Review | HOUND ROAR “syndrome”


HOUND ROAR elegantly takes the stage with its addictive, loungy brand of jazz-funk with what is its best single to date: “syndrome”.

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: syndrome
Label: TEAM Entertainment Inc.  
Release date: 23/06/2021 
Genre: Jazz-funk


1 - syndrome

Track analysis:

1 – syndrome

HOUND ROAR is back at it with “syndrome“, song that kicks off on a melancholic note. However, expect the song to bring you the bass goodness that is now a big greeting card of theirs.

The bassline is punchy and groovy while the funky guitar riffs and rhodes piano melodies paint a summery soundscape in which you’ll want to lose yourself in.

The verses and the chorus have a comfortable tempo, basking in the moonlight as you dance your problems away to the funky rhythms in this song.

The chorus is incredibly catchy and the guitar + bass combo work is off the charts, from the driving bassline to the melodic guitar solo in the bridge, there wasn’t a single moment these two instruments weren’t shining.

I love the good, laidback vibes in “syndrome“.

It’s the perfect marriage of jazz, rock, and funk and it works incredibly well with the band’s whole vibe and, of course, with Toshiyuki Toyonaga, it’s incredibly easy to make it work.

I am talking about the bonafide vocal chameleon in the seiyuu industry. The best singer among seiyuu.

And he confidently takes over the song and makes it his with a stellar performance that taps into his melodic, low-to-mid toned vocal register. And it honestly sounds effortless from him.

He sways the listener with the legato on his vocals in the verses and completely hypnotizes you with a performance brimming with life in the chorus.

This is Toyonaga at his finest.

All in all, HOUND ROAR, are quickly turning into my favorite band in the DIG-ROCK franchise.

They embraced an acid-jazz/jazz-funk sound that I love and it is very reminiscent of SID’s work – another reason why this band’s sound instantly clicked with me -, and to top it all off, Toyonaga is, as usual, a treat to listen to.

Masterful performance.

syndrome” is available for streaming on Spotify.

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


HOUND ROAR embraced jazz-funk and delivered a stellar performance with "syndrome". This is a single that puts on the spotlight their raw quality, creating a loungy, danceable and elegant sound that is overflowing with quality. The instrumental is punchy, with a lot of bass going on, the guitars are funky and playful at all times while the drums bring the magic of jazz's unpredictability on top of the classy piano/rhodes melodies. Toshiyuki Toyonaga shows his quality as a singer by delivering a mesmerizing performance riding on his lower and mid-range. There's a bit of allure to it but he keeps it classy at all times. Masterful track, HOUND ROAR's best to date.


Vanessa Silva
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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