Very very exciting week so far. I’m not just talking about the releases but also new bands that will very well make it into my list. Most of them are not new per se, I just discovered them so they’re new to me. I was browsing through the list of releases at my Jpop source site and randomly saw FLiP’s digital single Madonna. So I YT it and what a pleasant find. *Yuumi (drummer) looks like some halfie chick, the one with short hair in the cover below.
FLiP is Japanese female band from Okinawa who debuted back in year 2005. O_O Yes, I can’t believe I only found them! But the good thing is, I have an entire list of discography to listen to now. I only have XX Emotion (2012) at the moment so I thought why not review this? I read that 1st studio album Michi Evolution (2011) seems to be fan-favorite with claims of being better than this so I’ll give that a listen and do a comparison once I get my hands on it.
The album boasts 13 tracks. First track, CHERRY BOMB opens loud and these girls know what they’re doing. Vocalist Sachiko is great and has a very strong voice. I like the echoes effect and the heavy instruments. The whole thing sounds like mix of punk and grunge-like music. I’m already quite impressed at this state.
Walther is similar to CHERRY BOMB and although I’m skeptical during the verses, I’m sold by the time the chorus comes in. But Emimoa is definitely one of a kind. I absolutely love this! So damn catchy! Completely blown away by the chorus and the hooks! Everything’s so perfect in this uptempo track. Some parts remind me of Paramore’s sound. Single Wonderland is pure pop/rock fun. Some English lyrics can be heard. That guitar solo in the bridge, what the?!
The first quarter of the album is just amazing fun, appealing and proves these girls can definitely rock out with no resistance. So it’s about time to see whether they can handle slower tunes. Everything is alright is a midtempo track and though it’s not a ballad, it definitely is slower and I think we need that after a speedy ride. Chorus goes like “missing you, missing you, maybe you’re right, everything is alright”. I actually like this a lot especially when the guitar solo comes in the bridge. Although the title is in a positive light, the sound is bittersweet too, making the whole balance just great.
So the girls decided not to slow down yet. YUKEMURI DJ showcases some vocal distortion (most probably to reference the title DJ itself) but maybe some electronic elements would’ve been nice. That La la tat la la part is definitely catchy and probably will get stuck for a while. Saigo no Bansan and Konya Tsuki de Aimashou sound mediocre and don’t seem to live up to the first four tracks but the chorus “What do you want, by the way?” is stuck in my head by the time it ended. Shut Up, Men is kind of similar but it’s not as memorable. Midtempo Hoshii Mono wa is back with catchy melody. By now I know I’m not going to be disappointed by any guitar riffs or solos in FLiP’s songs. Like, out of all the tracks so far, I’ve yet to be disappointed by them. Demo Maybe is very nice too. The songs at the end start to seem bit samey so they end up not as memorable as the first half of the album.
The whole album is cohesive but if I were to gripe, I’d say it lacks slower tracks. Everything seems to be moving too fast and no brake. I think I’d love to hear some rock ballads. That way, it’d be more balanced. But the strength of this album is it’s full of very melodious guitar solos and superbly energetic, very in-your-face music. The vocalist is so sonfidently strong too I didn’t think I heard any parts where she faltered at all.
Highlights: Emimoa, Everything is alright, Demo Maybe, Wonderland, Hoshii Mono wa
Score: 8/10 – Why is this band not as famous as they should be?!