Review | GYROAXIA “IGNITION”

GYROAXIA

In IGNITION, GYROAXIA go for a couple of ambitious covers and an impressive performance in the title track.

GYROAXIA consist on Jin Ogasawara (on vocals), Shinichi Hashimoto (guitar), Takumi Mano (guitar), Hiroto Akiya (bass) and Kousuke Miyauchi (drums).

GYROAXIA IGNITION
Title: IGNITION
Label: Bushiroad Music
Release date: 12/09/2020
Genre: Punk-Rock / Acoustic

Tracklist:

1 - IGNITION
2 - CORE PRIDE (UVERworld cover)
3 - IN MY WORLD Acoustic Ver. (ROOKiEZ is PUNK'D cover)

Track by track analysis:

1 – IGNITION

Distant, melancholic guitar riffs do the honors for IGNITION.

The intro is slow paced and pretty much atmospheric, something that GYROAXIA’s fans won’t be that used to.

As soon as we get to the pre-chorus, things get a bit more high tension, carrying a lot of momentum to the edgy chorus.

Drums and bass are loud in this track, especially the bass that goes for awesome melodies and grooves throughout the song. Guitar work is also pretty awesome, showing more of the band’s punk-rock inspirations than any of their previous songs.

When it comes to the vocal, Jin Ogasawara goes for a mixed performance, bringing to the table a lot of clean vocals but also a bit of rap into the mix.

Don’t expect that kind of rapping you get in the 2D rap/hip-hop projects but more a nu-metal inspired rap, at least those are the vibes I get from those parts.



2 – CORE PRIDE (UVERworld cover)

If there is a band that is the very definition of eclectic is UVERworld.

The band is known for their tricky and unique blends of music genres and, even if you put aside the instrumentals, UVERworld’s Takuya is not the easiest singer to mimic.

GYROAXIA took upon themselves the challenge of covering UVERworld’s iconic song, CORE PRIDE, and what we have in here is a good cover of this song.

The band nailed those synths, the funky guitar riffs, the Spanish acoustic guitar solo, the melancholic piano melodies and added groovy bass lines while toning down a lot their drums.

There’s also no saxophone part – not even adapted for synths or replaced by a guitar solo, as GYROAXIA have no sax player -, something that, for fans of UVERworld will instantly standout – as that sax is iconic -, add to that the lack in intensity in the drums in GYROAXIA’s version and you get a good but not perfect cover.

The tempo is a bit quickened, at least, the song sounds slightly quicker in comparison with the original. This doesn’t take away the excitement off the song, on the contrary, it sort of makes up for all those elements missing, adding a bit of excitement into the mix.

On the vocals, Jin Ogasawara adds a little a melodic touch to the performance that is, in the original, a bit more rough around the edges. While this is not about mimicking Takuya’s rough vocals, he carries a lot of emotion in his performance that I felt Ogasawara failed to grasp in this rendition.

All in all, GYROAXIA’s take on CORE PRIDE was ambitious and proved to be an entertaining cover albeit one missing a lot of iconic parts in the instrumental and in the emotions performance wise.



3 – IN MY WORLD Acoustic Ver. (ROOKiEZ is PUNK’D cover)

To wrap up this release, GYROAXIA cover ROOKiEZ is PUNK’D‘s IN MY WORLD, giving it an acoustic treatment, the 1st time that GYROAXIA’s fans listen to the band going acoustic and 1st time ROOKiEZ is PUNK’D’s fans listen to the song in an acoustic setting.

This is yet another ambitious cover and quite possibly the one that I was looking forward the most in this release, especially given how the band had to reinvent themselves and the original into something completely new.

If you’re expecting a hybrid acoustic rock performance you won’t find that in here.

There are 2 acoustic guitars in this track and that is all. GYROAXIA don’t even bring a Cajon for percussion nor a bass – 2 elements that usually make the cut in acoustic songs.

This is something that makes this cover / acoustic rendition all the more enjoyable.

It is warm, emotional and genuinely good. Give it a go after listening to the original and you’ll see what I mean when GYROAXIA made ROOKiEZ is PUNK’D‘s theirs and even upped the quality while at it.

Jin Ogasawara goes for a solid performance, tackling this song with a lot of focus and confidence in both his range and how well he can sound without any apparatus surrounding his voice.

Easily one of the band’s best covers to date.


Final considerations:

GYROAXIA continue to be pretty entertaining as a rock act. Their brand of punk-rock continues to have hints of nu-metal here and there.

This time around those were noticeable in the rap parts in the title track, IGNITION. Rap and rock in the same place and done in the way it was done will always give me nu-metal vibes.

IGNITION checks all the right boxes for me when it comes to creating a cool rock song.

There’s a certain nostalgia in the intro that carries over to the rest of the track, even if it goes the edgy pop-punk route soon after that atmospheric intro. I felt like it was a nice touch in a song that, otherwise, is made to be played live, hyping up a crowd, especially with its big chorus

As a fan of ROOKiEZ is PUNK’D, it was nice that the band not only collaborated to craft IGNITION for GYROAXIA, but also let their popular song, IN MY WORLD, be covered plus receive the acoustic treatment.

IN MY WORLD‘s acoustic version is a beautiful stripped down version that puts both the band and the song in completely new territory.

I enjoyed the band’s quieter, gentler and more emotional side of the band through their awesome cover + reinvention of the song.

CORE PRIDE‘s cover was the weakest entry in this release.

Although in many places the cover reimagines and elevates the original song by UVERworld, it failed in capturing the unique points in the original, those elements that really make CORE PRIDE standout.

Jin Ogasawara keeps on improving, looking for the limits in his emotions and range.

One thing he showed in the covers is that he can make rock songs sound really melodic but when it comes to packing a punch or sounding slightly rough, he toned it down in this release.

Might have been the style of singing asked of him when performing all songs – something he can’t control – or that he lacks a bit of edge in his vocals – something that he can improve on with more practice.

We all can agree in the fact that Ogasawara is really talented as a singer, what he needs right now is to perform more and hone his skills.

All in all, GYROAXIA‘s IGNITION is a robust single with plenty of highlights on it and 2 challenging covers on it.

Make sure to check it out, if you haven’t already.


REVIEW OVERVIEW
IGNITION
CORE PRIDE (UVERworld cover)
IN MY WORLD Acoustic Ver. (ROOKiEZ is PUNK'D cover)
The Hand That Feeds HQ founder and music reviewer writing about Japanese music since 2010. A year later, I stumbled upon Mamoru Miyano's "Orpheus". Since then I have been writing about male seiyuu music. You may find me writing almost essays whenever music is really good (not limited to, but it happens a lot with Soma Saito's music). I also host the male seiyuu-centric podcast, SEIYUU LOUNGE (see Spotify link in this profile).

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