Story Time With Lc5

Having an acute case of osharephobia, my AnCafe awareness phase hit me during my angsty early days, back before I became jaded enough to have opinions and a sense of distinction about what I listened to. My appreciation for the hyperactive, affectedly-nasal, stressful listening experience was, needless to say, short-lived. Although I never came to dislike the band, and will still even admit to enjoying a few songs (Ryuusei Rocket and Snow Scene pop up on shuffle from time to time and don’t get skipped), I stopped following them or listening actively.

That is, until last year when vocalist miku finally won his battle against the chronic sinus-infection that seemed to last, oh bloody hell, like 6 years (poor guy), put the whole project on hiatus, and went off to develop his ennui and strip down to monochrome for the debut of side-project Lc5 and their fresh-faced new-born first single, Loveless. My first impression of them being somewhat in the gray zone, I put them on the short-list and moved on…until the time was right, and I picked up their second single, Story.

First of all, the concept for the single is pretty sweet. I’m down with the contrast of density and spaciousness, light and dark. Also, the way they worked the cold, clean lines of the background and the soft furs and miku’s mellow expression. Simple and striking, it’s classy and understated.

The titular track, Story, opens with a clean piano line and straight guitar chords that flow neatly into a concise, heartfelt rock piece. The vocals are light and low, and play crisply on the airy highnotes of emotion that prove miku can express elegantly without a stuffy nose. The verses are sweetly satisfying, and the chorus stays out of your face while still being catchy. Like the cover, the title track is all clean lines and soft depth, a sweet rock ballad with a good vocal break and a versatile feel. My favorite part of the song has to be the last third of the track, when they transpose keys, switch up the vocal breaks, and throw in a whammy-riding guitar solo to fade out a well-rounded rock ballad.

Story fades into Deeper Than Fate, the meat of the single. Cruising and rocking from the onset, the bassy track is a great middle-ground between tender Story and heavier DIRTY STAR. miku’s vocals ring strongly of Hyde back in his early L’arc days of melodic emo wails. In fact, the whole sound of Lc5 does follow on L’arc‘s heels somewhat, creating a strong, classic sound that makes for quality Jrock like bands were putting out in the early 00’s before everyone started experimenting with electronic samples and live mixing (I blame [thank] Toshiyuki Kishi for this). The guitar solos are solid, the bass is well-equalized, the riffs are well-put-together, and everything is orderly and very easy on the ears.

The single finishes off with DIRTY STAR, the title of which doesn’t really some congruous, but the actual song is really decent. The jazzy, bassy opening with the airy vocal overlay feels fresh and new, while the vocals spin through another classic Jrock track. The details of the track are great, and I enjoyed the effects they layered on the vocals throughout, mixing things up a bit. The “and”-beat feel of the lead into the chorus creates a trip-up sort of feel that I thought was pretty cool.

All in all the single is a really solid piece of work, and I have to say that I am impressed by what Lc5 has put out so far. The entire single is classy and elegant, with some nice detailing and a strong foundation. The arrangement of all 3 pieces is well-done, and they felt congruous as a set, while at the same time able to hold their own if separated out…

I will certainly be following Lc5 more closely from now on, and should they [not] surprise us with a full-length album this year, I wouldn’t hesitate to pick it up or recommend others to do the same.

5 responses to “Story Time With Lc5

  1. I’ve been wondering what kind of meds Miku is taking to clear up his head cold… I think I could use some right now.
    At any rate, I must agree with you on this group – Lc5 is pretty decent as far as music goes. I, too, suffer from osharephobia and can only stand it in very small, controlled doses. There are still a few An Cafe songs that I listen to – I agree that Snow Scene is one of their best – but having listened to mainly goth music before finding J-rock, in all of it’s forms, Oshare Kei is more then a little grating on the nerves.

    All in all, I’ll keep an eye on Lc5. Thank you for a magnificent review. =)

  2. Just discovered your blog today. i can’t really comment properly due to over exposure to VK, but THANKYOU for all your amazing reveiws and knowledge.
    I didn’t even relize Miku had a new band… Lc5 is definatly an improvement to An Cafe, though I do ocassionaly get the Oshare urge and spazz out to afew of their songs.
    Story is a very good song in my opinion, and loveless is not bad either.
    I will leave it there for now, but i hope you continue to post on SG (i don’t know if 8 days is a long time between posts or not but can’t wait for more music reveiws.

    • Hey there. Thanks for your comment, I’m glad to know Secret Garden has a new reader, and I’m flattered that you’re finding some useful information here. It’s always inspiring and encouraging being able to welcome a new Visualist into the community.

      As far as my posting habits go, unfortunately 1 post/week is the most active I’ve been for a few months now. At the moment I’m “unplugged” with limited internet access while I visit friends on the other side of the country, and my attempt at weekly (oops) posts is both to prevent SG from going totally idle during my vacation, and also to help wean me back into consistent posting. My target schedule would be to have posts up 3 or 4 times every week, and when I return to the east coast in a couple of weeks, I will begin working toward that. In the meantime, I request your continued patience. And, really, it helps to hear there’s a demand.

      Again, thanks for reading, and welcome to SG. Take it easy.

  3. Hello! It took me so long to find SG!

    Just a heads up to thank you for the wonderful review of Lc5. It’s a rather refreshing take on the band compared to the brutal beating the band has taken so far by Miku’s ancafe fangirls.

    • Heya! Apologies for being rather untimely in my response to your comment. First of all, thank you for commenting. It’s always great to see new readers stumbling across SG.

      Ironically enough, Miku has really set himself up to be the rope in a brutal game of tug-of-war. On one side he has his AnCafe fans who simply refuse to acknowledge the fact that a grown man may, oh I don’t know, get tired of flitting around with barrettes in his bangs while wearing pantaloons. On the other side, there are the Visualists who still hesitate over whether they ought to acknowledge the existence of oshare or not.

      In the end, I think, all it really should come down to is whether he’s making good music or not. I think Lc5 is making good music, and the “fan”girls can say what they like.

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