FEST VAINQUEUR’s Valencia and Virginia

Review

by chi.yow, posted November 27, 2014

After releasing their first full album earlier in the year, FEST VAINQUEUR show no signs of slowing down as proven with July single ‘Valencia and Virginia’ that displays the band’s ability of creating lively, guitar-reliant songs that fans have come to expect. The band continues to play with additional styles as they did with their first album, while keeping with their current style.

Title track “Valencia and Virginia” starts off with an energetic intro of smashing guitars and drums, HAL’s vocals interjecting suddenly before the melodies ring in. While the transition is rather abrupt between verse and chorus throughout, the steady drum rhythms help to balance this out. HAL makes good use of his strong style of vocals over the shifting composition, adapting with the different paces created. On first impression, the song may not be particularly standout from the usual FEST VAINQUEUR arsenal. In fact, it may seem a bit disjointed in comparison to previous works, but new points can be discovered with each additional listen, as the mix of rowdy guitars and harmonic elements make for a diverse presentation that the band is sure to utilize at live performances.

Following up, “BOURGEOIS” takes on a bit more of a risqué overtone, with KAZI’s crashing cymbals and occasional cowbell underlining the winding guitars as HAL calls out the lyrics. Altered, layered vocals build tension in the intervals leading up to the chorus lines. With an interesting balance of jazz and groove, this number creates a mix of classic rock with small allusions to burlesque, as a clapping beat gives way to a skillfully executed guitar solo. “Reminiscence Driver” is the song that is the most consistent and harmonic of the set, serving as an optimistic closing for the single. HAL’s vocals take on a lighter tone to match with the positive imagery the lyrics conjure. Winding guitars provide a stable backbone, changing in prominence as the song progresses until its conclusion.

Overall, ‘Valencia and Virginia’ may not be FEST VAINQUEUR’s most innovated single, however, it does keep with their current standards of presenting enjoyable music to rock out to, whether the listener is at a live or not. The single is still a recommended listen, as current fans are reassured that while the band still has plans to experiment, they have core ideas to stick to as they move forward in their development.

 Limited edition (CD + DVD) cover

Tracklist

  1. Valencia and Virginia
  2. BOURGEOIS
  3. Reminiscence Driver
DVD
  1. Valencia and Virginia (MUSIC CLIP)
  2. Valencia and Virginia (OFF SHOT)

 Regular edition cover (CD only)

Tracklist

  1. Valencia and Virginia
  2. BOURGEOIS
  3. Reminiscence Driver

 Kansai area limited edition cover (CD+DVD)

Tracklist

  1. Valencia and Virginia
  2. BOURGEOIS
  3. Reminiscence Driver

DVD

  1. Valencia and Virginia (MUSIC SLIP)
  2. Bakuhatsu Digest

Chi’s interest in visual kei stems from her love of art. The unique aesthetics in combination with the wide range of musical styles within the genre have been what has kept her interest in the visual kei scene for over a decade. The main image her friends and classmates have of her is with a camera in hand, face behind the viewfinder or screen. This image is also occasionally combined with memories of running around her to avoid getting into her panorama shots.

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