GREMLINS Tinker with Japanese Tradition with Yue,

Review

by chi.yow, posted March 24, 2014

GREMLINS, the solo project of Hitsugi from Nightmare, teams the guitarist under the name of Hits with KNZ of AYABIE (now with his own project BVCCI HAYNES) to create a mischievous music unit. Completing the line-up are supporting members from other well-known bands like Mizuki from SADIE and Chiyu from SuG.  The second release [Yue,] features cover art that hints at traditional Japanese music experimentation for the title track, while the other two original tracks tilt back toward more standard rock with interesting innovations. In purchasing the regular edition, fans are treated to a cover of hide’s “HONEY BLADE,” just as in the band’s first release the carnival, which offered “DICE” as a bonus.

[Yue,]” experiments with a fusion of traditional Japanese musical elements with electronic rock to create a unique and catchy sound. It starts off with a dramatic, drum and string-based intro that presents a strong front before Hits’ heavily synthesized voice filters in. As the other instruments are layered in, his voice transitions to a more human sound for the majority of the song. An interlude where Hits’ digital voice is featured alone gives listeners a moment of auditory peace before KNZ’s drums crash in once more, adding another aspect to keep listeners interested—and one that is sure to please live.

The next track is “Fellow Traveler” which opens with frantic bass slapping that gives the dancey beat a solid backbone to work off of. The high energy continues while Hits’ slightly drawling voice is occasionally backed by altered female vocals that create an additional, lightening tone. The overall pace expresses a journey with its energetic beginning that eventually takes on a calming pause for reflection before it picks back up with drums building up to the climax. The prominent vocal manipulations return in “Bereavement” after a music box-like intro that rolls into relatively mellow guitars. Much of the spirit of the song lies in the earnest and straight-forward vocal style as well as the extended guitar solo. Unlike the previous tracks, “Bereavement” itself isn’t particularly stand-out in concept but it is a solid track to round off this second release from these experienced musicians.

HONEY BLADE” is the extra track included when purchasing the regular edition, once more injecting a different take on a hide classic. While the intro starts off a bit discordant, the solid guitar work and Hits’ grungy vocals makes this an enjoyable cover for any visual kei fan. The on-going tribute to a well-respected guitarist and vocalist concludes the regular edition of [Yue,] with a bit of fun twist.

[Yue,] adds a solid release to Hitsugi’s repertoire of solo explorations and experiments. Each track is uniquely crafted to reflect various ideas, making the single an educational experience for those seeking out additional facets to the current visual kei scene.

Limited Edition 3 track CD + DVD

Track list

  1. [Yue,]
  2. Fellow Traveller
  3. Bereavement

DVD

  1. [Yue,] music clip

Regular Edition 4 track CD

Track list

  1. [Yue,]
  2. Fellow Traveller
  3. Bereavement
  4. HONEY BLADE

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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