Touch - Too Hot 2 Handle (2011, South Korea) Rating: 3/5
Favorite Tracks: Luv, Rockin' the Club
Touch is one of those new male kpop groups that have tons of potential, but still have some fine tuning. I was really excited they were coming up with something new. "Too Hot 2 Handle" has a great dance vibe that displays an impressive rap flow. It really gets you in the mood for this brand new single. "Luv" lightens things up a little bit, but still maintains that club vibe. It's simple, catchy tune that's easy to move to and fits in with this dance/club sound trend, but still keeps their cute/innocent charm. "Rockin' the Club" was their promo song of choice. The music video is a little weak, but the song gradually grew on me. The stuttering parts are a little annoying and unnecessary, but the chorus is easily ingrained in my head. "Today" is a nice, lighthearted generic kpop tune that you can easily picture cutesy gestures and facials like Teen Top, SHINee, or something that instantly annoys me. The remaining two tracks are instrumentals of "Luv" and "Rockin' the Club". The boys still have some growing to do, but I still enjoy listening to them.
SuG - Crazy Bunny Coaster (2010, Japan) Rating: 2.5/5
Favorite Tracks: ID fudge factor
As much as I love SuG, I've been having some issues with their current stuff for some reason. It's all the same happy/random formula that's getting tiring like the GazettE's stuff. "Crazy Bunny Coaster" is an upbeat tune with Takeru's usual unique inflections in his vocals, fun keyboarding effects, and random sprinkles of sound effects. "NO OUT NO LIFE" follows along those fun little rock tunes and has a simple lyrical flow that's good for the kiddos. "ID fudge factor" taps more into that rocker sound while still keeping that fun lovin' SuG element. I want more of that!
König - Deep Throat (2010, Japan) Rating: 3.5/5
Favorite Tracks: deep, 蜜溶ける部屋
For those who didn't know, Loki, ex-vocalist of Sugar, started a solo project König. If you didn't know, I'm not much of a fan of Sugar's, but their music was alright and they're rather entertaining live. This is his first single and it opens with the beautiful "Camellia" which is mostly an instrumental track featuring gorgeously arranged piano and electric guitar. "deep" brings in that deep vocals that Loki owns and a dramatic yet lasting musical arrangement that reflects elements from Sugar. "蜜溶ける部屋" gradually builds up starting with an a Capella intro then a strong bass guitar which leads to a hypnotizing melody and a powerful chorus. "insomnia" closes out this masterpiece of a single by picking up the pace a little, but still keeping some sort of emphasize on a guitar and Loki's vocal style.
lam. - Hikari to Yami ga Kosasuru Yoru ni (2010, Japan) Rating: 2.5/5
Favorite Tracks: andante, WALTZ
"Hikari to Yami ga Kosasauru Yoru ni" opens with an immediate guitar melody that easily pulls you in, then changes up suddenly before softening to bring in the vocals. It's a slightly odd sound to the ears and changes every now and then. It has potential, but becomes a bit generic around the chorus. "andante" has a familiar sound to it and once again captures you with the great musical presentation. It softens again to bring in the vocals, but this time it comes at a whisper and the small change up doesn't lose you as much. "WALTZ" starts off with guitar distortions and an aggressive vocal that makes you want to move to it with ease. The chorus flows well and is forgivable generic sounding since the melody is pretty cool.
deathgaze - SILENCE/THE END (2011, Japan) Rating: 4/5
Favorite Tracks: SILENCE, THE END
One of those anticipating singles of the year by the flawless deathgaze. "SILENCE" brings their signature aggressiveness, double pedal drums, and ear grating guitars with an intense fast pace like "BLOOD". "THE END" maintains the intensity, aggression, and speed with Ai's haunting voice and screams to keep things going and consistent. The single is simply too short, but amazing enough to keep fans interested in an upcoming release.