear. The feeling of this song is exhilarating, like you’re running, and the catchiness makes you want to sing along. The rock elements in the second half of the song are short lived but create a nice open atmosphere before you’re colliding with the dreamlike orchestra.

It’s one of the standout songs on the album for sure, as is the next track, “Yuukai” (“Melting”). Coming in as the longest on the album at five minutes, it opens with a math rock-esque sound. It employs a similar dreamy effect as the last song, but in a way where you really do feel like you’re melting into it all. There’s a hypnotizing quality to the song, especially in the parts where DaiDaiDai‘s members are all reciting the same lines one by one. Shiho’s voice shines in her solo portion of the bridge; there’s such a power in her voice there, it grabs at your emotions a little bit (it certainly did for me at least). The song got a music video featuring the song’s choreography earlier this year.

The final song, “Seiketsu” (“Cleanliness”) quite literally creeps up on you with electrical noises that gradually get a bit louder, but when the song officially starts it comes when you least expect it. The MIDI instruments give it an old horror game feeling and the unsettling vocal effects accentuate it perfectly. The song ends with noises that sound like something being dragged, and quite literally so as, if you listen with headphones, the sound slowly travels from your left ear to your right.

Prior to this, I had no knowledge of DaiDaiDai or what their genre, chaos pop, could consist of. After giving this album I can gladly say that I’ll definitely be checking out more of their discography, as this was one of the coolest albums I’ve heard in a while. Consider me a fan!


NECRONOMIDOL – Vämjelseriter

Necronomidol (2020)

Tokyo’s dark idol unit NECRONOMIDOL returns to the scene with a new killer album titled Vämjelseriter, featuring new members and re-recorded old songs.

Early 2020 introduced some rather shocking news for NECRONOMIDOL fans with the triple graduation of Michelle, Imaizumi Rei and founding member Kakizaki Risaki. Leaving Tsukishiro Himari as the sole member, many wondered what would become of the group, until months later when members Kamino Nana, Rukawa Shiki and Toda Roa were revealed (as well as a logo created by the legendary Christophe Spajdel), followed up by the comeback singles, and subsequent music videos, of “Tupilaq” and “Santa Sangre”, the latter of which was certainly not for the faint of heart. Soon news of a brand new album titled Vämjelseriter with original songs and re-recorded versions of previous tracks was announced and was finally delivered on February 24, 2021.

The album boasts an impressive 15 tracks, with six being brand new and nine being redone from previous albums and EPs like 2016’s From Chaos Born and Nemesis, 2019’s Scions of the Blasted Heath, and 2017’s Dawnslayer. The album opens with “Tupilaq”, released in June of the previous year, immediately opens with a creepy atmosphere before exploding into metal riffs. “Santa Sangre”, the second of the singles, opens with a catchy synth pop beat, then descending into a chaotic flurry as screaming guitars (and a choir!) take over in the bridge and final chorus before coming to an abrupt end as the synth gets cut by white noise.

The girls shine gorgeously in “Celephaïs”, “Salem” and “R’lyeh”, where the emotional impact weighs heavily in the mood of the song; these serve as the softer side of NECRONOMIDOL, employing a sense of melancholy through compositions similar to that of funeral marches and lyrics that speak of final goodbyes and closing chapters.

The new version of “Warabeuta”, which is my favorite on the album, hits harder in the upgraded instrumentation that contains a beautiful mix of heavy metal and synth that accentuates the war-torn world they’re creating. Another treat is the new version of “Sarnath” that features original spoken word sections from Himari alongside an stronger instrumental, especially when it comes to the chorus, which helps in engaging the listener with a sense of terror and doom.

“Necropolis” and “Ritual” (which got a music video prior to the album) especially stand out in that when NECRONOMIDOL goes for heavy metal, they go for absolute gold, with the latter having a black metal sound akin to that of the modern day scene. Darkwave and synth rule the worlds of the tracks “Nyx”, “Ex Oblivione”, “Phantasmagoria Cosmos” and “Cassilda”, rounding out the array of musical styles NECRONOMIDOL can excel in, be it with cheerful, magical girl energy or a horror film-like soundscape.

All in all, this was a solid album to introduce the new unit in, and what looked to be a promising lineup for the future. It’s unfortunate, then, that now the group has re-entered a hiatus period and has seen the graduations of Shiki and Roa so soon. Yet, we’ll be able to look forward to the new unit making their return on the 27th of this month.


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