HOUND ROAR embraces the unpredictability of jazz to deliver a mesmerizing performance with a hint of mystery on top in “Eyes”.
HOUND ROAR is a rock band fronted by HIBIKI (CV: Toshiyuki Toyonaga), with guitarist SHOMA (CV: Ryohei Kimura), bassist TOYA (CV: Hikaru Midorikawa), keyboardist SHION (CV: Yuichiro Umehara), and drummer SOGO (CV: Takashi Kondo).
Title: DIG-ROCK HOUND ROAR Vol.1 Label: TEAM Entertainment Inc. Release date: 24/11/2021 Genre: Jazz-rock
1 - できないこと 2 - 知らないこと 3 - 認めたくないこと 4 - 許したくないこと 5 - 当然のこと 6 - いままで、そしてこれから 7 - Eyes
7 – Eyes
A rhodes piano melody slowly leads the way for “Eyes”. This is an elegant downtempo jazz-rock tune that is all about creating a loungy, classy soundscape for you to enjoy.
The beat is uneven, with a ¾ tempo leading the way as the focus rests on the fun transitions between hi-hat and snare.
At the same time, the bassline is massive, reverberating in your ears as soon as it makes its entrance, and the guitars have a playful edge to them while not venturing to funk territory – like in previous songs.
The chorus builds up upon the foundations laid out by the verses, increasing the tension while adding a mysterious vibe to the song, something that Toshiyuki Toyonaga further heightens with his performance.
Listeners can expect the unpredictability of jazz to take over in the intermission to the 2nd verse which is a nice touch that arrives at a really unexpected point in the song. That, allied with the crazy guitar work in that section, make this song all the more interesting to listen to again and again, always picking up new elements within it with each listen.
Toshiyuki Toyonaga goes for a technical performance, bringing whispery mid-tones to the verses, something I believe further enhances the “mature” vibe to this song. But there’s more to his performance. He brought his vibrato to this performance, using it alongside legato and even in some ad-libs.
As you can tell, this time around everything about “Eyes” is jazz-rock, which makes it have a less “danceable” vibe and, instead exuding maturity and elegance you didn’t find in previous songs.
This is an important addition to HOUND ROAR’s repertoire, showcasing that the band is more than their playful brand of acid-jazz, being able to pull off the mature and highly technical jazz that takes you to a dimly lit bar and serves you a drink as you get to watch the band giving a pulse to the bar itself.
This is what I like the most about how jazz music is approached by 2D music projects and HOUND ROAR has managed to pull that off in “Eyes”. It certainly leaves me wanting more from them in this style – although the funky acid-jazz they have going on is also a treat to listen to.
All in all, HOUND ROAR’s 1st CD and 4th song “Eyes” leaves a positive and classy mark, quite possibly setting the stage for something even more engaging and impressive in future releases.
DIG-ROCK HOUND ROAR Vol.1 is available for purchase at CDJAPAN.