Buster Bros!!! “Buster Bros!!! Before The 2nd D.R.B” (Review)

Buster Bros!!!‘s Buster Bros!!! Before The 2nd D.R.B raises the bar for the now matured crew.

Title: Buster Bros!!! Before The 2nd D.R.B
Label: EVIL LINE RECORDS/KING RECORDS
Release date: 25/12/2019
Genre: Hip-Hop/Disco/Orchestral hip-hop

Tracklist:

1. Break the wall (Ichiro Yamada solo)
2. School of IKB (Jiro Yamada solo)
3. レクイエム (Saburo Yamada solo) 
4. Drama Track(Helter Skelter)

Track by track analysis:

1. Break the wall

Buster Bros!!!’s played around with funk and jazz in their previous release however, Ichiro Yamada‘s Break the wall is an improved take on both genres, adding a bit of disco fever into the mix.

The song kicks off to ethereal synths, fading in into such a dynamic and upbeat funk + hip-hop track. Breaking the wall brings to the spotlight disco and funk, making use of all the exciting and timeless progressions and melodies that fans of the genres love.

Sweet synths, dreamy piano melodies, groovy bass lines, funky guitar riffs and a mix of singing and rap by Subaru Kimura had us grooving to this song from start to finish. The rap parts are well paced and fun while the chorus is the highlight, exuding an elegance and groove that, up until now, we did not know Buster Bros!!! had it in them. A funky delight. 5/5

2. School of IKB

The tone changes drastically for this song however, the transition between tracks is strangely natural with this melancholic tune managing to grab our attention after the busy and playful Break the wall. School of IKB is slow paced, introspective and with a unique feel good vibe. Distant, gated guitar riffs and a melancholic piano melody are the foundation to this emo hip-hop track.

Haruki Ishiya’s rap has evolved from an aggressive flow to a gentler and more precise flow. The song’s melancholic vibe and rap performance make this song stand proud in this release. 5/5

3. レクイエム

The surprise of this release. A song that requires all your attention. Saburo Yamada’s songs focus a lot on orchestral, dramatic and grandiose compositions. Requiem is no exception with orchestral hits sampling Verdi‘s Dies Irae and choir loops completely rooting us to our seat, demanding our attention. The beat is broken, a mix of dubstep and trap, overwhelming the listener. Silence. It is time for rap. The verses being stripped down from the orchestral hits and choir. The chorus brings back those elements and leaves only the word Requiem sink in.

The impactful instrumental and the haunting rap never let go of the listener. Add to this Kouhei Amasaki‘s vastly improved rap flow and you’re in for a treat. Definition of unique hip-hop track. 5/5

Final rating:

Buster Bros!!! really raised the bar for this one.

Funky, groovy and unique, Buster Bros!!! have evolved from a raw, street style of rap into a mature sound with a lot of introspection in the middle. The crew used to be the most textbook rap crew in the Hypnosis Mic franchise however, this release puts them on a completely different level. Their sound is now truly unique within the franchise, their introspection is a result of growth and maturity both of the crew, characters and improvements on the vocal/rap end from the seiyuu involved.

From Ichiro’s funky disco tune Break the wall to Jiro‘s melancholic hip-hop tune School of IKB, and Saburo’s jaw dropping Requiem, this is a perfect mini-album. Everyone’s groove and flow improved, especially Ishiya and Amasaki‘s, with the later having a complete overhaul to his rap skills that impressed us. Having Subaru tackling a chorus with a lot of English plus singing – and executed perfectly – was a novelty coming from this crew.

All in all, a lot of improvement, unique compositions that, as a whole feel like pieces in the same puzzle, make Buster Bros!!! Before The 2nd D.R.B, the crew’s best release.

Buster Bros!!! Before The 2nd D.R.B is available for purchase at CDJAPAN.

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