ZIN’s Spring Love Story, Sakura no Koi

Review

by chi.yow, posted May 14, 2014

Osaka-based ZIN continue to leave their mark on the visual kei world as their fourth single Sakura no Koi presents a range of the band’s talents and styles. The diversity of the four songs split between two editions—one of which includes a DVD containing the promotional video for the main track—certainly leaves an impression for the curious.

The title track “Sakura no Koi” starts with a prominent bass line that quickly captures one’s attention before shamisen notes are layered in, followed closely by the supporting drum beat and guitars which sets up a promising start. Vocalist Riku’s quick recital of lyrics spins a tale of sorrowful love woven through the multiple traditional elements incorporated into the song. The tune picks up pace and power as it continues, keeping listeners interested. The second track of the A TYPE edition “Jiga jison” has a more playful intro, conjuring images of dancing under falling cherry blossom petals in the spring before heavy guitars and vocals power in. Interchanging interludes of death growls, mysterious whispers, and moments of calm, construct a dynamic track that build up tension towards the climax of the song.

For the B TYPE edition of the single, “Hatsukoi Carnival” is the second track that begins with notes reminiscent of a seasonal festival. The over-all tone of this track is carried by prominent vocals that create a style comparing a crazy first love to carnival rides that spin about out of control through a series of impulses. There is even a moment of reflection in the form of relatively calm guitar solos before one heads back into the chaos. “Genwaku Shelter” plays around with groovy guitar phrases with a touch of jazz. While interesting, the song almost reads like two different songs in some parts, as the transitions between phases aren’t as polished and smooth as they could be. The crashing drums don’t contribute positively to this impression. This last track is clearly not the strongest of the set—however, it shows that the band is open to experimentation with their sound at this point of their career.

For visual kei fans interested in the sub-genre combining and mixing traditional Japanese instruments with more contemporary rock elements, Sakura no Koi is definitely a single to check out. It displays the band’s potential to grow into a well-known name in due time.

 

 

 

 

 

TYPE A Tracklist Two tracks + DVD

Sakura no Koi

Jiga jison

Sakura no Koi MV

 

 

 

 

 

TYPE B Tracklist Three tracks

Sakura no koi

Hatsukoi Carnival

Genwaku Shelter

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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