Monday, 15 December 2014

Review: liraizo - Himitsu Club

liraizo (リライゾ) (from left to right): Kili (Ex-AND), Yuuto (Ex-Screw), Yuki (Ex-Mix Speaker's Inc.), Touma (Ex-Circus), Suzune (Ex-AND)

A band of familiar faces from AND, Screw, Circus, and Mix Speaker's, Inc., liraizo (リライゾ) began activities September of this year. The band consists of Yuki (v), Kili (g), Touma (g), Yuuto (b), and Suzune (d). Himitsu Club is their first mini-album, a circulated and extended release of a live-only single under the same name and consists of six tracks. Being a fan of AND, I immediately jumped on the opportunity to pre-order the mini-album so I could listen to the full tracks as soon as possible.

Cover for Himitsu Club (Circulated Edition)

Himitsu Club (秘密クラブ)
The mini-album opens with the title track Himitsu Club, a short instrumental piece that begins with dark, dissonant sounds and quickly turns into a jazzy rock piece. It's one of those tracks that I could definitely do a solo, just-vacuuming-my-house dance to.

Tsumi to Batsu (罪と罰)
Tsumi to Batsu starts with slow, alternative metal style instrumentals, then the song then picks up the pace and Yuki comes in. Following that, the song goes between speeds and vocal styles, but are blended together well enough that it doesn't feel disjointing or chaotic. Overall, I really enjoyed Tsumi to Batsu. It has a really unique taste, while still sticking to the basics of the alternative and punk music styles.

Short spot version of Tsumi to Batsu

Aka (赫)
Unlike the preceding song, Aka has a slightly lighter tone. It opens with very Ska-like guitar which appears again in the beginning of a couple of stanzas. It is mixed in with their harder style introduced in Tsumi to Batsu, which ends up taking over most of the track. Unlike the previous track, however, Aka feels a little less organized, but not so much so that you're just left thinking "Wow, that song was horrible." The track is very much listenable and I definitely wouldn't skip over it if I were listening to it in the car or out and about with my iPod plugged in. 

Short spot version of Aka

Kurushiki Hibi (苦しき日々)
So, I wasn't expecting Kurushiki Hibi. The track is very different from the previous two, and from my limited Japanese and hearing "aisuru," "daisuki," and "sayonara" I believe it may be more akin to a sad love song. It is MUCH lighter on the instrumental than Aka and Tsumi to Batsu and the overall tone is definitely less upbeat. While it doesn't quite reach the status of "Rock Ballad" it shows that liraizo could definitely have the skill to do one in the future. This track really helps to bring in a little spark of variety, which, if expanded upon in future releases, can be a great help to liraizo. Of course, being a sucker for sad love songs, the more I listen, the more I love the track and I will definitely force this track onto anyone wanting to listen to the band.

Short spot version of Kurushiki Hibi

Shin Sekai (新世界)
Shin Sekai is a switch back to a rougher style after the calm of Kurushiki Hibi. Most notably, though, it lacks the whining guitar heard in the first two tracks, which is definitely a big plus. While I hold nothing against those tracks, I absolutely love the stylizing of Shin Sekai, it falls more into music that makes up a majority of my music library (after you dig through all the Gackt and GazettE, of course), a collection of a more simplistic alternative genre. It still contains some of liraizo's signature sound, the quick guitar parts and heavy drums during instrumental. While not ranking as high as Kurushiki Hibi, it is definitely a song that I hope to see the style of in their future releases.

Short spot version of Shin Sekai

Dakirai no Oto (大嫌いな音)
Much like the Shin Sekai, Dakirai no Oto falls into the category of "This is my jam" for me. It feels like they took a lesson from Shin Sekai and evolved it and I definitely wouldn't mind listening to it multiple times in a row. Again, I really hope to see more of this style in future releases.

Short spot version of Dakirai no Oto

Overall, I really enjoyed Himitsu Club and I will be looking forward to future releases from liraizo. It was definitely worth the money I spent to get it, and if I ever had to go back and make the decision again I would of course buy it. They are very diverse genre-wise, so they are easily  listenable for a very wide audience. I'll be sure to watch liraizo as closely and support them as much as possible, because they definitely have the potential to be a great and diverse band.

You can get liraizo's Himitsu Club at ZEALLINK, in-store and online, for 2,484 yen (tax-in). For a limited time, purchases come with a comment DVD and signed photoset. However, a shopping service will be required for those living outside of Japan.

The goodies. I think I will be pre-ordering from ZEALLINK more often.
- Kei