Review | RUBIA Leopard “Higher Ground”

RUBIA Leopard

RUBIA Leopard deliver a high throttle rock performance in their newest song, Higher Ground.

DIG-ROCK branches out from the drama CD series MintLip. This is a mixed media project that incorporates music with drama CDs. To get to know more about this project please refer to THIS article.

RUBIA Leopard is a popular rock band fronted by AKANE (CV: Makoto Furukawa), with guitarist KURONO (CV: Kaito Ishikawa), bassist MASHIRO (CV: Takuya Sato) and drummer HAIJI (CV: Natsuki Hanae).

RUBIA Leopard Higher Ground

Label: TEAM Entertainment Inc. 
Release date: 22/04/2020
Genre: Grunge / Rock


1 - お仕事終了! [DRAMA TRACK]
2 - 南国バカンス [DRAMA TRACK]
3 - トラブル発生 [DRAMA TRACK]
4 - ワクワク無人島ライフ [DRAMA TRACK]
5 - 洞窟探検隊! [DRAMA TRACK]
6 - ノブレス・オブリージュ [DRAMA TRACK]
7 - Higher Ground

Track analysis:

7 – Higher Ground

RUBIA Leopard are back with a high octane rock tune. Higher Ground doesn’t shy away from being a fierce, fast paced and cool rock track that you’ll want to jam along – or headbang to.

The song kicks off with a simple guitar riff, that, in some way, channels a bit of GRANRODEO’s – which is great! – explosive and catchy rock sound.

Higher Ground has that catchy sound, making good use of simple compositions and tasteful melodies to deliver a memorable track with a radio-friendly sound. The verses are exciting and the chorus is undoubtedly the most explosive out of all tracks the band has released so far.

On vocal duty is Makoto Furukawa and what a performance he delivers!

Aside from his comfortable mid-tones in the verses, he adds his robust vibrato and fancy falsetto in the chorus. For those familiar with Furukawa’s singing style, you’ll know that he is very keen on using his vibrato to enhance his performances.

It usually flows naturally for him – as his voice has a bit of that to begin with – however, if you listen to his performance in Higher Ground, you’ll notice that he tried to have it in check.

The verses are almost – emphasis on “almost” – clean of vibrato, adding a different flavor to his performance. I felt like this was an interesting touch although we all know that his powerful vibrato  is a trademark of his.

Higher Ground is a banger. Even if you’re not too big on rock music, this song will definitely catch your attention and the chorus will refuse to leave your mind for a while. Top marks.

DIG-ROCK -BREAK TIME- Type:RL is available for purchase at CDJAPAN.


Higher Ground is a banger. Even if you're not too big on rock music, this song will definitely catch your attention and the chorus will refuse to leave your mind for a while. Certainly one of RUBIA Leopard's best releases to date.


Higher Ground
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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