ぜんぶ君のせいだ。 (Zenbukiminoseida.) – FlashBack NightMare

ぜんぶ君のせいだ。 (ZenbuKimiNoSeiDa.)

The brand new album of ぜんぶ君のせいだ。 (Zenbukiminoseida.), titled FlashBack NightMare, drops alongside new music videos.

The first track, “Scar Sign”, opens with a fun, chugging metalcore style riff before kicking up the ぜんぶ君のせいだ。 (Zenbukiminoseida.). have been putting in quite a lot of work this year, with group and solo singles and three (two being re-recordings) albums, and a massive tour, all within the span of this year alone. For today, we’ll be taking a look at their latest album, FlashBack NightMare, which dropped on November 24th. Unlike the previous releases, FlashBack contains completely new tracks.

BPM in the verses, the drums really helping set a precedent of just how heavy the song can get. Compared to the chaotic nature of the verses, the choruses take up a lighter sound and vocal style. Vocals used vary between singing, spoken word and a couple lines of screaming. The last minute of the song really hones in on the yami nature of Zenkimi’s concept, with the members reciting their lines with an almost spine-tingling harmony, something the music video helps in visualizing with their eyes going fully black alongside the blood red lighting.

The second track, “Heavenlyheaven”, was featured in a review I did a while back when it was released as a single; it does a fantastic job in showing how Zenkimi can balance whimsy and hardcore. “Underscore” is the third track (and the third music video to be released from this album), opening with a mathcore-esque guitar and bass riff. In the first 25 seconds alone the song takes some wild twists and turns between singing, screaming and the fun instrumentals, giving some Dillinger Escape Plan levels of chaos. Through the second verse the girls take turns swapping between lines (which sounds super cool in headphones as they go from left to right). Twinkling piano keys, handclaps and digital blips once again showcase the unpredictable nature of Zenkimi songs: there’s really never a dull moment. Each member gets her own chance to shine throughout this song too, their vocals coming off as clear as day.

“Dada”, originally released as a single earlier this year, makes a comeback on this album. The track has a super fun and bouncy beat led by the style of drums (those blast beats in the pre chorus are so sick too). It feels like it’d be perfectly fit for a rhythm game. The twists within the song help reel in that concept of “Dadaism” as well. The bridge takes a fun, but not unexpected, dark turn with the introduction of Kotetsu’s shrill shrieks and Mei’s hearty screams. Definitely a headbanger. “Pistil” gives some classic heavy metal action straight out the gate. The pre chorus sections take on more of a jazzy, almost lounge singer feel that don’t come off as out of place amidst the rapid energy of the song. Vocals are as great as always, especially in the chorus; though I love to hear these girls scream, their clean singing capabilities are just as special and just as top notch. “315.3”, the seventh track, is a classic metalcore track with spoken vocal relays in the verses following a really sick, catchy riff that sounds like descending notes. The choruses really pack a punch with the girls taking turns screaming the English parts, and my goodness, the first scream in the second chorus is insanely good. Putting all of that together has it topping my list as my favorite track.

“Mono No Koi Aware” is probably the most interesting song on the album just from the genre flips alone. Throughout the entire three minute track, there’s never a dull moment and a crazy amount of switch ups, from EDM to dubstep, gothic-symphonic-metal to jazz and more. It almost feels as if the song is playing to the unique conceptual strengths of each of the members– and while the verses stand out in great moments of individuality, in the chorus they all come together perfectly. So while sonically it might be a step in a more lighthearted direction from the previous tracks, it keeps the vibes rolling perfectly.

“Monster” serves as the most somber track on the album through alt rock and the subtle usage of piano. The vocal delivery is a bit more emotional, something I’ve noticed Zenkimi is fantastic at, especially this current lineup. The chorus here makes you want to get up and shout it out with them. “Insomnia”, which was a track released last year with the inclusion of An, Fufu and Kasane, makes a comeback on this album, making it the only re-recorded track to allow for Mei and Kotetsu to partake. Because of this, the song remains relatively the same. The final track, “Rakugaki Kiseki”, brings back a lighthearted vibe to close the album out with the soft opening chords and electronica effects. It’s a slower track as well, almost bordering on a ballad track. Always a group to give it their all though, the build up through the first couple of verses leads to an amazing duo screaming from Mei and Kotetsu at the 1:40 mark declaring their love, followed up by a little rap moment. It mellows out again for the ending of the track with the girls taking turns and harmonizing as they lead us hand in hand to the end, followed by the guitar and drums fading out with them.

FlashBack NightMare has been the first fully original track from Zenkimi since 2019, and it was absolutely one worth waiting for. With this lineup only fully coming together at the beginning of the year, they’ve continuously shown their chops in all shapes and forms. I really couldn’t ask for more (though the possibility of an international tour would be amazing someday), and I’m hoping you give this album a listen. Fan or newcomer, it’s sure to reel you in all the same.


SARI – Paraiso

Dreamy, psychedelic Sari: the alt-pop soloist continues her mystical, musical journey with her new single Paraiso.

SARI has had quite the interesting musical career, something definitely worth watching as she blossomed into a shining soloist, releasing singles, EPs and hosting live shows in her wake (with one just recently in Sweden!). Today’s single review will be documenting just that from her November 6th release, Paraiso.

The song opens with a mixture of trippy synth and SARI’s soft, pleasant vocal harmony. Her tone takes on a light and softer touch throughout the track, melding well with the blips of digitalization, piano and dream pop soundscapes. The feeling of the track reminds me a lot of Blank Banshee’s most recent album Gaia in a way, with the natural imagery of the single’s artwork and the chill vibe. The vocal layering is great as well, I feel like it really helps bring in the experimental direction of the song particularly in the chorus with the different lines coming together. There’s a brief section of guitar and a cool, snazzy bassline that comes in at the last minute of the song. It’s a pretty quick listen though, coming in at just short of 3 minutes (2:49 total). However, it’s pleasant nonetheless.

Since we’re only covering one single today, this review is brief, and I tried my best to really get in my thoughts on the track based on the notes I wrote. I’m hoping we get another EP, or better yet an album, from SARI soon. Her solo career has been one of my favorites when it comes to idols I like thanks to her unique sound and visuals. The next review, however, will be a pretty big one, so I’ll see you all then!

HO6LA – Pirikarira

HO6LA

A new challenger approaches… Meet the newest Ichigo Rinahamu unit HO6LA through their debut EP Pirikarira!

For those out of the loop, Ichigo Rinahamu (previously known as Yokoyama Rina) has a pretty extensive idol and producing history under her belt. Previously part of BiS’ first generation and the iconic electronic group CY8ER (of which she was a member and producer), she also produced groups like DOPING BERRY and STRAWBERRY SYNDROME. She’s got her own solo DJ project, Hamrig, and sometimes releases solo music under the name rinahamu. Earlier this year, she put her producing goggles on once more when she announced she’d be forming another group, this time featuring fellow ex-WACK company idol Oosshouji Megumi, now known as Pan Luna Leafy, who was part of BiS’ second generation. After opening auditions and an extensive 24 hour training camp (a la WACK’s own audition process), five more members were selected: Wannyan Circuit DX! (formerly known as Miyagumi Shiou), Hachimitsu Umi (another ex-WACK idol, previously a member of PIGGs), Wazurai (formerly Himekuri Koyomi), Emiru (formerly Kanemoto/Kamimura Emiru) and Kusunoki Roa as leader; together, they are HO6LA, pronounced homura. They made their live debut September 21th and released their debut EP, Pirikarira, on October 26th. Let’s dig in!

The EP contains six tracks total, with three being full songs and the final three being instrumentals. “Pirikarira”, the title track, opens with a bouncy and happy electronic beat. Each member rotates through the verses up into the pre-chorus, diving into an explosively bubbly instrumental chorus section. Each girl has her own unique vocal color as well, which will help in time to tell who’s doing what. After a low-tempo second verse there’s a hard hitting drop section around the 1:55 mark that melts right into the bright and cheery sound from before. The chorus is fun and the beat ends up being quite the earworm after a while. Overall, it’s a solid introduction for what’s to come and an effective great EP opener.

“Tokyo My Way” opens with the strumming of zither, punchy drum beats and bass, signaling a vibe change from the last track. Though the chorus feels a little more subdued, the overall feeling of the song is a bit more aggressive from the last one in the vocal delivery and tempo — the heavy bass throughout really drives this feeling home. It feels like the kind of song that’s absolutely meant to be played in clubs and at live shows, just waiting for the audience to feel the beat in their bones. Over the course of my listening, I found myself nodding my head to this one a lot, so it’s definitely going down as a favorite.

“Time Capsule Girl” is the final track. It opens with the sounds of someone winding up and playing a music box into a sweet dream pop-like melody. The EDM vibes soon take over for the chorus (which all follow a similar pattern throughout the three songs), reminding me a bit of Shawn Wasabi’s works. This track feels like a mixture of the first two: the cute, dreamy elements of Pirikarira and the traditional instrumentation of Tokyo My Way coming together to wrap up the EP in a nice little bow. The vocal delivery is consistent with great bits of harmonization here and there. The same music box that opened the track also makes its way back to close everything out.

Pirikarira is a fun journey into HO6LA‘s world as a display of sparkling EDM pop. As the year comes to a close and the weather gets colder this is a quick listen to get you right and warmed up, looking forward to the feeling of spring and summer.


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