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I Ear Perk in Your General Direction

By way of misatojaganshi and stitchfrequency, I've heard the first hint of S.K.I.N., that superband Yoshiki was starting from the ashes of at least three of the biggest mid-90s Japanese bands of their kind. What's the point of having Japanese rock fans on my friends list, I say, if it's not to gain updates on the interesting music!

My first impressions of their 1 minute+ promotional...banner ad, I'm sure there's a term for this, but I've forgotten it...is that it reminds me of the promo video for a video game. Metal Gear Solid was the first thing that came to mind, but the more I listen to it, it sounds more and more like something meant for a fighting game. A bloody one, with lots of explosions, maybe a little grim, off the deep end of Mortal Kombat.

You can hear the thingbobble I'm talking about at either misatojaganshi's place, or stitchfrequency's.

Frankly speaking, I wasn't expecting them to sound like that. It's a little harder than I thought it would be, a little louder, even a little more rock. I guess I was expecting their sound to turn out a little more horrigoffickibble. That piano intro is just begging to turn into one of Yoshiki's massive drum attacks. I'm not sure why, but I suspect it. The addition of industrial/electronic into the mix was amusing. The wailing women and techno beat has slight hints of I guess Yoshiki's solo stuff, haven't heard much of it, but at least the wailing woman reminds of that. And there's the hint of mean guitars, which definitely helps.

While I admit to being no particularly hardcore fan of X Japan, Malice Mizer or Luna Sea, the first three chess pieces in this set are still musicians I like, and the fourth has never failed to impress me in how he makes an acoustic setting work for him. So, I am curious.

Addendum 1: I have seen L'Arc~en~Ciel's Seventh Heaven PV! I have heard the song, which I really like. I think it's one of the most interesting new things I've heard from them in years. It could be one of the most balanced-sounding songs they've made in a while, to my ears. (Jojoushi came close last year, but that caterwauling right at the end of the choruses made me cringe.) The song itself is very L'Arc as they sound repaired. Nice stompy rock-pop, with just enough layers to keep folks interested. Everyone sounds good, from Yukihiro upwards (gads, he sounds cool). Can't say I was able to really hear too much of what Hyde was enunciating though -- he's getting worse at it -- even though the vocals worked.

And the PV is surrealistically worthy of Laruku. Very infrequently has synchronized dancing been so creepy-pop-art. I don't believe I've seen Hyde do the girly dance since Stay Away.

Addendum 2: And then, there is Buck-Tick's Rendezvous, which I've wanted to talk about for a while. The drum and bass in this song is good, that was the first thing that caught my attention, and that's always a treat when it happens. There's a nice bit of Imai in there too, always nice to clearly be able to make him out. (I do think there are quite a number of B-T songs that take the harmonic dischordance thing a little too far.) It's really grown on me as a song, even though I had a number of initial misgivings about how light (literally, airy) this song is. The 60s-style chorus and Atsushi's trademark lilt just works. Right from the beginning, it's reminded me heavily of something from their Kyokutou ~I Love You~ era stuff. It's not nearly as ethereal as Shippuu no Blade Runner, my favourite song from that album, it's just too light for the job, but it's pleasant enough.


( 35 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 6th, 2007 06:09 pm (UTC)
I'm really curious as to how it all turns out like everyone else. It's like the whole world is watching. lol!

I know someone who's going to see them at their debut (debuts at animation conventions easily raise eyebrows) and I can't wait to read her reaction when all is said and done.
Jun. 6th, 2007 06:39 pm (UTC)
Is it me, or is Yoshiki starting himself a word-of-Internet fandom? :) Whatever he's doing, that guy's a marketing geeeeeeenius. It makes me raise my eyebrow at him, a lot.

I too look forward to knowing what S.K.I.N. sound like in person!
Jun. 6th, 2007 07:25 pm (UTC)
Well, why not? Doesn't he have thousands of friends on his MySpace page? :D
Jun. 6th, 2007 08:00 pm (UTC)
Scary, isn't it? :D
Jun. 6th, 2007 06:19 pm (UTC)
I agree about the video game music similarities! I have to admit that the massive geek in me raised its ugly, spotty head when I first heard the preview XD

"horrigoffickibble" is an amazing word :O Mind if I borrow it for use in conversations someday? *big, shiny wibble eyes*
Jun. 6th, 2007 06:51 pm (UTC)
I admit to thinking, "Gawsh, I wanna play this game!" when I first heard it. You are not alone in your spotted geekdom. :)

By all means, spread the use of "horrigoffickibble"! Let it ride upon the masses of kelpy sways, stab folk with the eye-pencils and live like a terrible throbby thing up the pantaloons of... maybe we should stop at the kelpy sway.
Jun. 6th, 2007 06:27 pm (UTC)
it is alot better than i was expecting them to sound...haha now i too am curious as to how this will go :)
Jun. 6th, 2007 06:56 pm (UTC)
It's kind of funny that everyone is saying "that sounds better than I expected". It's like, were we all expecting this to be a train wreck? And the surprising answer is, "Mostly, yes!" I just find it funny and sad at the same time. :)

Compare this with the reaction to B-T's Rendezvous, where the general reaction seemed to be, "that's not exactly what I thought it would be..."
Jun. 6th, 2007 07:07 pm (UTC)
haha with such massive egos (give or take) in play, I really was expecting something godawful...what i heard has the potential to be pretty good :3

you know, i have yet to hear rendezvous...im still waiting for my copy to arrive;preliminary reactions arent very encouraging :o
Jun. 6th, 2007 07:18 pm (UTC)
I was expecting Malice Misery. :) Even now, I expect SKIN's lyrics to be pictures of hearts falling in the rain getting stabbed by rusty nails. But, hey, they're recording an album, and they have demos. I hope the momentum keeps up.

X Japan reforming, on the other hand. Now there's a band I think should leave the dead alone.

I won't spoil you further then, but Rendezvous really has grown on me. Think of how Kagerou worked. I still can't get the chorus for that one unstuck from my brain.
Jun. 6th, 2007 07:26 pm (UTC)
malice misery indeed...im wondering how the vocals will pan out :D

i never was into X Japan at all, so I am kind of neutral on that front; it seems like it would be hard to do it without Hide, but I could be wrong

that is a good sign...i remember i didnt like kagerou that much when i first heard it, but it definitely grew on me later ^^
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Jun. 6th, 2007 07:30 pm (UTC)
Aw, I like Rendezvous. It's so happy!

I think the preliminary reactions haven't been great because they have mostly been from people who wanted more 13kai, more of the dark and goth. Personally, I love how versatile they are so I'm pretty excited in general.
(no subject) - vampyrichamster - Jun. 6th, 2007 07:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
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Jun. 6th, 2007 10:33 pm (UTC)
Ooh, the preview of S.K.I.N. is interesting. I'm looking forward to this.

Enjoyed the Seventh Heaven video too. Very pop-py. *nods* Copied it to my HD in fact to listen to it again later.

Rendezvous was "meh" though. I closed my eyes to just focus on the music and it was a bit better, but not by much.
Jun. 7th, 2007 06:35 pm (UTC)
The Seventh Heaven video just makes me giggle every time the girly boy does a girly boy twitch attack. But I am bad, and I kind of like boys with eyeliner and skirt-like-pants. It is pop-py and cute. I'm happy to see them back in form. :)

The Rendezvous PV is definitely not a sight to behold. I usually let it play in the background for the song. *nodnod*

Tangent: Your icon looks familiar. My brain produces words like "Siouxsie" and "Banshee". I'm not entirely sure why, and I even think I must be wrong...
Jun. 8th, 2007 04:14 pm (UTC)
I'm currently downloading a better version of the video for Seventh Heaven than the one from YouTube because the sound isn't the greatest and the video is off sync by a second or two. Unfortunately, I'm getting 2-3K downloading speed for the 95MB torrent. *waits impatiently*

Yup, tis Siouxsie of Siouxsie and the Banshees from their Peek-A-Boo video (1988). Poor thing's voice hasn't held up well over the 30 years of performing. Age and smoking have really taken their toll on it.
( 35 comments — Leave a comment )