Vidoll - Monad (2010, Japan) | Rating: 4.5/5
Favorite Tracks: IKAROS, Darwinism, Hot cage mix
Just a little background info on myself: Vidoll was one of the first jrock indies bands I really got into. I immediately fell in love with Jui's outstanding vocal range and Rame's powerful basslines throughout a majority of their songs. I have watched them grow and transition with their new guitarists Shun and Giru as well as move onto a major label. Being a strong supporter, their music began to lose that "in your face" bass sound to something a little more mainstream, but still Vidoll-esque. Some their latest songs were just okay and the Bastard and Esoteric Romance albums, in my opinion, were disappointing.
Like the GazettE, I was a little nervous about the new album, yet excited since I enjoyed "Eve" & "Focus" singles. First listen through of Monad, I was inwardly smiling. It felt like Vidoll was making a comeback. The further I got into the album, the more hope grew in my mind that the band's talent wasn't fading away. Monad has made my wishlist! There are some really good songs on it and I'll continue to look forward to more Vidoll music in the future as I usually do.
Ayabie - Irodori (2010, Japan) | Rating: 3.5/5
Favorite Tracks: GAME, action (Irodoi ver.), Kanaria (Irodori ver.)
Like Vidoll, Ayabie was another indies band I fell for in the beginning of me joining the jrock fandom. They had crazy, cute energy and a strong statement through their music. As time passed, their leader Ryouhei departed and the band signed to a major label. Their image became a little more tamed and their sound was more balanced and softer than usual.
In my opinion, a lot of their title tracks on their singles weren't that great. I was a little hesitant to listen to their first major album. They still had that soft quality to them, but there were a couple tracks I was surprised with. They were very upbeat and fun and had a few elements from the old Ayabie. Overall, the album is worth checking out and giving it a couple listens. I'm still a little iffy about Ayabie's future sound, but I trust that they'll always stay true to themselves and keep that personal bond between each other.
The Underneath - us. (2009, Japan) | Rating: 5/5
Favorite Tracks: Rain, Chou no koe -The scream of the butterfly, Dolls
If I had to describe this album in one word, it would be "epic"! I have enjoyed this band in their beginnings and was pleased with their transition as the Underneath in their first album, Moon Flower. I believe us. totally blew the first album completely out the water. I couldn't just listen to it once, I had to majorly repeat every track because I felt so speechless. This further persuaded me to quickly add to my wishlist. Unfortunately, while listening to this album as time continues moving forward, I will continually ask myself why this band is leaving us after a hit like that. This album has left a strong good impression on the jrock fandom and now it'll be followed by a farewell single, before the Underneath disbands.
quaff - SHAKE YOUR BOOTY! (2009, Japan) | Rating: 3.5/5
Favorite Tracks: Destiny-00, more than blue, サイハラの都
Giving the band a second chance, I listened to their newest album and found it thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining. They keep the elements of traditional Japanese music and rock and fused them together with a slightly comical tone of vocals and rapping. Really listening to "SUPPONPON" reminded me of Sendai Kamotsu's fun, playful melodies. Like the red jumpsuit wearing band, they do have serious musical sounding songs to balance the album out. They show that they have great potential and would probably give a great