Friday, May 28, 2010

What is it with the vampires... (吸血鬼がどうしたの。。。)

Well, I guess I can only keep up the reputable movie-reviewing posts for so long.

I mean, I don't have time to watch movies every night! What do you people think I am, some sort of fresh college graduate without a day job?



Anyway, today we turn once again to the wide world of music.

Or, rather, the more narrow and condensed world of "music Edo likes."

Hey, you read my blog, you get a certain cross-section of Japan. You knew that coming in.

Anyway. Today:


... well, I find them aesthetically pleasing sometimes, so you get two pictures.

Long story short, Hyde, J-rocker of fame, fortune, and remarkably short stature, cannot keep a band for long. I presume that the other members ultimately get sick of his Napoleon complex and kick him out for being an arrogant ass.

... at least, that is my totally unbiased and editorial opinion. Ahem.

From Wikipedia, we have a slightly more... bland description:

VAMPS is the name of the band formed by HYDE (L’Arc~en~Ciel) and K.A.Z (Oblivion Dust). HYDE and K.A.Z have been working together on HYDE’s solo work since 2003. After years of collaboration, the two finally decided to form their own band and agreed that there was no better way to announce VAMPS than getting out in front of the fans right away.

So yay for them, they went on tour. Unfortunately, Hyde is not the best performer when it comes to lives. Perhaps it wasn't the best idea.

I, personally, discovered VAMPS when they did an appearance on MUSIC STATION, performing their new single, I GOTTA KICK START NOW:

I was intrigued. Usually, I am not the biggest fan of Hyde's (or L'arc~en~ciel's, I suppose) music, as I find it too soft. VAMPS, however, has harder, "rockier," feel, which I very much appreciate.

When I listened to the entire album, I found that I rather enjoyed the whole thing, especially the original single, LOVE ADDICT:

Don't ask my why he insists on singing it mostly in English; I couldn't tell you for certain. However, I presume that it has something to do with a more "bad-ass" vibe. Because we all know how bad-ass English is. Although, frankly, I find his pronunciation to be rather impressive; he nails both the hard r's and the l's, both of which are notoriously difficult for those raised with Japanese phonology. His intonation isn't quite right, but hey, cut the guy some slack.

... and definitely don't ask about the vampires. I assume it has to do with the name of the band, of course, but why it had to be so cheesy is beyond me. Sprouting fangs randomly as your shirt blows in the wind is not the manliest thing ever.

(Side-note: I much prefer Hyde with this shorter, straighter hairstyle. Only Kimutaku can pull off the long, auburn curls, sweetheart.)

So, if you're a fan of Hyde, but would prefer a harder, slightly "rockier" version of him, I definitely recommend VAMPS to you. Be forewarned, though, that I am NOT joking around about that; Melon is not a fan specifically because VAMPS are too hard. This isn't just L'arc without the band-mates, kiddies.

... at the same times, it's no Sex Machineguns or Dir en grey either, so don't get your hopes up too high on the other end of things.

I also suspect that VAMPS is Hyde's attempt to prove to the world that he is, in fact, a straight man, despite all evidence to the contrary (just look at that hair, not to mention the giant phallic symbol he's waving all around). Because this video is a little bit ridiculous.

You'd think the wife would have been enough. ...although really, we know it wasn't. After all, a gay man is the ideal husband... (Yes, I have articles that back this opinion up which I had to read ad nauseum for Desire in Japanese Film, and no, I don't agree with it.)

But I digress. I would definitely recommend the band for a quick listen, although I would most certainly NOT suggest getting involved with the fanbase. They get a little miffed when you call Hyde short, for example.

This is Edo, signing off, wondering how many fangirls are currently out for her blood as a consequence of this post...

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