Review | GRANRODEO “Bokutachi no Gunzou”

Youth, love, and loss paint the soundscape in GRANRODEO‘s stellar concept mini-album “Bokutachi no Gunzou“.

Regular edition
Title: 僕たちの群像
Release date: 10/03/2021
Label: Lantis
Genre: Rock / Acoustic

Tracklist:

1 - 未来線を上って 
2 - オレンジピール
3 - 妄想GRAVE
4 - 18SDGs (Instrumental)
5 - その愛と死を

Track by track analysis (instrumentals are not rated):

1 – 未来線を上って

Miraisen o Nobotte” kicks off with exciting guitar riffs on top of a mid-tempo beat and a noticeable bassline.

Something that will stand out for those listening to this song for the first time is the lead guitar riff.

The chorus is explosive, with splashy drums picking up the pacing while electric guitar riffs are fun and the bassline goes bonkers.

Superb clean vocals, rich vibrato, and overall emotional performance by KISHOW fleshed out the nostalgic vibe “Miraisen o Nobotte”.

2 – オレンジピール

Orange Peel” brings a groovy bassline to the spotlight, playful rhodes piano melodies, and a cool clap track setting the beat for this track.

Funky guitar riffs and a slow-paced beat add a laidback vibe to this song. When the time comes for the chorus, good vibes have already taken over.

This is that kind of song you’d want to play while on a drive in the summer. It is fun, simple, and upbeat while having a pretty contained yet funk-rock sound.

On the vocal end, KISHOW delivers a stunning performance tapping onto his high vocal range, delivering half of the lyrics in a higher key than usual and he does so with a flair that will make you smirk in return.

You can tell he’s enjoyed it. In the chorus, he embraces his mid-tones and adds a lot of vibrato and head voice to it. And those ad-libs in the outro? Pure masterclass.

3 – 妄想GRAVE

Shredding guitar riffs and pounding, toms-driven drums make the big entrance to “Mousou GRAVE”.

The verses are contained in its power output, with guitar riffs being simple, while the bass reverberates in the background to the bassy drums.

Things go the textbook rock route by the time you get to the chorus. In this part, the guitar takes center stage with a cool solo.

The cool thing about this song is the soundscape. The instruments are split or spread across that soundscape in a way that you’re on stage with KISHOW.

For a big part of the song, drums are to your right and center, e-ZUKA is in front of you while the bass is mostly on your left. Things change around in the latter half of the song, which gives you the impression of being in movement on that stage soundscape.

As far as vocal performances go, KISHOW is in his element for this song. There’s nothing much to say here besides it being a rocking performance.

4 – 18SDGs (Instrumental)

Time for an instrumental track with “18SDGs” and once again exploring funk however with rock taking the spotlight while jazzy guitar riffs add a laidback vibe to this song.

The fast-pacing in this song, the screaming guitar riffs, the thunderous bass, all make me wish this song was sang. The slap bass in this song is insane, not to mention the shredding guitar riffs that had me on the edge of my seat.

Fun and addictive, this track leads us to the final chapter in this story.

5 – その愛と死を

Sono Ai to Shi o” arrives to wrap up this release. You can expect this song to go the emotional route.

Acoustic guitar riffs and delicate piano melody slowly paint the background in a melancholic way as KISHOW delivers a heartwrenching performance riding on top of his consistent mid-tones and spine-chilling head voice and vibrato.

The guitar solo accentuates that melancholy, slowly trailing those notes with a lot of emotion on top.

By the time this song wraps up, with KISHOW’s vocals sweetly lullabying you, you’ll most likely be given that final blow that’ll make you cry. Lovely track with emotional baggage that will certainly leave a mark.


Final considerations

Final considerations

GRANRODEO’s 2nd concept mini-album “Bokutachi no Gunzou” is quite an interesting addition to their repertoire.

This is the second time you listen to a CD by GRANRODEO and can rightly say that you feel that there was a common thread tying all those songs together. They’re back better than ever and continue to focus on a linear story that will tug at your heartstrings.

In a way, each song was an extension of the previous one and thus, if you play the mini-album with no stops in-between songs, you won’t even notice the transitions.

The themes of youth, love – doesn’t necessarily mean “romantic” love – and death are present, being tackled in a tasteful way. Youth is the common denominator.

And thus, the songs have all a careless fun touch to them. From the fast-paced pop-rock in “Miraisen o Nobotte” to the danceable funk-rock in “Orange Peel” or even the improv rock in “18SDGs”, you can feel that naivety of youth, the good times, the bad times, the new experiences which “Sono Ai to Shi o” perfectly illustrated.

KISHOW tapped into his range and aside from his trademark robust mid-tones filled with falsetto, he was all over the high-notes – especially noticeable in “Orange Peel” – and head voice, which conveys a lot of power to those.

All in all, “Bokutachi no Gunzou” is a very successful and fun 1st experiment with concept albums for GRANRODEO. Knowing how versatile they are as a band, I wonder what cool, unique concept mini-albums (or any other format) can they pull off next.


Bokutachi no Gunzou is available for purchase at CDJAPAN.


“Bokutachi no Gunzou” is available for streaming on Spotify.

Do not support piracy. Remember to support GRANRODEO by streaming via official outlets.

SUMMARY

"Bokutachi no Gunzou" is a very successful and fun 1st experiment with concept albums for GRANRODEO. The mini-album explores the themes of youth, love - not necessarily romantic - and loss, in a way that will crank up nostalgia to those already in their 20s or older (as this mini-album clearly nods at the simplicity and "purity" of life during high-school). All songs should be approached as chapters in the story that wraps up on a bittersweet note. As far as 1st attempts at a concept mini-album go, GRANRODEO absolutely nailed it.

REVIEW OVERVIEW

未来線を上って
オレンジピール
妄想GRAVE
その愛と死を
Vanessa Silvahttps://www.handthatfeedshq.com
The Hand That Feeds HQ founder and music reviewer writing about Japanese music since 2010. Also, the only person managing everything The Hand That Feeds HQ related. In 2011, 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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