VAMPS’ Celestial Journey

Earlier this month VAMPS showed the reaches of their dark side with the edgy yet classy and potentially controversial DEVIL SIDE. It seems they’ll be flying new colors with the release of ANGEL TRIP.

Angel Trip / VAMPS

06/09 ANGEL TRIP

Tracklist:

1.Angel Trip

2.Kyuketsu -Satsugai VAMPS ver.-

July 7th will see the release of their full-length album, and although the title has been announced, the tracklist and artwork are still under wraps. It seems we’ll be seeing a relapse into bad-boy-dom on July 7th when we go primeval for BEAST. The album will come with two alternate versions, Jacket A and Jacket B, and first-press comes with a poster. (Previously announced @here)
Beast / VAMPS

The band will also release a documentary book (note: this is not a photobook) titled KYUKETSUKI VAMPS DOCUMENT STORY 01. Priced at JPY 1905, for a collector’s item this is a steal. Complete details are still pending, but if you’re a VAMPS fan, keep your eye on this one. Books and items such as this tend to sell out fast, and are rarely available long-term.

Kyuketsuki VAMPS Document Story 01 / VAMPS


More Trampy Vamps

Can you find Hyde and K.A.Z in this picture?

Seriously, VAMPS has been really busy lately. With the release of two singles, a DVD, gang cross-dressing and a world tour this summer and fall, you would think that the blood-sucking rocker duo had their hands full. But it seems that they’re really going to give it their all, and we will give them our all in the form of scraping every last penny out of our poor emaciated piggy-banks!

On July 7th, VAMPS will really top their recent activity with the crowning-glory of releases: a full-length album. The album will feature their new single (which comes out on Wednesday…) DEVIL SIDE. I’ve been noticing bands doing this increasingly often lately– for example abingdon boys school released the single (with no b-sides) From Dusk Till Dawn very shortly before the song appeared again on their full length album. This is highly suspicious, not to mention faintly annoying. I mean, at least spare us by not telling us that the single we just bought is going to appear on the album we’re right about to buy!

In any case, DEVIL SIDE is a good song (with an even better PV– just remember, Youtubers will be required to confirm their age when viewing…They’re still asking me, and it’s like…I mean…I’m not getting any younger, no need to remind me.), so even if you end up with 6 of it, how can you really complain, right?

The album will hit shelves (to reiterate) 7/7, for a healthy JPY 3,500 (tax in). Limited edition includes a DVD with PV footage (Okay, you can complain if the DEVIL SIDE PV appears on there.), and the first-press comes with a poster.

Who wants to be really trashy and start placing bets over whether the cover will feature a naked woman? (Just kidding…)

By the way, it was terrible of me and I shouldn’t have done it, I know. I just couldn’t resist. When I saw that image, with the caption Vamps Girls, and the color scheme that perfectly matches the image below— not to mention thematically, I had to do it. Come on, you actually looked for them when you read my caption….admit it!

Visual Kei Got Game

WARNING: This post may contain content inappropriate for some readers. I will not require you to confirm your age before reading the insights of a jaded Visualist and their opinions about the feisty side of Visual Kei, but I would like to make it clear that you read at your own risk, and I will not be held responsible for your corruption in any way.

Today I was surfing Youtube and went to watch the newly released PV for VAMPSDevil Side single that’s coming out next month. As I clicked on the link, it seriously took me to a page that said something along the lines of “this video has been flagged inappropriate for some viewing audiences by the Youtube community. Please confirm your age to continue.”

Being a long time viewer of Visual Kei and Jrock PVs and live footage, and having enough comprehension of Japanese to understand lyrics, I’m no stranger to the casual trashiness of some Visual Kei and Jrock. It can be kind of shocking if you’re not used to it, probably because the Japanese don’t have the serious hang-ups around sexuality that Puritan-based western cultures do, so in order to be really trashy and shocking, you have to get kind of ridiculous. Blatant raciness became standard fare in Visual Kei in the late ’80s and early ’90s, with leaders like BUCK-TICK, who filled their live performances with all the sensuality and raunchiness of the lyrics– with that in mind, however, it was all in good taste. At least, I don’t think that’s my visualist dementia speaking for me. Fan-service was usually enacted by vocalist Atsushi, the god-father of on-stage sensuality, who romped around the stage drawing on monitors with crimson lipstick, and pole-dancing with his microphone stand bound with roses. It didn’t stop there, though. The late ’90s and early ’00s saw the rise of GACKT and his solo shockers.

Any standard GACKT fans will probably be at least relatively familiar with his long line of major-hit-atrocities such as Vanilla, Papa Lapped a Pap Lopped, Dispar and Koakuma Heaven. The earlier pieces like Vanilla and Papa Lapped created the friction that set off a spark in J-music genre-wide, but which particularly set fire to the edgier Visual Kei groups. I think every self-respecting Jrock fan has witnessed his 2004 live footage of the hip-thrusting classic, Vanilla.

And that was the tame version.

Within Western music we have raunchiness, yes, but it has such a profoundly different feeling. It’s practically seething shock-value; if so-and-so can have a more inappropriate video than who-and-who, then they’ll most likely have a greater sales spike. In Jrock the same applies, I think, but there’s also a different attitude around sexually themed music. As I already mentioned, there aren’t the same hang-ups around sexuality in general that there are in our so-easily-shocked culture.

There’s also a bit of a misconception about the lyrical content, though. Many of the above-mentioned GACKT songs have pretty dirty lyrics when translated, but actually have a wide range of innuendo and implication involved in the word-choice and kanji use. His Koakuma Heaven, which deals with the theme of host-girls, is packed with the female innuendo that trickles out of the Japanese “water-trade”. Therefore a lot of it isn’t as brutally obvious as the translations sound.

In any case, now that we’ve had “the talk”, today I want to showcase some of the trashiest PVs in Jrock and Visual Kei. These videos may offend you.

DIRTIEST PV: 19sai (Ju-Kyuu-Sai)/ Suga Shikao

I give this award to Suga Shikao’s [スガ シカオ] 19-sai [19才], which was used as the opening theme to the anime XXXHOLIC (which actually wasn’t XXX at all, except for maybe the theme song). Although there are plenty of trashier songs lyrically, it takes a lot of guts to actually show enough that the video has to be censored. Plus, the whole energy of the song and the characters is so depressing, it’s all a bit disturbing. Awesome song, though.

MOST BLATANTLY XXX: Gather Roses / SCREW

Pretty self-explanatory, really. One of the raunchiest VK PVs on the ‘net.

Rated PG for Thematic Content and Some Sexuality…except I don’t actually recommend you have ‘parental guidance’ for this one. I wouldn’t show it to my parents, and probably, neither should you: Devil Side /VAMPS


And despite the two above, I actually had to confirm my age before viewing. Hyde is really turning into a horrible influence on Visualists. Setting the stage for your PV in a nightclub complete with scantily clad poledancers is sort of inappropriate, I guess, but VAMPS never pretended to be tame. Probably this was flagged by a frustrated fangirl when she got to there scene where…well, I won’t spoil it for you.

Image: byouto.blogspot.com

Summer Single Shortlist

Let's see some summer shockers, please...

Hiroto’s (front right center) expression in this picture basically sums up how I’ve felt about most of the new stuff I’ve heard the past couple of months. For example, at first D’espairsRay‘s Love is Dead sounded passably cool until Jrockers net-wide reached the unanimous decision that it sounds too much like You Spin Me Round to actually make it casually listenable. Usually I try not to listen overly much to any Visual Kei that makes me think of Adam Sandler in the ’90s. It’s not that the single is bad or anything, because it’s not bad, it’s just that I, and I’m not sure about anybody else, have started feeling a bit lethargic about the recent releases. There have been quite a few “best-of” collections and “nyeh” status singles released lately, I need a real stunner lest I should go catatonic.

And before any devoted and emotional fans start frothing at the mouth– I do concede that there are some releases that I know would be unfair to include in this generalization.

I don’t usually organize release information like this, but since there are so many awesome bands releasing summer singles in the next few months, I thought it would be worth compiling instead of doing a million one-liner posts announcing them (which I pretty much never do).

Summer Releases (they had better be good..)

Alice Nine // “Untitled” 8.04.10

Their latest release was a best-of in late ’09. Now that the boys are off duty for a few minutes (in regards to touring) they can actually write some new music. Hana was a pretty good single before the best-of, and although it wasn’t particularly ground-breaking, even the B-side Cross Game was pretty cool.

Creature Creature // “Untitled” (album) 6.16.10

I didn’t buy the first album, because I’m afraid that I’ll wake up one night and find Morrie standing over my bed….But DEAD END rocks, and Tetsuya rocks. Not that that means that CC rocks. I always got a real kick out of the caption on an upload of their “Paradise” PV: “Tetsu is at it again, with his creepy looking band and creepier lead singer”. –BanhBaoX That all being said, I thought the song Kaze no Tou rocked. It was reminiscent of L’arc, but on an even deeper tier of emoism.

D // “Untitled” 6.30.10

After warming up considerably to their brand new album 7th Rose, I feel slightly more lenient with the goths.

GACKT // “Untitled” 6.16.10

He likes to keep everyone guessing.

girugamesh //”Untitled” ??.??.??

First real venture after everyone declared them sucking because of NOW. After NOW became one of my frequently listened-to albums, I realized that I don’t give a damn what the rest of the Jrock community says; you can bash giru all you like, and I will still buy their music. Just make the A-side feel like an A-side

MUCC // “Yakusoku” 6.09.10

I’m slightly give-or-take about MUCC on the best of days, but I feel like this one sounds like the anime theme song it was made to be (seriously).

VAMPS // “Devil Side” 5.12.10

When I saw the cover art for this in the sidebar of my blog, I thought “Who put this ero pic in my sidebar?!” I was appalled. Naked girls with devil-tails don’t appear there unless I say they do.

+ VAMPS // “Live 2009” (DVD) 5.12.10

I want a Region 2 encoded DVD player.  I seriously think my computer will take drastic action if I try and set it up to handle R2 DVDs.

+VAMPS // “Untitled” (single) 6.09.10

I hope nobody reports me for indecent imagery in the sidebar .

Tetsuya // “Roulette” 5.19.10

In contrast to Hyde becoming very vagabond, Tetsuya remains as well behaved as ever. Still, you can’t resist bass lines like that, nor can you really say no to his happy-go-luckiness, even though, if you’re anything like me, you’re a jaded, macabre, and demented Visualist.

The GazettE // Film Bug II (DVD) 8.04.10

Only seasoned Jrockers can call things “I” and “II” without actually presenting evidence as to a chronological system. Where is Film Bug I?

+The GazettE // NEXT SCENE 7.21.10

I hope I can redeem the shame of not even remembering the last thing they released by pre-ordering this one!

**Pick ’em up at my favorite spot**

Note: titles subject to change prior to release date. “Untitled” is pending the release of complete information.

The Perm: Round 4

I can’t believe I am seriously still finding these…On the news front, GACKT (forget prom-kings, he’s going to be crowned perm king 2010) straightened out his prominent perm for the Otoko Matsuri (I guess this hairstyle doesn’t exactly promote Samurai Spirit in the Japanese male population, does it?) and Nemuri project comments he made recently. The super-straight black hair is something you don’t see on him often, and, to be honest, it’s a little shocking. Not to say I think it should stick around or anything (it should go. Soon.), but the more I look at GACKT with the perm, the more I just get used to it. However, if anyone had the fortune to see GACKT’s CM for Wonda Coffee, then you will be well-aware that he sported the worst perm-like hairstyle ever for that video. This should cleanse the palate:

I think this style is quite cool

This round is Hyde (VAMPS, L’arc~En~Ciel) from 2009[?], a closer look at Karyu (D’espairsRay), and (strangely) a glimpse of Korean rapper Outsider.

These are slight variations on the classic perms we’ve been analyzing thus far. Hyde’s is really just too much. Karyu’s suits him because it’s a very feminine style, and he has that face…the blue eyes, the soft lips…He could do with attending an Otoko Matsuri, that’s for sure.

Although this is a slight rule-bender, Korean rap phenomenon Outsider also sported a wavy perm-variation for his Maestro album…This is actually a really cool picture, and he’s really pulling off the look.

Photo credit:

GACKT – xrytalmad

Hyde – LoveInDeathsArms /Jassmine J.

Karyu – D’espairsRay Official Facebook

Outsider – ??

VAMPS Coming to Venues Near YOU!

Here’s an update on the VAMPS 2010 world tour…So, are you going?

NORTH AMERICA

FRIDAY, OCT. 1 – AVALON HOLLYWOOD, LOS ANGELES

SUNDAY, OCT. 3 – THE GREAT AMERICAN MUSIC HALL, SAN FRANCISCO

SATURDAY, OCT. 9 – ROSELAND BALLROOM, NEW YORK CITY
(same weekend as the New York Anime Festival and New York Comic Con)

EUROPE

TUESDAY, OCT. 12 – SALA APOLO, BARCELONA
(Spain’s National Day, a public holiday)

SATURDAY, OCT. 16 – ESPACE GRANDE ARCHE, PARIS

ASIA

SATURDAY, SUNDAY, OCT. 23, 24 – SHANGHAI INTERNATIONAL GYMNASTICS CENTER, SHANGHAI

SOUTH AMERICA

SATURDAY, NOV. 6 – TEATRO CAUPOLICAN, SANTIAGO

TICKETS: Full list of ticketing vendors available @here

Source: Official MySpace

Addicts To Get Their Dose of Vamps in ’10

VAMPS, the Hyde (L’arc~En~Ciel) x K.A.Z duo will be taking the world by storm yet again in 2010 after a mightily successful round in ’09. They have already announced a round of Japan dates this summer, and are promising world tour dates sometime in September.

They have many multiples of dates per venue, so I have formatted it in a date/date/date medium.

MONTH.DAY+ VENUE

6.22/6.23 +Niigata LOTS

6.26/6.27 +Kochi BAY 5 SQUARE

6.29/6.30 +Hiroshima CLUB QUATTRO

7.2/7.3/7.5/7.6 +ZEPP TOKYO

7.10/7.11/7.13/7.14/7.16/7.17 +ZEPP SENDAI

7.24/7.25/7.27/7.28 +ZEPP SAPPORO

8.5/8.6/8.8/8.9/8.11/8.12 +ZEPP NAGOYA

8.15/8.16/8.18/8.19 +ZEPP FUKUOKA

8.25/8.26/8.28/8.29/8.31/9.1 +ZEPP OSAKA

9.8/9.9/9.11/9.12/9.14/9.15 +ZEPP TOKYO

Source: Official Website