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30 June 2009 @ 11:53 pm
Do As Infinity - ∞ 1  

Release Date: 2009/6/17

1. Umareyuku Mono Tachi e
2. Mera Mera
3. Timeless
4. Let’s get together at a-nation

After the tragedy of deleting my lengthy review of The Mars Volta's Octahedron by accident, I decided that the pain was still too raw and I needed instead to break in the reviews with something else. Lucky for me I found the perfect candidate, Do as Infinity, and it is no secret that these guys are my favorite band in the universe. I will try my best to control myself.

It's been about a good 4 years since they've released anything but finally after re-forming we have it! The first chapter in the second book of Infinity has been revealed. To say this is a great single would not be enough. It's actually probably hard to understand. It isn't particularly special or inventive and yet I have a hard time finding anyone with anything bad to say about it, including myself. Why is that? Is it bias, no not quite. It's actually something that DAI's been doing a long time. Without having to scream indie out the arse they've always seemed to manage producing solid, catchy tunes that avoid the pitfalls of mediocrity and present something special one can latch their heart onto. It's no wonder really why they have one of the most loyal fan bases in J-pop. They  transcend the confines of a mere soulless pop/rock outfit and go straight for the heart, pouring something that is more than just a chord here and a sweet riff there but a pure emotion. 

As I mentioned, the single is territory we've charted before with DAI and yet there is something layered within that's screaming we're in for something fresh, that this is indeed a second wind breathing life into a DAI that was fading and dying before the disbandment. The first single is a great example of how the old has become new. Umareyuku monotachi e (To those born and living on) is closest to a ballad like hiiragi. Van pounding out the lyrics with such power and emotion, striking a chord in the listener. Unlike it's predecessor though monotachi e quickly loses it's delicate nature and instead of a careful, through the motions ballad we have a piece that never lets up rocking the core throughout.  It climaxes in a flurry of call and answer vocals, sweet notes,  wailing guitars and effects ebbing away at any kind of calm left before bringing you back down in  a icy  piano exit.

Jarring up with chunky drums, thick bass lines and a disco's on fire guitar riff is DAI's rocker of the single, Meramera (burning). One of the things that I've always admired most about Tomiko Van is her ability to go from singing touching ballads and jazz style songs  to straight up rocking (sometimes even close to a scream in songs like summer days and snail), rapping (ala sense of life) to just sounding all around badass. In short she can sing worth her weight in gold and still rock out with the best of them. Meramera is a pretty in your face reminder of this. She sings the verses almost as if she was rapping them, singing rapidly, hardly dropping a breath and then exploding into the fiery chorus where she let's it be known that she can belt it out against the storming of instruments. The song itself is funky as hell, imagine a byoukenshatachi part 2. It just gets down and dirty and is easily the coolest number on the single.

If Meramera was the coolest, Timeless is the best. While the other 2 songs remind us of what DAI is capable of bringing to the table Timeless shows us what's in store for the future. This is something new and almost unexpected from them. I'll admit, I'm not even sure how to describe what they've done here, it's not like it's the latest greatest thing since sliced bread but hearing DAI do something like this is a shock and a lovely surprise as it fits them so well. I'd like to think it's the result of filling out the band more since coming back with the addition of 3 new members but whatever it is I like it. With this song  they officially strip away the constructs of them being a duo pop band and they just rock it out like a 5 piece outfit. The sound is full and hard hitting and it's sure to excite any fan hoping for something new.

The final song, Let's Get Together, isn't really new nor is it an actual song. It's the theme  for a-nation I believe. It's not a very DAI track at all but it's still obnoxiously catchy. Van's voice is highly effected almost to the point of cutesy annoyance and the beat is oh so bouncy. Most will detest this, I almost do and yet I can't help but find it infectious, bopping my head along to it.

A great comeback single showcasing both what you've always loved about Do As Infinity and revealing what you will come to love. The Fantasy Brigade is finally back in bussiness. 9/10


Current Mood: lethargiclethargic
Current Music: Do As Infinity - Timeless