Author's posts

SpecialThanks – SEVEN LOVERS (Review)

SpecialThanks SEVEN LOVERS Review by David Cirone Indie Japanese pop-punk group SpecialThanks’ first full-length CD SEVEN LOVERS builds on the success of their earlier EPs SEVEN COLORS and SEVEN SHOWERS. The 14-track album puts vocalist/guitarist Masaki squarely at the forefront, but benefits from solid instrumental and background vocal support from band-mates Lupin (bass, backing vocals), …

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Onmyouza – Kongo Kyuubi (Review)

Onmyouza KONGO KYUUBI Review by David Cirone Onmyouza is a 10-year legend for metal fans in Japan, and they dive deep into their mythological roots for their latest full-length CD “Kongo Kyuubi.” The album takes its title (meaning “Dazzling Nine Tails”) from the Japanese folklore character Tamamo-no-mae, and the jacket art features lead vocalist Kuroneko …

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SpecialThanks – Interview (2011)

SpecialThanks Interview by David Cirone January 27, 2011 Female-vocal pop-punk band SpecialThanks came together in 2005 in Japan’s Aichi Prefecture. After some changes in their original lineup, the band is now comprised of Misaki (vocals, guitar), Sean (guitar, backing vocals), Hiromu (bass, backing vocals), and Nochi (drums). Their single “You Say Good Bye” was the …

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exist†trace – THE LAST DAYBREAK (Review)

exist†trace THE LAST DAYBREAK Review by David Cirone THE LAST DAYBREAK belongs to the guitars this time. While bassist Naoto and drummer Mally do excellent work with the tricky turns of “Daybreak” and “be Naked”, they’re in supporting roles this time for an EP dominated by miko and Omi’s ferocious guitar work. Jyou’s vocals are …

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exist†trace – TRUE (Review)

exist†trace TRUE Review by David Cirone All-female visual kei band exist†trace’s major-label debut EP TRUE starts out strong, picking up the challenging tone of their previous indie release TWIN GATE. “Shot to the limit… Shot to the limit…” The title track “TRUE” (see video below) demonstrates a band hell-bent on moving past their own expectations. …

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BO-PEEP – VIBE (Review)

BO-PEEP VIBE Review by David Cirone BO-PEEP’s garage-punk, bare-knuckle style returns in full force with VIBE, the all-girl trio’s follow-up to last year’s SICK ORANGE TELEVISION. The 7-song album clocks in at just over 25 minutes, and while it feels like it’s over way too fast, I’ll give credit to the band for not cluttering …

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the brilliant green – BLACKOUT (Review)

the brilliant green BLACKOUT Review by David Cirone If you’re looking for a jumping-off place to bridge the 8-year gap between the brilliant green’s new album BLACKOUT and their previous full-length release The Winter Album (2002), you’re better off skipping ahead to the group’s final singles for former label Sony. The aggressive style of “Ash …

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detroit7 – NUDE (Review)

detroit7 NUDE Review by David Cirone Long-time detroit7 fans will recognize NUDE’s cover image right away. Vocalist / guitarist Tomomi Nabana’s bare feet are a staple of detroit7’s live shows, and it’s a fitting image for the band’s rawest album since 2003’s Vertigo. Straight out of the gate, the album’s “JOY” commands “GO GENKAI! BUKKOWASE …

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RAMPANT – GREEDY MONSTER WANTS ALL (Review)

RAMPANT GREEDY MONSTER WANTS ALL Review by David Cirone Opening track “Quattro” starts with a deceptively simple drum intro that blends into RAMPANT’s trademark layered guitar sound. The Osaka-based quintet knows how to get the most out of their double-guitar lineup, and the 2-minute instrumental feels like a warm-up for the hard-rock throwdown to come. …

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TAIA – Interview (2011) Pt. 1

TAIA Interview by David Cirone March 15, 2011 TAIA’s logo says quite clearly that you’re from Okinawa, so obviously you’re proud of that association. How does Okinawa affect your music? YASHA (bass): Since we’re comfortable in this place, it’s a great environment for us. We can be our natural selves while we work on our …

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