GazettE’s So TOXIC, I’m Slipping Under

…I don’t know who I’m more ashamed of, those of you who get the reference, or myself for making it. But what can I say; I mean, it’s the world we live in. Some things once seen, cannot be unseen, and for some reason they always come into focus when I’m typing in titles. Holy hell I’m corrupt.

Last we heard on SG in regards to The GazettE, I’d begun tentatively shifting positions from thinking the continued mystery of Reita’s likely-disfigured nose just isn’t enough to disguise the band’s obviously-disfigured sense of good music  into an amiable appreciation of their latest single, Vortex. The single’s bounty certainly whipped it up (after the band spent a good few releases dragging their creative heels, trying to hide their brewing incompetence by increasing the coolness of Ruki’s outfits and covering their heels economically by shipping poor Kai off to work in catering. Not cool.), for a refreshing change of pace, leaving those few left unglamored by The Goddess’s imperturbable charm while still unable to acknowledge Red‘s existence on musical-earth, at least back in the GazeRock conversation.

Whew that was a long paragraph.

Well, if nothing else, plenty can certainly be said for The GazettE‘s persistence. GazettE singles seem to drop with the frequency of lunar tides — the only thing left wanting (aside from maybe a break long enough to replenish their creative juices?) is the eclipse of releases, the original album.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. They’ve been kind enough to give us a headstart so we can begin arranging the loans most of us will have to take out in order to actually afford the album (a nasty exchange rate, plus the fact that you’ll most likely want the ltd. edition with the DVD, paired with shipping costs from Japan will bring the album well over $60). So, literally, the release is so toxic we’re (economically) slipping under.

Just because we get a headstart doesn’t mean they’re cutting us any slack– if you want to be a true fan, you’ll most like want the single that’ll drop at the end of August, titled REMEMBER THE URGE. Released 8.31.11 in 2 versions (is the Auditory Impressions/Optical Impressions thing becoming a new trademark?), the single should tide Gaze-Minions over until October.

The GazettE‘s first original album since 2009’s DIM will overwhelm fangirls (and Reita still won’t take his mask off) on 10.05.11, in two editions (think more Budget and Luxury, rather than Auditory/Optical), and bears the title TOXIC.

I wonder if the title track is a collab? Sorry. I couldn’t resist.

Pre-order the ill shizz here (TOXIC) & here (RTU).

Aoi Defies Dye Lot 335 “Asian Blonde”

“The New Look”, always a much anticipated release of information. In my experience, the disclosure of a Visual Kei band’s “New Look”, as organized for the promotion of a new album or single, is always a testament to rock bands’ abilities to create infinite variety with one or less colors.

In the past, I’ve found The GazettE to be satisfactorily edgy in their looks. Veering shockingly away from the standard black pants, black blazer, and the occasional, unnerving splash of gray, The GazettE‘s image always pops up in my head dressed in colorful velour suits with perfectly coiffed blonde mullets.

However, when black became the new, well, rainbow circa 2009, and the word on the street was “chic”, it seemed like Visual Kei started getting a little less, y’know, visual. The host-boy hair syndrome overwhelmed the industry as the standard hair-fare, and, that-which-must-not-be-named (oshare) aside (out of the discussion, where it belongs), the universally accepted Visual Kei uniform became the angry angura badass bad-lands look. That is, blackblackblack.

Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t worn color since 2009 either. But I will pass judgment here and say, I think that Visual Kei bands could stand to break out of the angura thing and at least give us a splash of something that’s not just black clothes and blonde hair. I’m pleased to see that one of the most universally accepted “cool-looking” bands have let at least one member go out on a limb this time¹. First of all, let me just say that I think the concept for these shots is pretty epic. The industrial, utterly lackluster backdrop contrasts with the striking paint-splatters smeared over each portrait, giving a creative twist to otherwise standard Type A new look portraits. I’m actually astounded by this “new look”, simply because they actually did something with Aoi’s hair. Gone is the ultra simple black coif of their past, and present now is a spiky, edgy, and very……purple… style that totally defies the “Asian Blonde” I thought it was illegal for a Visual Kei band-member to not have. Whether he actually had a hair color for past single Pledge cannot really be known, as the PV was monochrome, and I bet they stood behind a monochrome holograph for all their promotions. Can never be too careful– you never know when a splash of color might invade your cool, black-clad life and ruin everything with its recklessness.

The hair and high collar also bring across something of a hide-feel, which I think is probably a healthy direction to be moving in.

As usual, Uruha, with his tumbling golden locks and smoldering glare, just begs to be worshiped by men and women alike. Putting all androgynous Visual Kei creatures eternally to shame as he does, even after all these years I cannot reason with normies who say he looks like a woman. No disrespect- you have to be utterly and irreparably confused to even attempt to deny it.

I like what they’ve done with his hair– some edgy layers and of course a pretty little twist of the hair-iron produces that little iconic curl. That being said, from the neck down I can’t help but have this feeling that he’s wearing one of Ozaki Nana’s outfits from the anime Nana. The signature leather jacket and….please tell me that’s not a tulle dress?

Some things may change, but Reita will forever look the same.

I can’t say I’ve ever disapproved of a Ruki look, unless you consider that one time he tried to be totally gangster, which I think was succeeded by The Perm….Which I think was succeeded by…Nah, just messing with you guys. The slight wave to his hair is acceptable, and all the clean lines and simple details make for a solid vocalist ensemble. No big shockers here.

Who is this ninja musician, and when will the waiter be here with my check?

All together now:

 

¹ – Would like to take this moment to also mention Jyou of exist trace who is rocking some fiery locks.

images from http://gzrock.wordpress.com & google

Pledge Allegiance to GazettE 12/15

I’ll admit, The GazettE is, much like girugamesh, one of the mainstream Visual Kei bands whose releases I don’t procure religiously anymore. I more or less skipped over Red, although in retrospect it was a pretty decent single. In many ways, I’ve enjoyed their earlier work to such an extent that I’m pretty content keeping NIL in heavy rotation, and if something utterly mind-blowing is released, that’s okay too.

Heading into mid-November now, a new wave of release dates are being announced for the December and January rounds of economic Visual Kei worship. I find it quite fascinating when I’m paying the bills…There’s always Rent, Cellphone, Internet, List of Visual Kei singles to pre-order for [insert month]. It’s one of the few I pay cheerfully and with a sense of great reverence. Coming up to reward your December tithe is new single Pledge from The GazettE on 12/15, just in time for their first Tokyo Dome performance on Dec. 26th. I bet that leaves no mystery as to how I want to spend my holidays.

Check out the preview for the heavy ballad (Yeah, I wasn’t surprised either), and Gazerock fans, censoring any spewing of “Reita omg kawaii kawaii!”, let me know what you think.

Mug Shot

Finally the stylists stopped being on strike, recognized that Kai is, in fact, part of the band and not a misplaced member of the catering crew, and outfitted him accordingly. For once in their career he is actually starting to fit in with the band, and it’s working wonders for him. The sharp black outfit (what can be seen of it, anyway) is…a…y’know, sharp black outfit for which too much can never be said. The extreme layers and long hair bring me way back to Visual Kei in the late ’80s and early ’90s, before Host Boy Hair Syndrome (HBHS) took over the scene.

Mug Shot

Best part of my weekend: when The GazettE changes their look, and all the fangirls spam comment all over our lives with “Oooh omfg Reita kawaii kawaii!” When…his look never changes. Ah, a world without GazettE fangirls would be a sad, sad place indeed.

Mug Shot

Aoi always tends to pull off these minimalistic chic looks, with simple hair and normal-ish outfits to which he lends his natural enigmatic charm and makes everyone else look like they’re trying way too hard. He, like Reita, never surprises me. At least it’s in a good way.

Mug Shot

Uruha says, If my face ends up on another British T-shirt ever again…..at least send one to all of my band members.

Nosebleed

I’m not too much of a man to admit that I got a nosebleed.


The GazettE Invitation to OS Fans

The fairness and good qualities of The GazettE should really receive some serious praise somewhere. The fact that they want us OS fans at their Japan tour dates is worth a gold-medal in my personal opinion. Let me just say it, then: these guys rock for making it easy to get to their shows.

It started with their fan-club only tour that just barely ended, and will continue on into their next round (which will be extensive, so if you’re planning a trip over there, check the dates first!): all ticket sales will be available to overseas fans. However, it is important to remember that you have to “apply” to get tickets, and the window is limited, so if you want them, think fast!

Here’s the information about how to buy tickets:

7/22, 7/23
Nippon Budokan(General Sales Start (in Japan):6/12)
[Application period] 5/12 (Wed) 12:00 – 5/20 (Thu) 23:59 (Japanese Standard Time) for overseas purchase
[Payment Period] 5/22 – 5/29
[Confirmation Time] 5/30

Application Site URL
http://www.ticket-reg.com/thegazette/
(From the stated link please access via [Overseas Ticket Sales])
*The site will be available from May 21th 2010!

*Ticket Sales thereafter:
・7/28Nagano – 8/31 Nagoya(General Sales Start (in Japan):7/10)
[Application Period] 6/1~13 for overseas purchase
・10/1 Ishikawa – 11/2 Mie(General Sales Start (in Japan):7/17)
[Application period] 8/1~15 for overseas purchase

If you have any questions, or need help with anything, just leave me a comment and I’ll do my best to give you a hand.

Information: MusicJapan+

The GazettE Are Nameless Liberals In Ticketing

It was announced this morning that tickets for The GazettE‘s massive nationwide tour TOUR10 Nameless Liberty Six Bullets 01 will be made available to overseas fans.

Although the exact information, and where to purchase the tickets if you live overseas, isn’t available yet, it should be up soon.

So if you’re going to be in Japan while the tour is going on BUY TICKETS. GO. This is an incredible band, and it’s an awesome opportunity for any Visualist travelers to see some rockin’. Need a translator? Take me with you. I know just about every livehouse and arena in Japan by heart after translating Remioromen‘s tour schedule….