VAMPS – Underworld
David: The key to damnation never looked so alluring, and VAMPS delivered a dangerously fierce rock album to all who dared to enter.
Shiina Ringo – Reimport Vol. 2 – Civil Aviation Bureau
David: For the second volume of Shiina Ringo’s self-cover project, the master songstress revisits the Oiran style of the first volume, Gyakuyunyu -Kowankyoku-, with a clever twist — she’s definitely smuggling something in that doll.
Polkadot Stingray – Dai Seigi
David: Polkadot Stingray turned heads with guitar-vocalist Shizuku’s “Kick-Ass” cosplay in their music video for “Electric Public”. The vintage comic-book style half-tone coloring for their Dai Seigi album cover drove the point home — get ready for an adventure.
DOLL$BOXX – high $pec
Todd: Artist Masayuki Kojo is a big fan of and friends with Gacharic Spin. Some months back he created an awesome drawing of the band. It looks like the band must have really liked it.
Keisuke Kuwata – GARAKUTA
Nhu: Six rubber duckies in various occupational outfits are lined up on the front of Kuwata Keisuke’s latest LP. It’s a simple but telling cover: it’s been six years since the release of his 2011 album Musicman, and GARAKUTA is filled with tracks of varied genres (rock/country “Sugisarishi Hibi (Going Down)”, jazzy “Yin Yang”) and moods (pensive “Kimi He no Tegami”, Caribbean-filled vibes of “Ai no Prelude”).
LACCO TOWER – Haruka
Nhu: When beautiful moments come by, be sure to catch them! The thoughtful reminder is suggested on Haruka, the second album from rock band LACCO TOWER, by a pair of hands held out together with palms facing upwards, catching the flower petals gently falling down.
Yousei Teikoku – flamma idola
David: This fearsome fantasy image elevates Yousei Teikoku’s mythical status as the Fairy Empire’s Grand Dictator for Life, Empress Yui, revels in her arcane mechanical transformation. Seductive, dark beauty and a powerful stare match the power of the band’s 20th anniversary single.
cali≠gari – 13
Nhu: The album artwork for cali≠gari’s album 13 is of the Great Duke of Hell, Astaroth — it’s not cali≠gari if it’s not dark and sinister. The new and unique interpretation is all due to Mineo Maya, an artist who specializes in the classic style of manga drawing.