Japanese

I Need Some “Sleep” … Help Me, J-Rock Band “SID”!!!

July 7, 2010 | | Comment? Share thison Facebook I Need Some “Sleep” … Help Me, J-Rock Band “SID”!!!on Twitter

The next generation of “visual kei” J-Rock bands have often disappointed. They couldn’t live up to their predecessors: Glay, Luna Sea, X Japan. But one band has made significant strides in Japan. They are SID.

SID started as pretty traditional in their “hair and makeup” style, emulating peers and veterans, but generally keeping to the indie scene. But they continued (and still continue) to adapt, and are finding their way to the mainstream. They’ve done a couple of anime theme songs, including “Uso” and “Rain” for Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood and “Monochrome Kiss” for Black Butler.

But we’re not going to talk about those singles, because I don’t own them. I picked up their single “sleep,” primarily because I love to sleep. I’d like to tell you I’m kidding, but I’m not.

The song and its b-sides have no ties to anime, but hey, these guys are getting pretty big (a couple #2 and #3 spots on the Oricon charts) so if you like J-Rock, join me after the jump for a look at the songs on the “sleep” single.

Proof of their evolving style, “sleep” as a song sounds more radio-friendly, melodic, and stylized than, say, Glay. The decidedly minor key of the piece keeps things melancholy, and the effects run on the lead and rhythm guitar parts give a strong refined feel to the single. Synthesized string ensembles help to build and round out the sound of the piece, particularly during the chorus. The vocalist, “Mao” (not a dictator, or so I’m told), has a great vibrato performance style, though I worry he’s over-using it in “sleep.”

Dance-rock synth-pop fusion, anyone? The B-Side “Utahime” (Songstress) is *further* proof of the band’s versatility and evolution. I love this piece, it’s easily my favorite on the disc. When he sings “Hayaku, hayaku, hayaku” (hurry hurry hurry) at the end of the chorus, I get pumped. In fact, I get fist-pumped. You gotta do some fist pumps in the air during that part. At least, if I were Mao, I would be doing that. Fist pumps > salutes, any day of the week. (am I carrying this “Mao” joke too far? Probably.)

The third and final track on the single is a live performance of their song “Aikagi” (Master Key). This recording demonstrates definitively that this isn’t just a studio band. These guys know how to rock. Makes me want to go to a concert at a major venue in Japan. Better yet, it makes me want to *perform* at a major venue in Japan. That’s part of the attraction to these rock bands, right? Wanting to be like them! Well I’ll be the first to admit I’ve had dreams of rocking the stage, and because of my irrational love for all things Japanese, that dream has sometimes morphed into me rockin’ the mic in Japanese. Pathetic? Probably. But hey, who’s with me?!

If anyone wants to pick up the single, it’s catalog number KSCL-1559, released March of this year, available on Ki/oon Records (part of Sony Music’s umbrella of labels). Both CD Japan and Play-Asia are stocking the single.

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