I find it pretty depressing, the fact that I can skim through my RSS menu and see a steady stream of “I’m sorry, I promise I still exist…I’m just locked in a closet siphoning off the leakage of my brain, which has been thoroughly nuked by the 9-5 and can no longer process basic functional commands such as eat/sleep/speak, let alone blog.”
As far as I’m concerned, blogging is a basic function. But as I have successfully sacrificed the precious luxury of more than 5 hours of sleep each night, I figure the lack of blog action is, thus, if not excused then at least explained. To my credit, October was an insane month. My personal life waged war on me like a bloody Spartan, and this week I am crawling out of the battlefield, nothing less than ravaged.
I admit there’s a certain sense of awkwardness in getting back into the flow of Visualism after being absent for a while. However, I’m interested by a lot of stuff I’ve seen show up on radar of late, which should inspire the onset of more frequent posting? Who can say.
Visual Kei is an industry – and like all industries, major shifts tend to occur at seasonal turn-overs. Each seasonal annex typically sees a new wave of trends, styles, and a great deluge of releases and tour announcements. Band looks change. Their sound alters, album covers begin to reflect the shimmery tinsel of winter, and so on and so forth.
After this arctic waste’s first snow flurry this week, it has hit home that, inevitably, the last tatters of autumn are fading into winter. We have reached another shift (so fast?), and with the snow, it would seem, already a new wave of noteworthy events and releases are surfacing in Visual Kei.
But before we get too carried away, I think I’ll take this opportunity to backtrack slightly to late September. I have been asked numerous times lately for my thoughts on a certain, somewhat controversial, turn of tides, and we should probably just get this on the table.
Lc5, the new artistic venture of Oshare-Kei AnCafe‘s vocalist miku (front center), is something of a touchy subject due to the fact that its advent followed closely on the heels of the much-respected AnCafe announcing their indefinite hiatus.
Not only that, but it’s not just miku starting a new un-needed oshare kei band following basically the same chord progressions with half the same members and a different name. I would put money on there being some fangirls who are having kittens right now because their favorite ryuusei rocket is actually branching out.
Now, let’s get one thing straight right off the bat. I wouldn’t touch the oshare scene with a twenty-foot pole. There’s nothing inherently wrong with it, I just totally can’t jive with it. Although I’m familiar with most of AnCafe‘s work (know your enemies), I have to say that it’s been years since I rejected yet another teary-eyed fangirl trying to cry on my shoulder over Bou leaving the band, or cared enough to do any follow-through on the remaining members’ activities. However, when it comes to well-known bands up and going on hiatus and their angsty frontmen starting up rebellious, aloof classical-Visual Kei groups on the side, I guess even I’m enough of a drama whore to get wise to that scene.
You all can get wise to it, too, by checking out Lc5‘s debut PV for their single Loveless.
For one, Lc5 answers the ever-irritating question as to whether or not they actually sing like they have a head-cold naturally, or whether it’s affected. I did always find it hard to believe that 1 out of 3 Japanese men perpetually sing through a stuffy nose; it just seems like it would make scheduling a major bother. miku seems to have recovered from his cold, as he has shed some of the nasal overtones he used to excess in AnCafe, and his vocals, while somewhat less striking, are, in my personal opinion, so much better off for it. The vocals are, I think, slightly underplayed and a little too lightly produced to really catch my attention. The vocal melody in Loveless is pretty good, though, which makes up (somewhat) for this slight discrepancy. Under-produced vocals are a serious pet-peeve of mine, and honestly I assumed miku would be egotistical enough to play it up a bit. All whining aside, miku does have a pretty unique voice, and it’s one of the virtues Lc5 should be working.
It’s a relief to see that miku has actually shifted to the dark side of Visual Kei, moving away from his gaudy oshare roots and imbibing in some class. His look has matured, he dyed his hair, borrowed a wardrobe from GACKT, the works. Initially I had some concerns that he would deliver yet another unnecessarily peppy pop troupe and blow us all away with a profound leap into reiteration of mediocrity.
Although the title is less than innovative, and the song isn’t exactly the next best thing since Death Point, Loveless is definitely worth listening to, and I would absolutely recommend the single to AnCafe fans and
haters others alike. All in all, although it is not epilepsy-inducing in its amazingness, my expectations for Lc5 were definitely surpassed. I look forward to seeing how miku takes his solo career forward, and I think that the group has potential to bring a breath of fresh air into the realm of uppity new rockers. miku has been successful in the Visual Kei/Oshare industry for a few years now, so hopefully he’s bored enough with what he’s been doing to actually put some creativity into his work. I will be anticipating future releases…maybe an album? Nah, let’s not get ahead of ourselves.