Review | ZIX “Break It!”

ZIX push their talents to the maximum with the intense “Break it!”. Rock, funk and jazz meet to create what is another awesome entry in their repertoire.

ZIX consist on Makoto Sugai, voiced by Daiki Hamano and Mitsuru Hishida, voiced by Takumi Watanabe. This unit is signed under Sun Promotion Entertainment (Sunpro), Tsukipro‘s rival entertainment company.


Title: Break It!
Label: Movic
Release date: 26/02/2021
Genre: Rock / Funk

Tracklist:

1 - DRAMA「出会い」
2 - DRAMA「誠の場合」
3 - DRAMA「満の場合」
4 - DRAMA「Z.I.X.A.G.」
5 - DRAMA「取引成立」
6 - DRAMA「それから」
7 - Break It!
8 - OverLoad

Track by track analysis:

7 – Break It!

Muffled guitar riffs and powerful drums lead the way for “Break it!”, song that carries over where “Z.I.X.A.G.” (the single) left off.

The verses flow in good rock fashion, with nothing out of the ordinary happening. It is fun, uptempo but it is the chorus that shines.

The chorus is powerful, with the bass line being fast paced and prominent as the guitars scream in the background and the drums groovily power this song.

Daiki Hamano and Mizuki Chiba deliver a solid performance to this track, harmonizing in the chorus to perfection and delivering consistent, charismatic performances individually. They gave a shot of energy to this song, quite the ending touch.

8 – OverLoad

To wrap up this single, ZIX go for a performance in which rock tones down and funk meets jazz, delivering a groovy tune in “OverLoad”.

Guitars are fast paced and funky whereas the bass goes in slap fashion through his punchy melody, adding a lot off groove and depth to this track. Well, let’s admit, the bass line is on the spotlight all the time, being even more intense in the chorus. Am I complaining? No. I actually wanted much more bass for this song.

The song flows in a fast pacing, leading the listener to an addictive chorus in which brass, bass and guitars have their fun shaping this song into a dancefloor certified tune.

As far as vocal performances go, Daiki Hamano and Mizuki Chiba shine in this setting. It is the first time that the duo tackles a song as funky as this one, putting much of the rock and heavy EDM they’ve done in the past behind their backs. For a first time, I am surprised at how natural both sound as well as how ZIX actually fit this kind of music.

Hamano and Chiba’s performances are filled with tasteful tricks, with falsetto being the go-to technique to add a unique flair to their performance. There’s also some vibrato, this is, of course, courtesy of Hamano, that contributes to the massive depth in this song.

Fun and unexpected, “OverLoad” takes the crown as the best song on this single.


Final considerations

ZIX went for a slightly different take on their sound in “Break it!”.

Jazz and funk were brought to the table in “OverLoad”, song that has quite the impressive bass work. Punchy and memorable, the bass line on this song will refuse to leave your head.

As a big fan of all things funk and jazz, this was a treat for me. At the same time, this was an unexpected turn of events by ZIX, group that, up until now, I’ve been associating with “dark” and “intense” rock with splashes of EDM.

So, this ended up being a showcase of versatility for the duo and a breath of fresh air in their repertoire.

The title track “Break it!” is the textbook rock tune that ZIX have used their fans to.

Guitars are shredding in the background at all times, bass is the main attraction, drums are explosive, all while Daiki Hamano and Mizuki Chiba showcase their chemistry and teamwork.

Talking about Hamano and Chiba, I need to mention the quality on the vocal end. The duo continues to improve and show more of their cards, this time around delivering a stunning falsetto performance in “OverLoad” and a powerful and confident performance riding on their mid-tones in “Break it!”.

When it is time for harmonies in the chorus, the duo never fails to impress. On an individual capacity, both Hamano and Chiba know how to carry themselves, delivering performances that perfectly showcase the extent of their singing skills.

All in all, ZIX’s “Break it!” is a good entry however, as good as it is, it feels like it is slightly weaker in comparison with “Z.I.X.A.G.”.


Break It! is available for purchase at CDJAPAN.

Break It! / ZIX
ZIX

SUMMARY

ZIX’s “Break it!” is a good entry however, as good as it is, I still get the feeling that it slightly pales in comparison with “Z.I.X.A.G.”. Jazz and funk were brought to the table in “OverLoad”, song that has quite the impressive bass work. On the other hand, the title track “Break it!” is the textbook rock tune that ZIX have used their fans to.

REVIEW OVERVIEW

Break It!
OverLoad
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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