Review | VAZZROCK play of color Series Vol.3

VAZZROCK play of color Series Vol.3

VAZZROCK play of color Series Vol.3 “Itsuka no Hanashi wo Kimi to Shiyo” has its moments of brilliance but, ultimately, fails to capitalize on those.

VAZZROCK play of color 3
Title: VAZZROCK play of color Series Vol.3
Release date: 26/06/2020
Label: Movic
Genre: Rock

Tracklist:

1 - DRAMA「見学させて頂きます」 
2 - DRAMA「いつかの話を君としよう」 
3 - DIVE 
4 - POKER FACE!! 
5 - DIVE -off vocal- 
6 - POKER FACE!! -off vocal-

Track by track analysis:

3 – DIVE

A youthful rock song flows through DIVE. Fast paced guitar riffs and hi-hat driven drums do the honors, leading to a quieter verse in which the focus is put on the vocals.

The build up to the chorus comes pretty early on, something that I was not expecting. The transition isn’t dramatic but, since the pre-chorus takes quite a while to develop, when you arrive to the chorus, all the tension was already lost in that section.

As a result, the chorus sounds weak in comparison with the verses and quite anticlimactic.

When it comes to the vocals, this trio worked pretty well with what they had in terms of skills and voice tones available.

For this kind of intense rock sound, their lineup was a perfect fit, going for lower, growly tones and, when necessary, the comfortable mid-tones with some rises on the scale but never venturing head-on to their upper register.

DIVE is an entertaining track but flawed. The chorus takes away quite a lot of the enjoyment that this song could have given, had it been composed and arranged in a slightly different way that would make for a quicker transition between verse and chorus, not just shortening the verse itself and dragging itself through a long pre-chorus like it did in the end.



4 – POKER FACE!!

Wrapping up this release is POKER FACE!!, song that arrives with a pretty dull blend of rock and traditional Japanese music.

The verses focus on a deep bass sound – coming from the bass and the drums – while shredding guitar riffs and shamisen melodies go head-to-head.

The chorus has some power but the lack of consistency in the vocals drags the song down. Contrary to what happened in the previous song, for POKER FACE!!, the Shirai-Hasegawa-Masumoto trio didn’t really click well with each other.

For individual parts there was a clear difference in quality between members and, when it came to the chorus, it just never sounded right.

Add that to an unimaginative rock-meets-traditional Japanese music sound and you get a pretty weak song.


Final considerations

VAZZROCK play of color Series Vol.3 “Itsuka no Hanashi wo Kimi to Shiyo” has its good moments but it is a rather flawed released on different perspectives.

When it comes to the music, this release shines in DIVE’s exciting, shredding rock sound but completely tanks with an uninspired take on rock and traditional Japanese music in POKER FACE!!.

While both songs don’t have a fresh sound – you can find it almost everywhere – POKER FACE!! sounds lazy and too forced into sounding like a full-fledged, high quality blend of rock and traditional elements. It sounds bland and never right picks up the pace or changes dynamics to something that could really help the song stand out.

On the vocal end we have Yusuke Shirai (VAZZY), Yoshiaki Hasegawa (ROCK DOWN) and Takuya Masumoto (ROCK DOWN).

This lineup counts with a solid coverage of the lower range and brings some consistency on the mid-tones however, I was not expecting anything fancy in the upper range. Still, with a robust mid-to-low tones cover, this trio would be pretty okay – at least on paper – to tackle any kind of rock song as long as it wasn’t a ballad.

Unfortunately, there was inconsistency in their performance in POKER FACE!! (contrasting with their solid performance in DIVE) that left a lot to desire.

Yusuke Shirai is not performing in a comfortable voice tone which ends up hindering his performance, lacking consistency on this side was enough for Hasegawa and Masumoto to not work well together as it was clear the difference of quality between both.

The vocal direction for this song was also pretty lacking, something that even if the lineup was on top of their game, would be impossible to bypass.

Still, good overall effort from the trio that shone in DIVE.

VAZZROCK play of color Series Vol.3 “Itsuka no Hanashi wo Kimi to Shiyo” had the potential to be a pretty solid entry but, ultimately, lack of consistency in the vocals and dull instrumentals dragged the release down.


VAZZROCK play of color Series Vol.3 is available for purchase at CDJAPAN.

REVIEW OVERVIEW
DIVE
POKER FACE!!
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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