BUCK-TICK Blows Kisses with ‘Kuchizuke’ and Tour

What with fireworks being in the near future for us Americans, it’s a fitting time for the band with a firework namesake to rise up out of the shadows and shower us with sparks. At least, that’s what I hope ends up happening. BUCK-TICK has announced not only a new single (due out Sept. 1), but also an extensive nationwide tour.

The single, titled Kuchizuke, with b-side Yougetsu, will be their first release since the awesome dark pop track Dokudanjou Beauty. I really liked what they did with Dokudanjou Beauty, and I hope Kuchizuke holds up to the same standard. However, I hope that they don’t take the same direction and release another poppy song. So many bands these days try something different and then repeat it one single later and just ruin the whole thing (coughD’espairsRaycough). To be honest, I’m not really sure where they can go from here, but I have a lot of faith that they’ll surprise me (Beauty did), and do something different again. I’m really glad to see them stirring it up with some activity. There’s been too much silence from them this year, and they’re one band I’ve been waiting to see get back on the field.

A note on their “new look”. Not worth Googling, in my personal opinion. Imai (the only one whose look actually changes) looks like a creepy teenage girl. Personally, I liked their Beauty look way too much to accept this one so easily. I thought for once Imai looked kind of cool rockin’ the Perm. Everyone else looks like they usually do, which is good.


October 15th @ Saitama Shibunka Center
October 17th @ Nara 100 Nen Kaikan
October 23rd @ Toyama-ken Tami Kaikan
October 24th @ Ryuutopia Niigata City Geijutsubunkakaikan Gekijou
October 27th @ Shibuya C.C. Lemon Hall
October 28th @ Shibuya C.C. Lemon Hall
October 31st @ Kanazawa Kenmin Hall
November 3rd @ Sunport Hall Takamatsu Dai-Hall
November 5th @ Hiroshima ASTERPLAZA Dai-Hall
November 7th @ Fukuoka Shimin Kaikan
November 10th @ PARTHENON Tama
November 13th @ Tochigi-ken Sougoubunka Center Main Hall
November 14th @ Yokosuka Geijutsugekijou
November 21st @ Chiba-ken Bunkakaikan Dai-Hall
November 23rd @ Gunma Ongaku Center
November 16th @ Kobe Kokusai Kaikan Kokusai Hall
November 28th @ Kyoto Kaikan First Hall
December 1st @ Oomiya Sonic City
December 3rd @ Fuji-shi Bunkakaikan Rose Theatre Dai-Hall
December 5th @ Hokuto Bunka Hall – Chuu Hall (Nagano-ken)
December 10th @ Sendai Izumity 21
December 12th @ Sapporo-shi Kyouiku Bunkakaikan
December 15th @ NHK Osaka Hall
December 16th @ NHK Osaka Hall
December 18th @ Chuukyou Daigaku Bunka Shimin Kaikan Aurora Hall (Nagoya)

Tickets: JPY 6300. On sale 8/28/10.

Pre-order their new single now! Kuchizuke [w/ DVD, Limited Edition] / BUCK-TICK

Source/ translation: shattered tranquility

Image: Official website

Tribute to a FIVE STAR band

It must be awesome to not have to die before people celebrate your life’s work. And, although they do often conjure images of demons and underworlds and gloomy macabre classifiable “other”, Gothic emperors BUCK-TICK shot off their fire-work-worthy career nearly 30 years ago, and remain to this day anything but dead. After nearly 3 decades of ridiculously good rockin’, the veteran J-rockers are still going strong, and the respect of their fans only seems to increase the more years the gloomy gang racks up.

On June 27th, this five-star national-treasure of Visual Kei will be celebrated by six selected bands in an unholy tribute fest: FIVE STAR FACTORY PRESENTS: BUCK-TICK A TRIBUTE CONCERT.

One of the more widely “covered” bands in the J-music scene, BUCK-TICK has seen their fair share of tribute. A couple of years ago renowned Visual and J-rockers were selected to cover songs for a tribute album called Parade~ Respective Tracks of BUCK-TICK. These artists included abingdon boys school and Kiyoharu, as well as a range of lesser-names from the industry.

Now, the band will be officially honored as the five-star vet Visualists they are, in an event dedicated solely to playing covers of their music, new and classic, and (hopefully) everything in between. The band’s work will be represented by a performance of 6 cover-bands:

爆-竹 [Boku-Take]






…and one DJ: D.D.D.J.X4N20

As far as I am aware, these are all one-time session bands created for the purpose of this concert, so if you don’t recognize any of these names, don’t worry. Nobody else does either. The most exciting of the groups is the final listed name, ONE NIGHT BALLET MOONLIGHT HIBIKI, the lineup of which is almost as much of a mouthful as their never-ending name. The group consists of ex-Sugar bassist Loki, ex-The GazettE drummer Yune (as “Dekith”), ex- The Candy Spooky Theater guitarist Zull, ex-Calmando Qual vocalist Hibiki, and finally ex-munimuni guitarist Matenrou (yes, as in the opera) .

Note: Just for clarity’s sake, Loki was the vocalist for Sugar, not the bassist, but his role in ONE NIGHT is the bassist. Don’t spam me with correction- comments!

I’ll finish it off with some footage of rally‘s cover of Aku no Hana, which they performed at BUCK-TICK FEST in 2007.

rally are:

guitar – HISASHI (GLAY)
vocals – TERU (GLAY)
bass – ウエノコウジ / ueno kouji (radio caroline)
drums – 宮上 元克 / miyagami motokatsu (the mad capsule markets)

FIVE STAR FACTORY official website (Japanese)

GACKT’s Animelodies

I’m not a fan of anime conventions anymore. I used to watch tons of anime– I was never that into popular stuff like Bleach or Naruto, but there were some great series that I devoured, from Samurai-spirit-imbued street racers Initial D to classic space-ified epic vengeance via Gankutsuou ~The Count of Monte Cristo. I think a lot of people discover Japan through anime, and that’s awesome. I discovered Japan through music first, but anime came close behind, and really helped to further my friendship with Jrock. It was, after all, through anime that I first heard songs like BUCK-TICK‘s Dress.

I’ve been to one anime con in the town where I currently reside, about 3 times consecutively. But then things started happening- like how they obliterated any reference to Jrock. There was a Jpop dance, and they also had an “intro to Jrock” panel, which I absolutely could not stand, but nonetheless my irritation with the panelist’s incompetence really inspired me to do a better job at introducing people to (actually good) Jrock and VK.

On that note, I would just like to say that despite my indifference to anime cons at large, I would have absolutely zero resistance to attending Japan’s Animelo event!

Animelo is Japan’s largest anime-song concert. Artists who have worked on anime theme songs, or seiyuu (voice-actors) who specialize in singing, perform. In this case, our focus is obvious. GACKT performed three songs, ranging from new, to newish, to classic. Animelo was held at the Saitama Super Arena on August 22-23, 2009. GACKT performed on the second day, along with notable artists such as m.o.v.e, Nana Mizuki, Suara, and many others.

See for yourself:

This is the first time that I’ve seen a proper arena Ai Senshi live like this (although there is at least one other live performance of the song), and it’s awesome. One of my favorite pieces off the Gundam-dedicated 0079-0088 album, along with the exquisite Meguriai. Personally, I thought the best part was the extra-manly shouts of Gakuto!! coming from the audience.

More extra-manly screams, this time in call-and-response style MC. After his customary shouting, GACKT says “This next song is, from us, to you, The Next Decade.”

This is honestly the first time that this song has really brought out my fighting-spirit. It’s an incredibly bad-ass performance, and GACKT’s headbanging, shouting, and general energy fire the whole thing up, plus the crowd is going wild, and it’s impossible to resist the amount of energy flying around.

Redemption will always be one of my favorite GACKT songs. It particularly hits home in this set-list as it’s paired with his new-generation piece The Next Decade, and then, before that, a cover song.

All video credit: WanlesShmilly

Thanks to Roukun.

Pull Up A Seat With D’espairsRay 4/4


Regular Edition

D’espairsRay released the preview for the PV of their new single, LOVE IS DEAD, to be released April 4th. As I already mentioned  the single is produced by abingdon boys school’s own mixin’ master Kishi Toshiyuki. Although you can really only get so much of an impression out of a 15 second clip, I’m having some sort of brain-skip that keeps vacillating between Alice Nine (take your pick) and Buck-Tick‘s incredible dark disco Dokudanjou Beauty. This is not a dissing of D’espairsRay by any means, and I’m looking forward to hearing the full single– especially as the associations my frazzled faculties are making are particularly flattering.

By the way, I know it sounds like I was scorning their new look the last time I mentioned the band, but actually I think they look quite cool in the few glimpses you get from the preview. The hats and shirtless flashy jackets  feel somehow cabaret and, let’s face it, the look is pretty timelessly “in”.   

Video credit:YukariKisaki

Limited Edition

BT’s Latest PV A True Beauty…

Finally something to blog about! The PV for BUCK-TICK‘s latest single, Dokudanjou Beauty, has finally hit the net. And, really, true to its name, this song is a real beauty. Although, like other veteran bands from the ’80s, such as B’z etc, BT‘s music has taken a turn to more of a crowd-pleaser feel. The benefit to being the greatest Jrock bands ever, however, is that this doesn’t necessarily take away from quality, it just adds a particular mode or context to the music. I must say, though, that both the aforementioned bands released albums last year (BT put out Memento Mori, and B’z did MAGIC), and I personally was sorely disappointed with both of them. That being said, though, they both released singles that were absolutely phenomenal– B’z really knocked my socks off with double A-side Ichibu to Zenbu/DIVE, and today, BUCK-TICK is cleaning the floor with Dokudanjou Beauty.

Finally a memorable composition, after the flat and rather same-ol’ feeling Memento Mori delivery. Not only that, but Dokudanjou Beauty is one of the sleekest, most interesting PVs I’ve seen in a while. The Spartan warriors and the sensuous, but dangerous, woman create a sort of Helen of Troy kind of feel, and I really like one of the final images when the warrior throws his sword.

Although Imai obviously still thinks he’s living in 1986, still doing the dance moves he made up when he was on LSD, everyone looks really stylish, cool, and creepily suave. Sakurai Atsushi is in his prime, despite probably being somewhere around 50. They pull off appearing like veterans, what they are, rather than the burnt-out rock-papas they were beginning to feel like in ’09.

Dokudanjou Beauty sounds awesome. Dark, and sort of a-typically BUCK-TICK, the sing-song lyrics are some of the most fun, hip, and mesmerizing I’ve heard in a while. Sakurai has some of the most interesting lyric-composing skills in the industry, and he puts them to good use here. He also totally redeems the perm (the most-scorned-by-me hair-style trend ever to hit Jrock), and even though I scorned his look earlier, even Imai manages to come off as cool.

The bass line is awesome, the vocals are super good (“Oh my god kami-sama!” has to be the catchiest line I’ve heard in a while), and the trash-can-lid-banging sound effects at the beginning cue you in for some BUCK-TICK power like we haven’t heard in a while.

The Perm: Round 2

For some reason I just really can’t let this go. Last time we went over GACKT (his worst hair-style era ever), Ruki (GazettE) (he looked good until he then put on big sunglasses and looked like a ’60s escapee), and Satoshi (girugamesh) (the only one so far who has actually managed to look half decent with it). I thought that would be the end of this fashion, but it seems to be booming. Here are a few more:

BUCK-TICK‘s Sakurai Atsushi (center) seems to have gone with the flow….or, rather, the curls. Now that I think about it, so has Imai (center left). Somehow Sakurai pulls it off, especially since he’s approaching it with a subtle maturity, but Imai should really ditch the ringlets. He was better off looking like Jack Sparrow from Hell (2009 look).

The look has also been picked up by Flumpool‘s bassist Amakawa Genki (bottom left)….

Hmm, and suspiciously enough, Johnny’s Ent. boy and up-and-coming actor, heartthrob Yamashita Tomohisa sported a similar style for his role as Kamiya Naoki in Buzzer Beat.

I dunno, at this point I’m almost convinced to get one.

Beautiful Buck-Tick is Back

BUCK-TICK and I have a bit of a history, and I used to blog about them quite often, if I remember correctly. They’ve been a bit off my radar for a couple of years though, not sure why, they just kind of drifted away. However, I will always owe, well, everything to this band– not only because they have written and instigated  a few of my favorite Jrock songs of all time, but also because they introduced me to Jrock. Yes, it’s true. (Oh sweet moments of reminiscence…made weird by the creepiness of the band I’m reminiscing about.). BUCK-TICK‘s Dress was the first Jrock song I ever heard, and well, you know where that led. So anyway, this band will always be a special source of nostalgia for me. Oh, not to mention musical appreciation.  Hmm…no, really…they wrote some bloody phenomenal songs. Muma~ The Nightmare is incredible. Terrifying, and not for the faint of heart, but incredible. …Love Me, Just One More Kiss, Romance, Kain…all amazing works of aural-art. I mean, despite being timelessly creepy, and most of their music being totally bizarre, the fact of the matter is that BUCK-TICK is one of the greatest VK bands of all time. It’s that creepiness (unadulterated by any association with what should or shouldn’t be done) and bizarre music that give them their wretched charm, and their immortality with fans.

Video: audio track Umbrella off of Memento Mori (’09). These guys have a timelessly funky, evil style that shows, no matter what they choose to do.

Anyway, wipe away those nostalgic tears. They released an album last year, Memento Mori, and did a nationwide tour to promote it. They’ll make another micro-come-back with a brand-new single, Dokudanjou Beauty. They have also updated their personal style for a slightly more modern look.

Image credit: SR Jrock UK

Gone are the streamlined and strict black suits of last year, and in…the fluffed perm that Gatsby agents are probably paying millions to have these rock-stars wear… I mean really. I thought at least Atsushi Sakurai, god of wearing styles nobody would ever touch with a twenty-foot pole, wouldn’t succumb to the fluffed perm favored recently by GACKT, Ruki (GazettE), Satoshi (girugamesh), and (unfortunately) others. Oh wait, this is a style nobody else would touch with a twenty-foot pole. Except they did.
Dokudanjo Beauty / BUCK-TICK

ANYWAY, wow, I’m really digressing like a mad person here. Well, new single Dokudanjou Beauty is being used as the GALACTICA Season 2 ending theme song. The single will be released in 3 editions, a regular and limited, as well as a super-ultra-limited version for 18000 JPY (around 180.00 USD) that comes with a special selection of figurines– one of each band member. Creepy. Oh, also, the super edition is already sold-out at CDJ. The single comes out March 24th.

On a further note, BT will appear in the March ’10 special edition of the publication Arena 37 C.

Here’s a preview of the brand new PV for Dokudanjou Beauty at Sony Music. (It looks like a bunch of gibberish, I know. Just click the play button, everything is already set for you.)…and the ending for GALACTICA