The 69 of 2014

Review

by Leela McMullen, chi.yow, Aki, Amy, posted January 1, 2015

AlbumsSingles

Zin – Hiai

2014 proved to be quite the busy year for Zin, with multiple shows to their name as well as three single releases, one of which was limited to live or web shop purchasing. Their last single of 2014, Hiai, became available November 26 and displays additional facets of Zin’s world of Japanese melancholy pop that really bring the band’s sound to life, finishing the year on a solid release.

In “Hiai,” heavy guitar chords smack the ears straight off the bat, giving a clear premonition of the rowdy tunes in store. A distinct bass line mixed with the traditional shamisen tune sets the mood while Riku weaves the story, leading to a chorus of rough screams and yell. This results in an interesting balance of melody and chaos. Calmer verses lead up to the fast-paced refrain that transitions into a storm of growls and screams midway before the shamisen ultimately pulls everything back to a softer atmosphere.

Roman Yuugi” is a playful and catchy composition that starts up with a subtler, more traditional intro in comparison to its predecessor before guitars rip in and roll through to ramp up the energy. It becomes apparent that Riku has developed a nasal style of vocals as the band progresses, which he uses to play off the rhythm created by the dual guitars. Saku makes his presence known with crashing cymbals that accent the ends of certain lines and transitions between phrases.

Isshukan Mind” wraps up the single in an energetic and lively finish, steady guitar work once more providing the main melodies alongside deeper but still rapidly recited vocals. A bass solo provides a transition to a jazzier interlude, which Riku complements with a change of tempo in the vocals before returning to the original rhythm. A final frantic drum-driven segment is presented before the song concludes with winding guitars.

With another unique single release to add to their repertoire in Hiai, Zin continues to gain momentum in the visual kei world with their mix of traditional Japanese elements, rock, and Kansai energy. The band already have the first half of 2015 planned out and packed with lives that are sure to be enjoyable for all attendees, whether veteran fans or newcomers.

 A TYPE edition: 2 track CD + DVD (“Hiai” music clip)

Track list

  1. Hiai
  2. Roman Yuugi
 B TYPE edition: 3 track CD

Track list

  1. Hiai
  2. Roman Yuugi
  3. Isshukan Mind

Leela McMullen is a strong believer in the philosophy "no music, no life." Having traversed the range of Japanese fandoms, she found her home at last in visual kei and has made it her mission to share what she loves most with the world. Leela completed her B.A. in Japanese language from Griffith University in Gold Coast Australia. She now lives and works in Japan, striving to bring you the goods, hot from the scene. Follow her on twitter for juicy hints of upcoming articles if you've got a bit of Japanese language under your belt! http://twitter.com/#!/LeelaInTokyo

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.

Aki is an adventurous soul and an artistic jack of all trades who has followed her heart and dreams to Japan. Here she has found a way to combine her deeply rooted love for rock and metal with her ever growing love for artistic expression. She has long since confessed to being a helpless music addict with a strong preference for Japanese visual rock and metal, and writing for Rokkyuu has become another way for her to share what she loves with the world.

Amy happened across Dir en grey on a used computer and became enamored by the aesthetics and androgyny of visual kei. Amy studied Japanese at university, including a year studying abroad in Tokyo. Interests include anime and manga, reading, learning languages, playing guitar, and holding on to the futile dream of one day meeting Johnny Depp. Amy hopes to bring the overseas fans closer to the bands they love by translating material related to them.

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