GYROAXIA‘s high octane punk-rock sound makes quite the good impression. “ONE” is filled with headbanger-worthy songs.
GYROAXIA consist on Jin Ogasawara (on vocals), Shinichi Hashimoto (guitar), Takumi Mano (guitar), Hiroto Akiya (bass) and Kousuke Miyauchi (drums).
Title: ONE Label: Bushiroad Music Release date: 17/03/2021 Genre: Punk-Rock
1 - MANIFESTO 2 - SCATTER 3 - GETTING HIGH 4 - LIAR 5 - GET MYSELF 6 - EGOIST 7 - HELLO 8 - REVOLUTION 9 - IGNITION 10 - FAR AWAY 11 - BURN IT UP 12 - WORLD IS MINE
Track by track analysis:
1 – MANIFESTO
GYROAXIA make their big debut with MANIFESTO, song that channels pop-up vibes in the style of old school One Ok Rock.
Shredding guitars, a thunderous bass line and powerful, fast-paced drums shape this song into an absolute rock banger. The verses are softer than the intro and the textbook pop-punk chorus.
On the vocal end, Jin Ogasawara has a tricky performance, from rap in the verses to raw singing in the intro and chorus, he has his vocals well worked. Everything in this song is high throttle and exciting, making it impossible not to headband along to it.
2 – SCATTER
Heavy guitar riffs, loud drums and a memorable bass line lead the way for this dark track. SCATTER brings out the charms of rock in a way that I was missing in the seiyuu industry.
The verses let the imposing bass line lead the way. Slowly, eerie piano melodies join in creating a unique soundscape for this track.
The chorus on the other hand has a textbook punk-pop progression that, if you’re a fan of the genre, will instantly notice. While not fresh, it is exciting and capitalizes on the power and energy that is brought from the verses to it.
Jin Ogasawara goes for a mix of clean and raw singing. It works pretty well with this song and, when need, he adds that extra edge to his performance. Ladies and gentlemen, we have a certified banger right here.
3 – GETTING HIGH
The single wraps up with GETTING HIGH, song that strays a bit away from GYROAXIA’s usually punk-rock sound by bringing electronica into the mix.
However, don’t worry, electronica makes its way into this song in a pretty tasteful, seamless way.
The verses are your good and intense GYROAXIA trademark however, you can also count with the guitars to be rather funky, or at least giving off a more danceable vibe than ever before. Strangely, it fits well with the band.
GETTING HIGH has quite the groovy bass line and pounding drums, something that I deeply enjoy finding in rock music.
The chorus gets a bit dragged by its repetitive final line but, if you’re not one to be picky about details, it shouldn’t bother your listening experience.
On the vocal end, Jin Ogasawara goes for a mixed performance, bringing to the table rap and clean singing. At the same time, I found his performance to have a rather “traditional” touch to it in the chorus.
The progression in that section gives him an enka flavor that I wasn’t expecting to find in a song that is still quite heavy and aggressive.
4 – LIAR
The single wraps up with Liar, track that introduces electronica into this release. The intro brings muffled vocals, masked in minimalistic synth work, with some hints of turntablism here and there.
Acoustic and electric guitars position themselves on each of your ears, blending at center with the powerful, snary drums and noticeable bass line.
This song, despite not being full-throttle like the previous tracks, it is one that goes by insanely fast. The verses are short and a bit generic however, it is the chorus that shines. The tension and power there are the perfect culmination of that build up in Ogasawara’s performance.
I am not a big fan of the bridge’s progression; in contrast I love the little details with the acoustic guitars throughout the track.
On the vocal end, Jin Ogasawara goes for an interesting performance that brings raspy vocals, clean singing and rapping into the mix. Consistent and filled with power, his performance really stays with you even if the song is not that memorable (in comparison with other tracks in this album).
5 – GET MYSELF
The first new song by GYROAXIA in “ONE” is “GET MYSELF“. Starting softly but quickly upping its pacing, this song takes pride on its deep bass sound and powerful drums, something that will easily standout on a first listen.
The overall sound of this song is deep and robust, with that focus on bass – from both the bass and drums – being pivotal for that feel. Of course, let’s not forget the awesome guitar work on this track, with a shredding guitar solo that was only slightly overshadowed by the equally insane work on drums.
The chorus is catchy, demanding the listener’s participation. “GET MYSELF” is yet another GYROAXIA song that will work incredibly well on a live setting.
On the vocal end, Jin Ogawasawa delivers another masterclass, with a comfortable and confident performance throughout.
6 – EGOIST
GYROAXIA go loud and aggressive for EGOIST. The song kicks off with muffled guitar riffs but quickly, dynamics change and the guitars unveil themselves, bring a thunderous bass line and imposing, bass-drum driven drums along.
The verses are intense, arriving with a lot of aggression and powerful, making quite the big impression.
There are punk-rock influences in their sound, mostly noticeable in the fast paced and rather simple drums work in the verses.
Things change in the chorus, with the drums going the double-bass route, pounding and imposing themselves over the rest of the instrumental.
The bridge is the heaviest I’ve heard from a 2D music project in 2020 and still stands as one of the heaviest in 2021. Those low, nu-metal inspired guitar riffs pack quite the punch.
When it comes to the vocals, Jin Ogasawara goes for a masterful performance that matches the intensity of the instrumental.
He never misses a beat, adding quite a bit shot of energy and power to “EGOIST”.
7 – HELLO
Don’t let yourself be fooled by the quiet, almost eerie and atmospheric intro.
“HELLO” is a hard-hitting, high octane metalcore tune with a punk-rock twist. The verses are intense, with synths adding a dark, gritty vibe to the song tone. At the same time, guitars are low and heavy, and the bass hits harder than expected. Drums are equally intense and explosive, being a noticeable presence in this song.
While the verses have the speed and cheekiness of punk-rock with influences of metalcore, the chorus has influences of alternative and EDM, even a twist of powerpop in it.
This is quite the interesting song with loads of layers to explore, having a high replay value.
The thing that stood out the much to me was how theatrical Jin Ogasawara’s performance is. It’s almost like he picked a couple of pointers from visual-kei and incorporated those in this performance. The result is a performance in which his cleans and screamo – this time a pretty long section – coexist harmoniously and impress.
Really intense performance on both the vocal and instrumental sides. Although the album features songs that are way catchier than “HELLO”, this song is a moment of brilliance by the band, showcasing their versatility and talent.
8 – REVOLUTION
REVOLUTION tones down the heaviness in SCATTER and delivers an easy-listening pop-rock tune with an amped up pre-chorus and catchy chorus. The verses are rather quiet in comparison with the intense intro and choruses we’re presented with.
Just like in the previous track, I can’t help but have my attention drawn into Hiroto Akiya’s bass playing. What an absolute masterclass on this end. The bass line was pounding all the way until the end.
The rawness in Ogasawara’s vocals plays a big role in this song, adding power and emotion to the already pretty bare rock instrumental. Bonus points for those brief screamo sections that Ogasawara absolutely nails.
9 – 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.
10 – FAR AWAY
Things tone down for “FAR AWAY“, song that kicks off with distant, hopeful guitar melodies guiding Jin Ogasawara’s vocals.
Soon, the song introduces a textbook punk-pop sound with splashy drums, thunderous bass line and minimalistic synths accents following a simplistic song structure.
The chorus is catchy enough but the highlight is the guitar solo, well, the whole guitar work for this track. While the looping melody you have playing on your right ear/monitor is quite simple and overdone in punk-pop and alternative rock, the guitar solo isn’t and that’s where GYROAXIA shine in “FAR AWAY”.
Vocally, Jin Ogasawara gets a breather and goes for a calmer performance that rides more on an emotional take on the lyrics rather than on sheer power or aggressiveness. Solid performance.
11 – BURN IT UP
“BURN IT UP” is the boldest track on this album, bringing to the spotlight an arena, fast paced punk-rock sound, with a wide soundstage that shines through good headphones.
Expect intensity for this song, with the verses flying by as hard-hitting drums dictacte its explosive pacing, guitars slide up and down in a frenzy and the bass slaps hard.
Strangely enough, the chorus doesn’t stick with me as much as the verses did. It doesn’t sound the culmination of the tension in the verses and it certainly doesn’t add anything truly new to the song. It’s not memorable enough, especialy after those powerful verses.
Jin Ogasawara had in his vocals quite the difficult song to tackle. Cleans, screamo, some shouting and yelling.
This is the kind of song that you know for certain, will drain Ogasawara’s vocals in an instant. Energetic is one way to describe his performance however, it doesn’t truly capture the essence of his performance, how he is the maestro in this song.
Mixed feelings about the instrumental, top marks on the vocal end.
12 – WORLD IS MINE
Wrapping up this release is “WORLD IS MINE“, song that brings back shredding guitar riffs, fast paced double-bass drums and a deep bass line, creating quite the intense punk-rock tune.
The verses add a couple of turntablism bits, detail that complements the overall instrumental. The chorus is addictive and calls for action, once again GYROAXIA release a song that will work wonders on a live setting.
On the vocal end, Jin Ogasawara goes for cleans, screamo and rapping, a triple threat that will make a lot of fans proud. He nails all three, seamlessly switching between them, leading to quite the ear catching performance.
Awesome way to wrap up this album, in full throttle.
Filled with headbangers and high-octane punk-rock tunes, ONE is a testament to GYROAXIA‘s massive talents.
Out of the previously released tracks, “EGOIST” is still my jam. Dark and gritty and channeling nu-metal, this is both a throwback song as much as it is a new take on the genre. Everything about this song is a banger.
Won’t be diving into the previously released songs in detail, as I already did in their respective reviews (to which there are links available next to the tracks in question).
So let’s take a look at the new entries.
The new songs “GET MYSELF“, “HELLO“, “FAR AWAY“, “BURN IT UP” and “WORLD IS MINE” added a lot of energy and power into the mix. Banger after banger, these new songs further solidify GYROAXIA’s status as one of the best 2D/2.5D rock bands currently active.
There’s a lot of heavy guitar work, drums are on a god tier – thank you, Kousuke Miyauchi – and bass is punchy and intense at all times. Screamo is prominent as well.
Out of those songs mentioned above, “FAR AWAY“, although a good one, is the weakest.
It toned down a lot on the heavy sound that is common throughout “ONE” and went more towards the powerpop/punk-pop route that is not really their thing. Good song overall but when in comparison with all other new songs, and the previously released ones, it really pales for its lack of intensity.
“BURN IT UP” was perfect up until the chorus. As I am writting this, I can safely say that its verses are still playing in my head however… I do not recall the chorus, which should be the hook, the part of the song that I’d quickly remember.
I feel like the focus was put way too much on the verses being intense that, when the chorus arrives, the band didn’t have many options on how to change dynamics without being obvious about having to have a “chorus” or adding a part that sounded completely out-of-place.
So, they just rode with it and the tone, intensity and instrumental is pretty much the same from verses to chorus which, in return, doesn’t help making the chorus memorable.
This is, of course, a minor detail that bothered me. Maybe you didn’t notice this or maybe this doesn’t bother you. All fair game.
Electronica seems to play a role in GYROAXIA’s music, something I wasn’t expecting would be this noticeable in “ONE”. There are 3 – 4 songs in that vein, with electronica getting a bigger role in the fast-paced punk-rock music that graces GYROAXIA’s repertoire.
This observation isn’t on a negative note though.
While I expected their music to be raw and gritty, I welcome electronica into the mix if used in the way this band has. The accents and leads have been tasteful and seldom have stolen away the spotlight away from the other instruments or even the vocals.
But punk-rock is all about its rawness and there’s very little about synths that seem raw. Hence the observation about how I feel like maybe GYROAXIA should not make electronica a big deal in upcoming releases, if not to maintain quality, at least to maintain their identity intact.
Jin Ogasawara continues to rise in my consideration. In 2020, he had a brief attempt at screamo. However, in “ONE”, there’s more than your fair share of screamo in here and no, this is no “soft” screamo.
Just listen to “HELLO“. That’s proper, rough screamo performance right there. Kudos to Ogasawara, as he proved his mantle as the frontman but tackling screamo – and mixing it with robust cleans – as if it is second nature to him.
Natural, confident set of performances from him throughout the album. Ogasawara is certainly improving with each release by GYROAXIA. And it has been a joy to listen to all the small changes and tweaks he’s made to the way he approaches his performances.
All in all, “ONE” is a high-octane punk-rock album with shades of metalcore, bringing forth a darker, more intense, and grittier rock sound from GYROAXIA. And I loved everyone minute of it.
If you’re in the market for an explosive punk-rock sound with the aggression of metalcore and catchiness of pop and a versatile frontman that will deliver cleans, screamo and even rap, GYROAXIA’s “ONE” is a CD you must check.
ONE is available for purchase at CDJAPAN.
ONE is available for streaming on Spotify.
Do not support piracy. Remember to support GYROAXIA by streaming via official outlets.