New music, week of 8/19

August 18, 2007

I usually get new music transcoded, entered into iTunes, and synced to my iPod while doing laundry on the weekend. So, I’ve decided to do a bit of a roundup of what I’ve added this week. This bit will probably be a regular thing, as long as I have time.

Ikimono Gakari - Natsuzora Graffiti/Seishun Line

Ikimono GakariNatsuzora Graffiti/Seishun Line

Ikimono Gakari is one of my favorite bands at the moment. Their stuff is always so much fun, and they have a unique sound to boot. Vocalist Yoshioka Kiyoe conveys a lot of energy, which is punctuated when Yamashita Hotaka jumps in with his harmonica. Natsuzora Graffiti is a song for the summertime, Ikimono Gakari’s entry this year into what seems to be almost a genre unto itself in Japanese music. Seishun Line is a fitting companion, with much the same theme but a different sound. It was used as the theme for an anime which I haven’t seen, hence the double-A-side billing.

FLOW – Answer

I’ve had an up and down history with FLOW. I first heard them, as most did, when they did the song “GO!!!” which was used as an opening for the obscenely popular Naruto anime. The song was catchy, but I found their first album to be overall dull and uninspired. The next time I heard them was with “Days”, used as an opening for Eureka Seven, and a song which just knocked my socks off. I couldn’t believe it was the same band. “Answer” is thankfully more along those lines, though less hard hitting than “Days” or “Colors”. A decent song.

UVERworldShaka Beach ~Laka Laka La~

UVERworld I picked up thanks to their doing a Bleach opening. I think their sound is pretty fun, but they need to work on variety. I can’t really find anything in particular to find wrong with “Shaka Beach ~Laka Laka La~”, but it’s just more of the same thing they’ve always done. That’s not bad, but they just need to come up with some other stuff.

Sambomaster – Very Special!!

Now, when it comes to bands who stand out as unique, you don’t get much more unique than Sambomaster. This is a group of guys who not only does not fit the usual profile of rock stars, but they actually seem to revel in what huge dorks they are. And I love them to death for it. “Very Special” is classic Sambomaster. Fast, fun… spastic… odd… brilliant? Complete with the usual incomprehensible ramblings of Yamaguchi Takashi over certain parts of the song.

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