OLDCODEX return with a new album “they go, Where?”. Aside from this album being the first release of the year, seeing as their last work was last years’ Fixed Engine and Scribble, and Beyond.
This promising album leaves us to expect some surprises but just a little spoiler before we begin this review, all song in the album have been composed by Ta_2 himself.
Without any further ado, let’s get this review started.
Title: they go, Where? Label: Lantis Release date: 26/07/17 Genre: Pop-punk/Punk-rock
Where’d They Go?
loose my breath
A Black Toy
Faith In Me
Scribble, and Beyond
Million from Codex
Track by track analysis:
problem has a powerful synth and electronic based intro delivered by the synthetic drums which then give place to an underlying guitar follozing the main instrumental piece throughout the song. From the intro to the pre-chorus a change in the instrumental piece is established by the formerly synth drums for the more splashy drums, and with it the bass and guitar remain in sync creating a harmonious punk-rock instrumental piece that is so typical for the band. To add a little jazz to the song, the ending is delivered solely by the guitar followed by the synth drums which make them in a modest fashion enabling the possibility for us to listening to Ta_2’s raw vocal performance. 5/5
2- Where’d they go?
With some lingering synths from the previous track that give off an ethereal aura to this track’s instrumental piece, we have the guitar doing the honors of crushing down the possible illusion that this track will remain the same. Taking advantage off the heavy instrumental the synth use its momentum to create the background melody while the guitar goes hard while competing with the bass for the spotlight. The chorus is definitely a fresh breath of air, although it is heavy it is not overcrowded with overpowering drums and exaggerated guitar and bass performances, as has happened in the past. Instead, the instrumental has a mix of different rhythms and despite the fact that the bass is the main focus, the guitar and drums create a harmonious background instrumental piece, while giving enough time for Ta_2 to shine. 5/5
3- Deal with
Kicking off this single we have Deal with, not only is it Servamp‘s opening theme but it also has an unusual power and promising instrumental that makes one wonder which direction it’ll go. With synths and drums plus the guitars and screamo we have this track’s instrumental outline laid out for us. Instrumental wise this track is amazing, especially when one reaches the chorus, the guitar riffs and the drums with just the right amount of synths in the background instrumental, in the intro the instrumental is what you really know OLDOCDEX for the heavy guitars, speedy drums plus the bass on “solo mode” throughout the whole track, however Tatsuhisa’s vocal performance was a little too forced, the screamo is so overwhelming that is takes away the attention from one of the best instrumental pieces the band has created this year and not only that but it also makes it difficult to understand the lyrics. Putting this predicament aside, Deal with has an amazing instrumental with just the right balance between the synths and the punk-rock instrumental. If you like tracks such as cold hands and its guitar then you’ll definitely make the connection between the both of them, the resemblance in the guitars is very noticeable for an OLDCODEX’s fan. 4/5
4- loose my breath
Loose my breath has a rather peculiar intro followed by a heavy instrumental piece with its elements playing with their full power. To completely break the mometum, the instrumental’s main focus changes in the pre-chorus to a synth bass and Ta_2’s vocal performance. The chorus, however throws us off once again with its heavy instrumental piece delivered by the same elements as the intro. 5/5
Kicking off the instrumental with its full potential and fast tempo drums, we have Julio. This track’s instrumental piece is delivered to us by the powerful and splashy drums, that although not fast tempo-ed have quite some heaviness to them and the guitar that plays in the background instrumental piece with some moments to shine. This instrumental enables Ta_2 to bring back his rapping skills that have not been featured in any tracks from the band for the longest time. 5/5
6- A Black Toy
With a build up typical for a dubstep track delivered by reverse cymbals and some atmosphere-like synths we have a track perfect for a concert. Although Ta_2’s vocal performance with auto tune over it are a first in the album, in the context of the track it serves its purpose however this track’s instrumental does not disappoint the heavier tracks type of fans. This chorus is not your typical powerful and heavy instrumental piece with no cohesion whatsoever. Even though the dubstep and punk-pop/rock moments in this track are quite harmonious as individual parts of this tracks instrumental piece, when brought together in the same track they do not only appear to be a jumble of genre but they also make this track sound like a bad mesh up done by amateur. 4/5
7- Faith in me
Faith in me has a intro with speedy drums, guitar and bass that follow its lead creating a typical OLDCODEX instrumental piece. Faith in me is indeed lead by the bass that adds its heaviness to the track and although the guitar goes along it, between the rest of the instrumental piece, we don’t get that much of a change to notice anything else other than Ta_2’s screamo and the slightly overcrowded instrumental piece, which does not progress from the into until the end of the track. 4/5
Once again we have synths making way for the heavy instrumental. Ta_2’s echo-y vocal performance, the drums, guitar and bass which have different melodies manage to blend in together. From a good start we have also a good chorus followed by a guitar solo with that synths running in the background instrumental with medium tempo drums and the bass which has the spotlight until the guitar makes its way to the its solo. 5/5
smiling is a speedy and up beat track followed by splashy drums and the guitar riffs which make this track’s instrumental piece different from the previous ones, in fact the choir in the chorus makes one recall the punk rock from the 90’s. In this track, speed is the element worth mention, although the guitar and bass have the spotlight most of the times, because this track is so fast tempo-ed it seems that the instrumental piece is ever so slightly overcrowded. 4.5/5
10- Scribble, and Beyond
Kicking off the opening song of Kuroko’s Basketball Winter Cup Summary movie with a distorted piano sample in a loop, we have the main point of the intro of Scribble, and Beyond. As a back up, the guitar and the heavy bass-line add a little more darkness to then the whole instrumental piece. Although it is common for OLDCODEX to have a strong focus on the drums, this time around the guitar and the bass, alongside the piano loop, are the stars of the show. Even though the pre-chorus is slow tempo-ed, it manages to be heavier than the chorus, for instance. On the other hand, although their solos are usually good, this time around we must say that, though the band has been increasing the presence of electronica elements such as synths, and for the most part they managed to make a nice fusion between the elements, this time around not only did they fail or did so poorly but they seem to have exaggerated the instrumental. With this blend the band not only does it have more mainstream sound but it also strays away, even more than in their last releases, from their original genre.
With a clear influence of the previous elements that the band has been incorporating into their “sound”, namely the electronica and dirty synths mixed in with the heavy and punk genre, this track’s solo is overcrowded, with a lot going on: the dirty synths, the guitar and the bass, plus the drums and Ta_2’s vocal performance which is not bad but, the fans will vouch for it, he’s done a better performance in previous releases. The only part where the fusion of elements was well done was in the last few seconds of the track and at the beginning. 3/5
11- Million from Codex
With synths running in the background instrumental and a powerful guitar performance to balance out the instrumental, a Million from Codex has its intro presented. Despite the chorus being led by the splashy drums with some underlying synths, it is possible to have a harmonious instrumental piece. Once again, we have a chance to listen to Ta_2’s rapping skills. 5/5
they go, Where? is by far one of the best albums OLDCODEX has released. Although there were some misses here and there such as Deal with, Scribble, and Beyond, A Black Toy. These tracks in particular either have overcrowded instrumental pieces or, as is A Black Toy‘s case, had all the potential in the world to be a experimental track that actually worked out fine turned out to be just another track which failed to merge two different genres so as to create an nice instrumental piece.
On another note, tracks such as Outsomnia, problem and loose your breath were surprisingly good tracks, be it for the originality of the instrumental piece as is the case with loose your breath in which the mix between the synths and the punk/rock elements was well executed. Or the case with problem which also managed to have a nice cohesive instrumental piece.
All in all, it was surprising enough that Ta_2 composed all the tracks in the album, and in fact together with this change in OLDCODEX‘s modus operandi we can say that the instrumental pieces throughout the album did not sound as hit or miss as they did in previous releases, in fact if Ta_2 being the composer for the band has this effect on their “sound” then we will gladly wait for more releases like this one.
“they go, Where?” is available for purchase on CDJAPAN for all overseas fans.