Japan’s golden seiyuu duo Daisuke Ono and Hiroshi Kamiya are back with new music, this time presenting officially their new project: Masochistic Ono Band – MOB -. This band consisting of OnoD, HiroC, 3M, DO-S, YAGI84 and Chanko have already debuted in 2013 with the single “Ace of Asia“, having already played live in several “Dear Girl Stories” events.
“Ace of Asia” was a good appetizer for this band’s work so let’s see what’s in store for us in this debut mini-album.
Mini-album: “Masochistic Over Beat" Release date: 10/12/2014 Label: U&R Records Genre: J-Rock
1. Masochistic Over Beat 2. DIRTY AGENT (MOB ver.) 3. Dear Girlは眠らない (MOB ver.) 4. Say Your Name! ～Dear Girl～ (MOB ver.) 5. DANGEROUS GROOVE SIX 6. Ace of Asia 7. この歌がとぎれないように
Track by track analysis:
1. Masochistic Over Beat
What a solid way to kick off this mini-album. “Masochistic Over Beat” really starts off strong with an addictive beat – the fast, double bassed drums, the aggressive guitar riffs and the strong bassline alongside the synths make this track very reminiscing of GRANRODEO‘s early days. It’s that kind of rock track that will impress you, be it for how different Kamiya Hiroshi and Daisuke Ono sound alongside a rock instrumental track or for the impressive guitar solo in the outro together with a powerful bass solo. 4.5/5
2. DIRTY AGENT (MOB ver.)
Picking the already great track from the album “STORIES” back in 2011 – probably one of the best opening songs for a radio show ’til date – , “Dirty Agent” gets a facelift. The track was already one of the most addictive songs they had in their repertoire as a duo with that strong instrumental piece with heavy guitar riffs, old school synths and reverberating bass. Now the track features a small intro and a rocking ending, more synths to complete the sound and sounds clearly more aggressive and imposing than the original track. The initial guitar solo goes towards higher notes, sounding sharper than ever, the drums are clearly more worked and left that simple formula behind. As a whole this track just simply sounds like some late 80’s classic rock track. 4.5/5
3. Dear Girlは眠らない (MOB ver.)
Funky fresh! Dear Girlは眠らない gets one of the best arrangements in the couple of already known tracks in this release. The bass gets more importance and sounds funkier than in the 2010’s version. The synths add a bit of that summer feel, a laidback ambiance to the track while the guitar is even more melodic than the original. Also the outro and the smaller parts in between the chorus and the verses sound better. All in all it’s a pretty good arrangement that features reworked vocals by both Kamiya Hiroshi and Daisuke Ono. Funky and addictive. 4.5/5
4. Say Your Name! ～Dear Girl～ (MOB ver.)
Another already known track is “Say Your Name! ～Dear Girl～” that really sounds completely different with the band’s sound. The intro with the heavy guitars, aggressive drums and highly noticeable bass is strong unlike the original. “Say Your Name! ～Dear Girl～” was originally a mid-tempo track that gets a crazy amount of speed from MOB. The chorus gets fast and assertive with the speedy drumming and double bass usage, to add to all this the heavy guitar riffs and reverberating bass come along the beat and deliver an unexpected great performance. The outro features an interesting bass solo leading to yet another punk-rock speedy chorus. The ending also gets reworked with all the instruments giving their all to appeal to the listener. 4.5/5
5. DANGEROUS GROOVE SIX
And we finally reach one of the two new tracks. “Dangerous Groove Six” is basically a presentation of the band’s members in a funny and entertaining way. It’s a fast rock track with good guitar riffs in the chorus and high entertainment value but little substance. The whole band take turns to sing in this piece and keep on with their groovy beat until the end. Entertaining but lacking in musical substance. 3.5/5
6. Ace of Asia
The track that was first presented us MOB was “Ace of Asia“, the rocking track featured as the opening theme to Dear Girl Stories “Ace of Asia” movie, released earlier this year in Japan. This track made a good impression right into the first seconds into the song. It’s a mid-tempo rock track resorting to technical guitar riffs, fast drumming, solid bass playing (maybe one of the big highlights in this band) and the interesting addition of synths to give them that 80’s rock band feel. Both Ono and Kamiya seem to fit the best with the rock genre – that has been proved even in the solo releases in which the best tracks were almost always the rocking ones. Solid vocal performance alongside a powerful instrumental with oriental hits and bits provided by the synths. Really an “ace of asia“. 4.5/5
And to complete this mini-album we’re presented with “Kono uta ga togirenai yō ni” (roughly translated as: This song won’t be stopped), a slow paced rock ballad. The instrumental gets away from the aggressive guitars, speedy drums and heavy synths and give us a stripped out MOB sound, resorting to acoustic guitars, slow paced drums, a more quiet bass and a beautiful piano to embellish the track. It’s a simple formula that puts the main focus on the piano and the acoustic guitar. On the vocal track we’re presented with Kamiya Hiroshi and Daisuke Ono on the top of their game, they really add the emotion needed in this track with ease and just blend perfectly with the beautiful instrumental – that is graced with a mesmerizing acoustic guitar solo and some strings. It’s simple song and yet so beautiful. 5/5
It’s impressive how just some minor arrangements made to the already known songs really turned the tables around and made this mini-album release an impressive one. With a couple of reworked songs “Dear Girlは眠らない“, “Say Your Name! ～Dear Girl～” and “Dirty Agent” from the Kamiya Hiroshi+Daisuke Ono days, this release doesn’t resort only to already known material, it presents us two new tracks “DANGEROUS GROOVE SIX” and この歌がとぎれないように – the last one being one of the best tracks released to date by the duo, now working as MOB and basically the best track in this debut mini-album.
The band’s sound is rich with a mesmerizing bass – probably the only instrument on par with the guitar’s quality on this release -, impressive drumming with lots of punk-rock influences both in speed and on double bass usage, melodic guitar solos as well as pretty aggressive guitars riffs and beautiful acoustic guitar work add up to the band’s quality. To complete the band’s sound we have the synths/piano that add a big deal in MOB‘s tracks, giving more life to their songs not leaving the tracks almost raw with their rock sound.
The vocal performances are good as in the original tracks and in the only two new tracks we see some interesting improvements in the last track この歌がとぎれないように , the only ballad in this release. As solo artists Daisuke Ono really comes on top regarding Kamiya Hiroshi‘s singing skills but as a unit or band they sound great together, with two voice tones that complete each other’s. This duo was entertaining enough in the past several years but now, as a band they sound better than ever.
In the end this is a solid release: it’s fast, aggressive, beautiful and entertaining, it’s MOB, and we love it.
Masochistic Over Beat is available for purchase on CDJAPAN for all overseas fans.