Review | Showtaro Morikubo “LIGHT of JUSTICE”

Showtaro Morikubo goes for an intense and straightforward rock single for “LIGHT of JUSTICE“.

Title: LIGHT of JUSTICE
Release date: 27/01/2021
Label: Lantis
Genre: Rock

Tracklist:

1 - LIGHT of JUSTICE
2 - Realize
3 - 哀れDESIRE

Track by track analysis:

1 – LIGHT of JUSTICE

Heavy guitar riffs and incisive snary drums set a dark, aggressive tone to “LIGHT of JUSTICE”.

In what is a big difference from Morikubo’s usual song structures, this song features short verses and choruses, being pretty straightforward and intense from the get-go and sparing introductions.

The verses count with a little bit of electronica on top, something that has carried over from 2020’s “WAY OUT”. It is tasteful and it never takes the spotlight to itself.

You could say this is a hardrock song with some electronica accents delivered by the synths.

The chorus has those deep guitar riffs that have been a trademark of Morikubo’s since his debut as a solo artist.

And I really love these as Morikubo’s guitar has an awesome tone that, when playing lower toned chords, really shines.

The outro features an awesome double-bass drum section alongside fast guitar riffs that will have you headbang along to in no time.

When it comes to the performance, this song was quite the simple one for Morikubo. All parts are short in this song, so his performance is not only less demanding but also in lesser quantity. You’ll get the feeling that the lyrics are really short as well.

2 – Realize

Realize” brings electronica forth, with a dirty synth and massive, bass-driven drums adding a lot of grit to this song.

The verses are quieter than the intro but quite impressive. I am particularly fond of that pulsing, urgent synth playing in the background, creating a cool atmosphere for this song.

The song slowly builds up the chorus, with fast guitar riffs and deep drums making their entrance and, later on, leading the way in the infectious chorus.

I love how the drums are so open in this song, with the drummer covering a big part of the kit, not being afraid of playing with the splash and ride to add a lot of flavor to the performance. Also, the foot work for this song stands out a lot. As a geek for big drums and technical playing, I am thoroughly satisfied with this performance.

The outro brings back that dirty, industrial rock sound from the intro however with a psychedelic touch as Showtaro Morikubo raps on top.

Adding to the rap parts, Morikubo performs 90% of the song with his raspy, robust vocals, delivering a commanding performance.

3 – 哀れDESIRE

Wrapping up this release is “Aware DESIRE”, song that explores a funkier brand of rock, being a song reminiscent of “CHAIN REACTION” in its groove however, this song has a playful edge to it.

Synths still play a role in this song but it’s more in the background than in any of the other songs in this single.

The pacing in the verses is comfortable, making it easy for the simple guitar riffs – a mix of clean and wah-wah riffs – and those, equally simple, snare-driven drums to grab the spotlight for themselves.

The chorus is catchy and pretty simplistic, putting emphasis in the playful, carefree vibe in this song.

Morikubo goes for an entertaining performance, mixing singing with a couple of spoken, almost skit-like, parts.

Although not the best sounding song in this single, this is still a song that you can’t miss on.


Final considerations

Showtaro Morikubo’s “LIGHT of JUSTICE” (the single) envelops itself in hardrock, going for a set of fast-paced songs that spare their introductions.

Fast and intense, the title track, “LIGHT of JUSTICE”, is a straightforward song that is, even by Morikubo’s standards, quite the simple track. Still, it is enjoyable to listen to, with guitars being on the spotlight but also those massive double-bass drums making a statement.

Realize” takes the crown as the best song in this single. The synth and drums work on this song is off the charts. I found myself mesmerized to that synth playing in the background in the verses.

It created quite the tight, almost suffocating atmosphere that, in a way, fits the song pretty well.

Drums were also impressive, standing out to me by how open those were in comparison to most performances in Morikubo’s repertoire – usually simpler on the drums than on guitar, for example.

Morikubo’s mixed performance in this song – bringing singing and rapping to the spotlight – is yet another highlight.

Aware DESIRE” left a bit to be desired, especially given how the first two songs in this single are certified bangers. Still, it is good to have a carefree rock song that really doesn’t take itself seriously while managing to entertain the listener.

That’s exactly what happened to me.

While I enjoyed the song within the context of the single, I noticed that, I never really did go back to it, instead replayed “LIGHT of JUSTICE” and “Realize”. This may, of course, be different for you, especially if you don’t like heavy rock and prefer something more playful and easier to listen.

All in all, Showtaro Morikubo’s “LIGHT of JUSTICE” is another good entry in his repertoire however, it is one that didn’t improve upon the flawless single that was “WAY OUT”.

If you’re looking for your dose of shredding hardrock and don’t mind blowing off some steam in a playful, funk-rock song, then “LIGHT of JUSTICE” is exactly what you need to check.


LIGHT of JUSTICE is available for purchase at CDJAPAN.


LIGHT of JUSTICE is available for streaming on Spotify.

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

REVIEW OVERVIEW
LIGHT of JUSTICE
Realize
哀れDESIRE
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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