TRIGGER “Crescent rise” (Review)

TRIGGER embrace a gritty, dark and yet funky sound for their newest single, Crescent rise.

Title: Crescent rise
Label: Lantis
Release date: 29/01/2020
Genre: Pop/Jazz-pop

Tracklist:

01. Crescent rise
02. Treasure!
03. Crescent rise (Off Vocal)
04. Treasure! (Off Vocal)

Track by track analysis:

01. Crescent rise

Overdriven guitars, a clocking ticking and an orchestral – strings and choir – crescendo add an ominous dimension to this song. Crescent rise rides on top of those clock chimes, even if it is something barely noticeable on a first listen. Dark, dirty synths help enhance that gritty, high stakes vibe this song exudes. The verses are led by a looping overdriven guitar melody as deep, washy industrial synths shape this song into the absolute banger it is.

Strings make their big entrance in the chorus, something that, alongside the progressive bass-drum driven beat, making the song rise in urgency and drama. In the background a wolf howls in what seems like representing the song’s center, Gaku Yaotome (CV: Wataru Hatano). Another nice touch in the instrumental are the pizzicato strings embellishing the 2nd verse. Teamwork for this song is off the charts, with the verses’ high note canon, courtesy of Ryu (CV: Takuya Sato) and Tenn (CV: Soma Saito)  standing out for the novelty it is within TRIGGER‘s repertoire.

This is a song unlike anything in the group’s repertoire. The dark tone, the emotions in the vocals, all draw you in – that is, if the intro wasn’t enough to catch your attention -, in the end making you hit that replay button just to peel more layers of this song in order to understand all the underlying meanings in the lyrics and instrumentalization. It is that good of a track. 

02. Treasure!

TRIGGER change things around to welcome funk and jazz to their repertoire with the extremely entertaining song that explores a sonority that sounds completely out of their comfort zone. Electrifying funky guitar riffs, a groovy bass line and fast paced splashy drums with a touch of jazz in it, create this addictive and bright song. Treasure! Is a one-of-a-kind song in TRIGGER’s repertoire.

The passionate and powerful sound shifts into a playful and hopeful sound that sounds incredibly fresh. The funky guitar solo in bridge creates a platform for TRIGGER‘s members to go all out and dazzle with perfect harmonies and playful pitch vocals.

Definition of consistent performance from this group.

Final considerations

TRIGGER went outside of their comfort zone for this release and aced the test with a set of performances that has me wanting for more.

For starters, Crescent rise is a different outing for this trio that has explored pop, electro-pop and pop-rock in previous releases. This time around rock and electronica coexist in a completely different fashion. Rock is here to give a gritty touch to the instrumental whereas synths and electronica make sure that we get a haunting experience. Nothing about the instrumental is meant to entice the listener, there is a fight to be fought and this song perfectly illustrates that mood with how dark and gloomy it is even if the outcome of the song is positive.

Then we have the upbeat, uptempo jazz-funk Treasure!. What a nice addition to this release this song is! Not only it serves as a way to balance this release and avoid it falling into a gloomy path that would be too drastic of a change for TRIGGER, it also is meant to introduce another layer in this versatile group by showcasing that jazz and funkier melodies with a much upbeat tone – than even their considered trademark electro-pop tunes – is something they can pull off. The song is thoroughly fun with the tasteful instrumental giving a enjoyable and mature touch to this release.

Vocally, this is the best we’ve heard of TRIGGER. They are, by no means, a weak group on the vocal end – much on the contrary -, but there have been instances in which there is an unbalance in the performances. This time around not only did we find TRIGGER working as one – that chorus in Crescent rise has a perfect blend of the trio’s voices – but also switching fast between them in the funky Treasure! while keeping up with pace and adding some flourishes because they can.

All in all, TRIGGER‘s Crescent rise is easily their best single outing since debut. It is dark, mature, playful in the right occasions and with a surprising depth underneath it all.

Crescent rise is available for purchase at CDJAPAN.

The single is also available for streaming via Spotify.

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