OLDCODEX “Take On Fever” (Review)

The art-rockers wrap up 2019 with what a masterful single.

Regular edition
Title: Take On Fever 
Label: Lantis 
Release date: 20/11/19 
Genre: Rock/Ballad

Tracklist:

1 - Take On Fever
2 - Nasty
3 - painting of sorrow

Track by track analysis:

1 – Take On Fever

Take on Fever kicks off with a thunderous slap bass line, some hints of electronica and bass-drum driven drums. The instrumental rides on a lot of bass, making the song deeper and dirtier than most of the band’s previous songs. The pacing is slow in the intro but quickly picks its pace, turning into an exciting tune. The outro is quite odd, a first for OLDCODEX, focusing mainly on electronica.

On the vocal end, Ta_2 shifts from clean vocals to screamo to enrich his performance. The screamo parts were done with taste, used only to enhance specific parts of the song. Take On Fever is a pop-punk tune that plays it simple while playing around with electronica. 5/5

2 – Nasty

Gated, dirty guitar riffs and hard hitting, snare-driven drums set the slow paced and imposing sound to this track. The pacing is slow and with the instrumental once again putting a major focus on highlighting all the bass on it, it is no wonder this song packs a punch without the speed or aggression that some of OLDCODEX most impactful songs have. Nasty is new in terms of instrumentalization but also in terms of progressions and vocal performance., Ta_2 plays around with the song, adding melodic parts in a R&B/pop fashion to his performance, performing with a flair that is rather unique. 5/5

3 – painting of sorrow

Acoustic guitar riffs and atmospheric synths take the listener for an emotional trip down this ballad. painting of sorrow is the kind of OLDCODEX ballad we’re so used to yet never ready for. It is extremely emotional, with slow instrumentalization riding on strings, a memorable bass line, and melancholic acoustic guitar riffs. It is a song so well-crafted that you already know wit will deal a tough blow by the chorus even on a first listen.

The chorus, much like the rest of the song is emotional, however there is something about its dynamics, the way it flourishes after the slow and melancholic verses that makes it heart-wrenching.

Ta_2‘s versatility as a singer comes to the table for this track. His low, raspy and growly vocals and his usual tenor range always shine in ballads. The emotion that Ta_2 puts on each word, each phrase and every little detail in his performance make his performance shine, highlighting the lyrics and making the listener relate to those. Song by Ta_2, lyrics by YORKE.. A masterful performance in what is the highlight of the single. 5/5

Final rating:

OLDCODEX have been on a nice streak of powerful releases with meaningful lyrics, crafty instrumentals and memorable performances.

In our books, Take On Fever is a perfect single.

It continues to show the evolution that the band is undergoing this year. Electronica continues to be a point in which the band likes to bet and, after a couple of less well executed tracks in which the band explored the addition of synths and the sort, both LADDERLESS and Take On Fever have managed to incorporate those and make both the additions and the songs those are a part of, shine.

Lately, OLDCODEX have been betting on songs with a ballad / lullabyish sound. painting of sorrow is this single’s ballad and how emotional and heartbreaking it is. OLDCODEX is the kind of band that has been showcasing their talent to pull a wide variety of songs but it is with ballads that they have never failed to impress. The instrumentals easily grab the listener’s attention and never let go during the melancholic trip they’ll be given by the gentle vocals of Ta_2, the emotional lyrics by YORKE. And a stellar work by the band in its execution.

OLDCODEX are in a great place right now. They’ve been releasing powerful singles and or albums one after the other. And few have missed the mark. The band evolved as performers and sound. However, it is safe to say that as we start to see more of Ta_2 in the music composition credits, the best has the band sounded, taking the band on an impressive streak of perfect releases.

After the release of OLDCODEX’s LADDERLESS, expectations were, perhaps, too high for this single. But in the end, matching those expectations and exceeding those is something that OLDCODEX have been, as of late, masters at. Take On Fever is a masterful release.

Take On Fever is available for purchase at CDJAPAN.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Yeah, it does hit really hard. Thank you for sharing the links to what could (might be) the inspiration to this song, I am sure that people will further understand why this song is being praised by almost everyone that has listened to it.

    Now, you ask two interesting questions that I will gladly answer, especially because I love talking/writing about music production and the way everything around it works, intertwined with the other departments within a music label. I’ll try to keep it short, so bear with me if it gets a bit longer than a usual reply.

    For musicians, especially singer-songwriters, composing songs might be a faster process as they are already used to the process and know how to put on a sheet their thoughts and feelings, same with music composition. However, there are always songs that take as long as years to be composed and only see the light of day in 2, 3 albums later from the time those were intended to be released. There are songs composed on the spot. Of course, this differs from musician to musician so I am sorry that I cannot give you an accurate estimate although I will speculate in the comment below.

    The awful happenings at Kyoani were in July and this single released in October. As far as album / single releases, it is common practice that the music can be worked on up until the beginning of the last month before the release (because of CD burning usually being the last task down in production), so artists can add and take songs as they see fit until then, provided they have the mixing and arrangements done before the deadline given by their music label, and, in some cases in which creative freedom is not a lot, being approved by the music label. This explains why, sometimes, artists won’t unveil the tracklist to their CDs early on, they are essentially still working on the songs and a lot of things can change until close to the release date.

    When the single was announced in August, the band only announced the name of the title track, nothing more on what would end up being “Nasty” and “painting of sorrow”. Which could put the composition of the song in a “composed in August, recorded and mastered in September” timeline. It would fit right with the timeline of Tatsuhisa coming public with his struggles and suffering back in September (end of recording, closing a chapter, opening up about it, grieving and healing through acknowledging and accepting it, even if it hurts).
    Taking into account that Tatsuhisa is the one whose friend died and he did compose the song, it seems that the music came first, then YORKE. worked on the lyrics, quite possibly with insight by Tatsuhisa and a lot of inspiration drawn by the heart-wrenching instrumental.

    painting of sorrow, as it is, is too raw in emotion. Tatsuhisa poured his heart out. He was trying to cope with the death and this song ended up being his outlet to vent his frustrations, to leave his sorrow in a physical place that is not him, in order not to destroy himself in the process (he mentioned drinking day-in-day-out in his blog post which could be dangerous on the long run). You can tell by that blog post; you can tell by how this song will make you feel. He suffered, a lot. Previous ballads of theirs never had this kind of impact. I hope Tatsuhisa, somehow, healed and found closure while paying homage to his late friend with this beautiful song.

    So, to answer your other question: it is very likely. Although the lyrics don’t explicitly refer to this person, the instrumental and vocal performance sure carry a lot of weight and emotion, something that is commonly achieved when an artist is paying homage to someone close.

    Thank you very much for your questions and your nice words! Glad to have you around!

Comment