VAZZROCK play of color vol.1 (Review)

VAZZROCK kick off their new series – play of color – with a stellar entry.

Title: VAZZROCK play of color Series Vol.1
Label: Tsukipro/Movic
Release date: 26/10/2018
Genre: Rock


1 - DRAMA「タラシとゲーマーと甘党と」
2 - DRAMA「小さな新メンバー現る!」
3 - Trust me, Trust me!
4 - 極東星霜サティスファクションズ
5 - Trust me, Trust me! -off vocal-
6 - 極東星霜サティスファクションズ -off vocal-

Track by track analysis:

3 – Trust me, Trust me!

Trust me, Trust me! is a crafty rock tune with a unique vibe. There’s something edgy about it but also a gentle and alluring vibe in the air. Rock, funk and electronica play a major role in shaping this song. For instance, the verses embrace funk-rock’s groovy sound, bringing to the table funky guitar licks and a deep bass line and, in some parts of the instrumental, electronica left its touch. Synths introduced a danceable yet dark touch. These distinct elements blended with fast paced electric guitar riffs and hard-hitting, bass-driven drums to create this memorable melodic rock tune. The instrumental’s progression is quite possibly among the best so far in the VAZZROCK franchise.

Tarusuke Shingaki, Taito Ban and Tsubasa Sasa make a unique trio with completely different vocal colors, equipped with distinctive skills and charms that complement each other’s. This trio completely stole the show with a performance that perfectly highlighted their versatility and quality on the vocal end. Their harmonies, falsetto and their clean, smooth performances in the verses made us wish this song was longer. A fresh instrumental and stellar vocals make Trust me, Trust me! the perfect greeting card for this new series. 5/5

4 – 極東星霜サティスファクションズ

The vibe and sound change completely for Kyokuto seiso satisfactions. When listening to this song, a couple of things will instantly stand out: its old school vibe and funky sound. This instrumental is all about delivering a fun experience, and that was done primarily by embracing old school pop elements. The looping synth melody playing in the intro and the fancy melodies in the chorus are a throwback to 80’s pop/rock. Jazz and funk introduce a fun twist to this song. Groovy bass lines, funky guitar riffs, jazzy piano melodies and fast paced, double-bass drums make this instrumental a bundle of fun. Just like in the previous song, this one has an addictive chorus.

Shingaki, Sasa and Ban‘s performance was filled with energy, matching the instrumental’s fast pace. Aside from the trio’s clean vocals, there’s another nod to the 80’s with the introduction of vocoder to manipulate their vocals later on in this song. 5/5

Final rating:

VAZZROCK play of color Series Vol.1 is filled with catchy hooks, fancy melodies and rich instrumentals that made the best out of its rock, funk and electronica’s influences.

Trust me, Trust me! is the highlight of this release. It’s not often that listeners can find a rock tune that perfectly balances elements from various music genres. This song, however, pulled it off perfectly. Rock, funk and electronica  contributed to the groovy, danceable yet dark and imposing vibe that this song exudes. Additionally, this song has a progression that instantly grabs the listener’s attention. It’s not something fancy yet the way in which the verses flow, the build up to the chorus, and how the it ultimately opened and developed into something imposing is strangely alluring and addictive.

On the other side we have Kyokuto seiso satisfactions. Funk and jazz took over this song’s instrumental and brought 80’s inspired synths to the mix. Adding vocoders instead of auto-tune to manipulate vocals was a nice touch that kept the whole 80’s vibe more believable. Just like in Trust me, Trust me!, this song has a great progression with a couple of unusual details on it and the chorus steals the show.

Tarusuke Shingaki (Vazzy’s leader), Tsubasa Sasa (Vazzy), Taito Ban (ROCK DOWN) are the trio on vocal duty for this release.

Expectations weren’t high but we were thoroughly impressed with what they were capable of. For starters, Tsubasa Sasa completely stole the spotlight in Trust me, Trust me!. In the past we mentioned that he had a weak performance in Vazzy‘s unit song CD series. He then surprised in Naosuke’s citrine CD (part of the bi-color series) and now he stole the show. Sasa is finally showing his skills and, as a result, he was everywhere with high notes, falsetto and harmonizations. And there wasn’t a second in which he wasn’t in the spotlight due to that. He owned Trust me, Trust me! and then delivered a stunning performance in Kyokuto seiso satisfactions.

Out of all members of this trio Taito Ban‘s the only one that still hasn’t released a bi-color CD (his entry – aquamarine – only drops later this month), so we didn’t have a strong opinion on his singing in comparison with Shingaki and Sasa. He’s not by any means a fancy singer but he’s got consistency and a lot of room for improvement which make him an interesting performer. His performances in both songs were filled with falsetto, smooth mid-tones and fancy harmonies.

Tarusuke Shingaki is a skilled singer that doesn’t change one bit from a solo to a group context. His consistency, power and experience make him an essential member, whether he’s with Vazzy or performing as a duo/trio. For this release he brought to the table his powerful lower register, smooth mid-tones and a sweet falsetto. He served as the middle ground, a balance between Sasa and Ban’s vocals.

All in all, the first entry in VAZZROCK‘s play of color series raised the bar incredibly high. Spotless vocal performances and catchy, crafty songs make this release a must listen.

VAZZROCK play of color Series Vol.1” is available for purchase at CDJAPAN.

"VAZZROCK"play of color Series / Drama CD (Tarusuke Shingaki, Tsubasa Sasa, Taito Ban)
Drama CD (Tarusuke Shingaki, Tsubasa Sasa, Taito Ban)
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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