SRASH NOTES GARDEN’s Summer with Achro and Chrom

Review

by chi.yow, posted July 24, 2014

For the summer of 2014, SRASH NOTES GARDEN presented their second and third mini-albums Achro and Chrom, released consecutively in May and June. The two works represent the range of SRASH NOTES GARDEN’s continued growth and development which features a more progressive and alternative rock style than many of the bands more prominently known in the scene today.

For Achro, “Genzai shinkou hon” opens with a lively tune that is driven by the guitars and drums. Meanwhile, the underlying bass melody provides a nice and subtle accent behind Hatch’s nasal but charming vocals. Hatch opens “Kill” with a whispering countdown before a catchy bass line and rhythm snag the listener into the slightly eerie tune. The band play with some digitized vocal effects for this number that work surprisingly well with the already present mix of vocal techniques. Following up with an intro of guitar chords and smatters of erratic drumming, “Mushiba” continues with the freely rolling guitar melodies as Hatch wails through the soulful chorus.

The preceding track, “Speaking choir,” adds a jazz and blues flair to the mini-album with smidgens of rapped backing vocals, even while Hatch displays a slightly more aggressive style of singing. “Dreaming boy” continues along similar lines, opening with a strong guitar and drum phrase before the vocals power in to set the overall rhythm and tone of the tune. Of the OHP-listed track list, “Theme of SNG” rounds out the release with a spirited number that begins with a constant and frantic drum line that becomes the basis of the song until Hatch chimes in, steadily calling out lyrics between miniature drum rolls. However, also included in the set is a bonus track of a previously unreleased song that features raw and emotional vocals accompanied only by an acoustic guitar.

As for the second of the consecutive releases, Chrom starts out with “Knife” that catches listeners with the guitar melodies that steadily gain power as the additional instruments are layered in. “Cruel lovers” begins with a promising and rocking intro before making a slightly awkward change of pace, which continues to be a trend throughout the composition. The straying from a core melody can be a little off-putting upon the initial listen but the individual parts each hold a piece of potential should the band decide to develop the styles further.  “Mr. Jane” brings back the more consistent and guitar-driven tunes of SRASH NOTES GARDEN with a lighthearted backing line to the chorus and a session of half-growl, half-rapping towards the end.

Jinzou savant” makes its distinction through plays off a variety of vocal styles rolled into the one song. It exhibits usage of different intonations and accents, at times leaning toward nasal and robotic while other verses are more melodic. Following on, “Effectronic soda” is a rocking, funky, danceable tune with the heavy guitar work hinting at how actively the band may expect their audience to throw themselves into the energetic number. “Answer of SNG” sets itself apart with trilling and laughter as well as vocal contributions from the other members. The incredibly fast pace of the number powers to a conclusion, finishing off the regular set of songs on the mini-album with a memorable impression. However, as with Achro, an acoustic bonus track is included. For Chrom, this is “Male -acoustic version-,” a stripped down rendition of the band’s first single in which Hatch gently croons or powerfully wails the verses.

While the releases are not drastically different, Achro provides a good pick-me-up toward the end of spring while Chrom presents a refreshing start and kick-off to a blazing hot summer.

Achro

Tracklist

  1. Genzai shinkou hon
  2. Kill
  3. Mushiba
  4. Speaking choir
  5. Dreaming boy
  6. Theme of SNG
  7. Track 7 (bonus track)

Chrom

Tracklist

  1. Knife
  2. Cruel lovers
  3. Mr. Jane
  4. Jinzou savant
  5. Effectronic Soda
  6. Answer of SNG
  7. Track 7 (bonus track)

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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