girugamesh bounces back

It would seem that it’s about that time again. Summer is coming to a close, bringing with it the papery chill of Autumn. With the turnover from summer, the new round of fall tours, events, and releases start to come tumbling down from the skies of Visual Kei like leaves on a windy October day.

One of those bands whose seasonal turn-around we have most been anticipating, is the extremely versatile, ever-changing and experimenting bad-boy roundup girugamesh. They recently released their new look, and a teaser for the new single, titled Inochi no Ki (Tree of Life), and appropriately depicted by a…er..dead tree. Let’s take a look at their new digs:

Wow, well, first of all, I have to say Nii and his hats keep improving. That over-sized sock he was wearing on his head for about, what? 8 singles? has finally transformed into a classy fedora. Those are in, by the way. Honestly, Satoshi’s outfits don’t change that much. Although he’s cut-off mid-torso here, I’d bet my last penny he’s wearing black ski— wait. Aren’t there too many blonds in this picture?

As for the song… Like Nii’s hobo headwear, giru‘s sound continues to develop and advance. I’m extremely pleased to hear that they’ve gone back to their hardcore sound. Those rap elements are still there, which shows Ryo’s experimental nature is still running rampant. However, it’s good to hear Satoshi’s voice getting that edge back, as I thought he was going soft for a while there. Although, I thought it was something other than ‘luck’ that he was saying. Just Engrish, I guess?

All in all, I think it’s inspiring to see that, although we had a brief lapse with the release of mediocre COLOR, the boys are bouncing back with more of their original sound. I think it was right to stand by girugamesh and continue supporting their creative expression. I can’t wait for Inochi no Ki to land, and I hope the b-sides are just as good as the title track.

Admit it. You can’t deny the resemblance.

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Nippon Crown, Dethroned?


The other day the news started going around about a summer single for GACKT, which was not yet announced officially on his website, and the details for which were limited simply to the release date. The mystery around this enigmatic summer single seems to have been undone yesterday evening, with the announcement appearing all over Japanese online news sources, that there’s quite a bit more than just a new release to announce for the rock god.

Everyone who knows GACKT will be, I’m sure, equally familiar with the name “Nippon Crown”, that is, the noble tagline of the Jrock King– his royal record label. However, it seems that they have abdicated (and by that I mean GACKT dethroned them), as news declares that GACKT will leave Nippon Crown as his distribution company and move to the well-known AVEX label. Although GACKT attended a press-conference yesterday, presumably to discuss the topic, no official announcements have been made on his website, so it seems likely that the information was leaked prematurely.

It is worth mentioning that unlike kingly Nippon Crown, the AVEX group will most likely encourage a wider range of international activities and releases, and will give GACKT a wider reach in regards to world domination. One of the articles hints at a possible European tour being in the works for Summer ’10, but I would like to counter that by reminding everyone (we are all highly agitated about this, I know, but still) that GACKT is already cramming both the YFC tour and Nemuri into every possible chronological nook and cranny this summer, therefore despite the thrill of that suggestion, it seems highly unlikely.

The single, to be releases June 16th, will be GACKT’s debut release with AVEX.

I would like to thank Ryuutatsu for tipping me off about this, and credit GACKT ARMY and the Dears Community, at LiveJournal, and Tokyograph.

Tetsuya’s R’ockin R’oulette

Have you ever gone gambling before? Well, here’s your chance to gamble and win. On May 19th, L’arc~En~Ciel bassist, Creature Creature partner, and solo-artist Tetsuya will release a brand new single, Roulette.
Roulette / TETSUYA

Tetsuya, who was previously solo as “Tetsu69”, first started making his voice heard (literally) to L’arc fans with the L’arc~En~Ciel mirror project  P’unk~En~Ciel which appeared as b-sides and other-versions on singles and albums. P’unk~En~Ciel showcased L’arc members’ variety and talents by rearranging the roles of its members. Hyde switched off to guitar, and Tetsuya took over the vocals. The sound also changed to something much more punk and indie feeling. My first introduction to P’unk stuff was the song I Wish, which I thought was way too catchy and awesome. I didn’t get full Tetsu exposure until I found his solo album (Suite November) in a used CD shop in Japan. It’s a mellow, but great, collection of chill punk-pop that any Tetsu or L’arc fan should own.

Tetsuya

In 2009, Tetsu turned 40 (yeah, he still looks younger than most 20 year olds), and (although I’m not sure whether the two events are related or not) dropped the slightly sketchy Tetsu69 stagename and went straight with “Tetsuya”. Roulette will be his first single under the name Tetsuya.

Here’s a preview of the new song, and a follow-up talk with Tetsuya:

Video credit: adadeoh, Yannh

Next Scene for The GazettE

Big news for The GazettE, who just finished their latest tour THE END OF STILLNESS for fan-club members across Japan. About 30,000 people made an attendance at the 13 dates scheduled through March. Following the conclusion of THE END OF STILLNESS tour, the band announced that they will be moving on to the “Next Scene” of their career, literally, with a brand new single titled NEXT SCENE, as well as a new DVD release “New Music Clips : Film Bug II”.

NEXT SCENE will start on July 21st (details pending), and the DVD will be out August 4th, for JPY4,800.

Not only that, but this “next scene” isn’t a still-shot. The band also announced a second, much longer, 2010 tour Tour10 Nameless Liberty Six Bullets 1 & 2. The tour kicks off at Nippon Budokan on July 22nd, the day after NEXT SCENE hits shelves, and will run for around 40 dates, with the final on December 26th. The band stated that last year they performed a New Year’s live to welcome in the year, and that perhaps this year they will do a “Big Bonenkai party” (End Year Party) to bid sayounara to 2010.

I’m relieved that they’re starting a new thing called NEXT SCENE, as Dim Scene, cool a name as that may be, is hardly a motivational tagline for moving forward.

THE GAZETTE ++ TOUR10 NAMELESS LIBERTY SIX BULLETS 01

07.22(thu) NIPPON BUDOKAN
[OPEN 17:30/START 18:30]
07.23(fri) NIPPON BUDOKAN
[OPEN 17:30/START 18:30]
07.25(sun) NAKANO SUNPLAZA HALL
[OPEN 17:30/START 18:00]
07.28(wed) SAPPORO SHIMIN HALL
[OPEN 18:00/START 18:30]
07.30(fri) HACHIOJI SHIMIN KAIKAN
[OPEN 18:00/START 18:30]
08.02(mon) IBARAKI KENRITSU KENMIN BUNKA CENTER
[OPEN 18:00/START 18:30]
08.03(tue) TOCHIGIKEN SOGO BUNKA CENTER
[OPEN 18:00/START 18:30]
08.05(thu) KIRYU CITY PERFORMING ARTS CENTER SILK HALL
[OPEN 18:00/START 18:30]
08.08(sun) AKITA CITY HALL BIG HALL
[OPEN 17:30/START 18:00]
08.09(mon) AOMORI CIVIC HALL
[OPEN 18:00/START 18:30]
08.11(wed) YAMAGATA CIVIC HALL BIG HALL
[OPEN 18:00/START 18:30]
08.14(sat)KOCHISHI BUNKA PLAZA CARPORT
[OPEN 17:30/START 18:00]

+POSTPONED DATES+
08.16(mon) HIROSHIMA ALSOK HALL
[OPEN 18:00/START 18:30]

11/15 (Mon) Hiroshima ALSOK Hall
OPEN 18:00 /START 18:30
08.17(tue) OKAYAMA CIVIC HALL
[OPEN 18:00/START 18:30]

11/12 (Fri) OKAYAMA CIVIC HALL
OPEN 18:00/ START 18:30
08.19(thu) FUKUOKA CIVIC HALL
[OPEN 18:00/START 18:30]

11/22 (Mon) FUKUOKA CIVIC HALL
OPEN 18:00/START 18:30
08.21(sat) CHIBAKEN BUNKA KAIKAN
[OPEN 17:30/START 18:00]

11/11 (Thu) CHIBAKEN BUNKA KAIKAN
OPEN 18:00/START 18:30
08.22(sun) ATSUGISHI BUNKA KAIKAN
[OPEN 17:00/START 17:30]

11/8 (Mon) Atsugi-shi Bunka Kaikan
OPEN 18:00/START 18:30

INFORMATION + TICKETS:

7/22,7/23 Nippon Budokan
[Price] ..6,800(tax in) *Reserved seats
[Start of General Sales]6/12日(sat) Japan wide sales start
*”HERESY” Fan club members will receive pre-sale information at the beginning of April by mail.
*People, who applied for membership until 2010/4/12 (Date of the postal stamp) will also be included.

7/25-8/31 Performances
[Price] ..6,000(tax in) *Reserved seats
[Start of General Sales] 7/10 (sat) Japan wide sales start

THE GAZETTE ++ TOUR10 NAMELESS LIBERTY SIX BULLETS 02

10.01(fri) HONDANOMORI HALL
[OPEN 18:00/START 18:30]
10.02(sat) TOYAMA KENMIN KAIKAN
[OPEN 17:30/START 18:00]
10.05(tue) WAKAYAMA MUNICIPAL AUDITORIUM BIG HALL
[OPEN 18:00/START 18:30]
10.06(wed) KOBE INTERNATIONAL HOUSE
[OPEN 17:45/START 18:30]
10.08(fri) NARA PREFECTURAL CULTURAL HALL
[OPEN 18:00/START 18:30]
10.11(mon) OSAKA INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION CENTER MAIN HALL
[OPEN 17:45/START 18:30]
10.12(tue) OSAKA INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION CENTER MAIN HALL
[OPEN 17:45/START 18:30]
10.14(thu) TAJIMISHI BUNKA KAIKAN
[OPEN 18:00/START 18:30]
10.16(sat) YAMANASHI KENRITSU KENMIN BUNKA HALL
[OPEN 17:30/START 18:00]
10.17(sun) SAITAMASHI BUNKA CENTER
[OPEN 17:00/START 17:30]
10.20(wed) MATSUYAMASHI SOGO COMMUNITY CENTER CAMELLIA HALL
[OPEN 18:00/START 18:30]
10.22(fri) SUNPORT HALL TAKAMATSU BIG HALL
[OPEN 18:00/START 18:30]
10.24(sun) SENDAI SUNPLAZE HALL
[OPEN 17:45/START 18:30]
10.27(wed) KUMAMOTO PREFECTURAL THEATER
[OPEN 18:00/START 18:30]
10.28(thu) KAGOSHIMA TANIYAMA SAZAN HALL
[OPEN 18:00/START 18:30]
10.31(sun) YOKOSUKA ARTS THEATRE
[OPEN 17:00/START 17:30]
11.02(tue) MIE CENTER FOR THE ARTS BIG HALL
[OPEN 18:00/START 18:30]

INFORMATION + TICKETS:

10/1-11/2Performances
[Price] |6,000(tax in) *Reserved seats
[Start of General Sales] 7/17 (sat) Japan wide sales start

[TOTAL INFORMATION]
BACKSTAGE PROJECT: TEL03-5786-2400(Mon – Fri 12:00~19:00)

SEE: This Page for more details concerning overseas ticket purchasing.

Need any more information? Just leave a comment. ++

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.

Stay the Ride Alive

Not sure how to handle the new year now that it is upon us? As usual, GACKT has the answer! Starting January 1st, why not burn rubber in 2010 with GACKT’s latest single Stay The Ride Alive.

Stay the Ride Alive / GACKT
STAY THE RIDE ALIVE

3 versions: Regular edition (CDA), Limited edition 1 (DVD), Limited edition 2 (2 DVDs).

Notorious for being a typical Japanese fan-boy in his love of mecha, GACKT has been living every schoolboy’s dream since he released the song Metamorphose (Love Letter single) to be used as the ending-theme to the Mobile-Suit Gundam series.

Now in 2009 GACKT has further spread his metal wings in the industry, and has practically commandeered the soundtrack for the popular Power-Rangers-esque transformers TV series Kamen Rider. Not only did he do the original opening theme song for the new rendition of the show (which started airing in July), Journey Through the Decade, but he did a piece for the Kamen Rider movie that came out later this past summer (the single: The Next Decade). It would seem Kamen Rider is no longer safe from Gacktian clutches, as New Year’s Day will witness the release of the third installment: Stay the Ride Alive.

If the song is as macho as the cover image, we’re all set to ride into the new year armed with awesomeness.