Review | ROCK DOWN “RED”

ROCK DOWN

ROCK DOWN arrive with a passionate entry in the COLOR series. “RED – Paint the town red –” brings a lot of drama to spotlight but with it, some imperfections showed.

Title: VAZZROCK COLOR Series [-RED-] - Paint the town red - 
Release date: 30/10/2020
Label: Movic
Genre: Rock

Tracklist:

1 - ドラマ「See red」
2 - ドラマ「なかなかなことに、なりました」
3 - ドラマ「まだまだ、終わりません」
4 - ドラマ「こんなところまで」
5 - ドラマ「ご褒美タイム?」
6 - ドラマ「To paint the town red」
7 - Deep Scar ~告解の羊~ (ROCK DOWN song)
8 - Impact (Sho Onoda, Haruto Kujikawa and Ruka Nadumi)
9 - Deep Scar ~告解の羊~ -off vocal-
10 - Impact -off vocal-

Track by track analysis:

7 – Deep Scar ~告解の羊~

A dramatic church bell echoes in the background before the harpsichord takes over, setting a rather dark and eerie tone to Deep Scar Kokkai no Hitsuji.

The pacing is fast and the song is quite intense, with shredding guitar riffs and strings painting the soundscape in quite the unique way.

This song is really on brand with what ROCK DOWN have used us to, action-packed rock songs with a classical flair.

The song doesn’t disappoint in its explosive chorus in which strings come from the background to the spotlight, embellishing the performances by ROCK DOWN’s members.

As far as vocals go, ROCK DOWN showed quite the awesome teamwork. Everyone sounds well, there is a lot of variety in the techniques and tones used by the members.

Noteworthy the massive performance Takuya Sato pulled off; his vibrato was off the charts. Also, Yoshiaki Hasegawa was going at it with such a smooth, comfortable tone that stood out.



8 – Impact

Wrapping up this release we have yet another shredding rock song with quite the intense electronica added to it. “Impact” counts with powerful drums and shredding guitar riffs in the verses, alongside a smooth bass line.

One thing I was not a big fan of was how the synths were incorporated in the verses. Those higher stabs stood out a lot and threw the song a bit off for me.

It would work pretty well if those stabs were only 1 per “n” number of beats but those are continuous as you get closer to the chorus and get pretty annoying after a couple of seconds.

The chorus has more of those stabs taking over the awesome guitar and drums work in the background.

On the vocal end, Yukitoshi Kikuchi, Yoshiaki Hasegawa and Keisuke Komoto worked pretty well together. There was never a moment in which any of them were off key or off tempo like, unfortunately, has happened in the past.

The voice tones were, in a way, uniform and consistent, which helped make this song a bit more enjoyable.


Final considerations

ROCK DOWN’s 1st entry in the COLOR series is completely on brand with what we’re all used from them.

RED – Paint the town red – is a passionate release with a lot of flair to it, even if with some hiccups in the middle.

That classical, refined touch in their intense rock sound was a constant in this release, with Deep Scar Kokkai no Hitsuji standing out as the best song in this entry.

Impact came up a bit short and it wasn’t because of the vocals – those were awesome -, it was because of the excessive use of those bright, high pitched synth stabs that, instead of being just accents, were almost looping in the background, making the song quite difficult to be enjoyable.

If this is the kind of detail that you could care less, then, this song may be of some enjoyment for you.

As it is, it felt clumsy, as if it was there only to give the impression that the song is intense. “Impact” would have fared pretty well without those.

All in all, ROCK DOWN don’t arrive with consistency but they do have their shades of brilliance. Honing their sound would go a long way because, on the vocal department, the group already seems to be all in the same page.


RED is available for purchase at CDJAPAN.


REVIEW OVERVIEW
Deep Scar ~告解の羊~
Impact
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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