felicity / P-VINE


Released: 22.06.22 / Label: felicity, P-VINE

Rolling is from OTOGIVANASHI‘s newest album US. I don’t know much about this band except that they love using capital letters and simple words. Let’s find out a bit more about them before listening to the song.

A band that started in 2000 but really rose to prominence with the release of their first album in 2007. I’ve not heard the name before in my decade in Japan, so I’m not sure just how well known they still are today, but judging by the numbers I see on socials they’re still very active and have quite the following. I’m excited to see how the 22 years of experience has treated the band, so let’s get to the music.

That was surprisingly messy given the amount of time the band’s been around. I’m getting the feeling that this might be a better song when listened to in the context of the album. As a solo track it’s pretty boring. They’re emulating a bygone era of rock that I personally don’t like, but objectively they do a pretty poor job of making it interesting. All the parts are there but it sounds almost like they don’t really have any special love of the style. For an example of a good era-driven piece check out the track from Who Do You Love? I reviewed last month. The comparison is should be like light and day.

I could go on into detail about the parts of the song that work, but I don’t think it’s worth the time. I’ll check out some other stuff by the band another day because it seems like with 20+ years of playing they can do better than this.

Verdict: Skip (1.5/5)

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lean forward by Spangle call Lilli line

Released: 22.06.17 / Label: felicity / P-VINE

Spangle call Lilli line is a name I recognize but this will be the first time I’ve actually had the chance to listen to their music. First impressions on the cover: I’m not sure what I’m looking at. Maybe some weird kind of architecture or art piece with a lot of blue. Let’s do a little research and figure out who this band really is.

This three piece band has been around since 1998, giving them an impressive 24 years on the scene. They started in Shimokitazawa, which is an area of Tokyo with a really active indie rock music scene, and they’ve got a huge discography. I’m not sure how I haven’t heard them before, but here we are. Let’s hear what they have to offer in this latest single.

A much lighter and groove oriented song than I was expecting. The vocalist, Kana, has a beautiful voice and it carries the song to a large degree. Which isn’t good when the intro is 30 seconds long. To be fair the composition is really nice, the mix just feels low energy and not up to the level I’d expect from a band that’s been around for so long. I did some digging and found out that the mixing engineer was Zin Yoshida of rock band Salon Music. Certainly a musician with a lot of experience, but I feel like they missed the mark a bit here.

The band plays really well overall, a very early 2000s sound to the song aside from the drums. The drums in the pre-chorus do a really cool groove that is definitely the most modern thing here. It kind of works, but the instruments don’t seems to know how to fit in. It’s a little awkward.

As for the lyrics, they’re ok. It’s very much a mood poem that doesn’t really have any solid story. But it’s very beautifully written in a meandering way. I guess that explains the album cover as well. As for if they stuck the landing? Let’s head to the verdict.

Verdict: Take it or leave it (2.6/5)

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