Girugamesh – Chimera – One Heck of a Good Morning!

Girugamesh

There are a several foolproof ways to make my morning, completely overhaul my day and turn a hellish week/month/life into a heavenly one; this morning, as if through some kind of miraculous divine intervention, several of these things converged on me in one go making everything I have toiled through over the last few months fade to nothing before my very eyes.

What are these things? Well, firstly, for the first time in a very long time I have been able to squeeze in a few anime episodes before work, a feat which seemed like it would never be possible again only a week ago, but that’s not my biggest excitement… the biggest excitement to brighten up this cold, frosty morning is the unexpected arrival of Girugamesh’s new mini-album!

The moment Apple Music lit up my screen with notification of it’s arrival I almost fell over myself in my effort to acquire it and now I am sitting at my desk at work, floating in a audio-bliss, feeling every ounce of stress leave my muscles as if washed away on a river of music.

Girugamesh Chimera

‘Chimera’ in it’s entirety, features 7 tracks including an ‘Introduction’ as well as the title track ‘Chimera’ all of which are freeing in their intensity and feel like a nostalgic throwback in a way that has me reminiscing about my teenage years and crying out for a mosh pit to thrash my body in! If you’d asked me a few weeks ago what it was I needed in order to relinquish the tension I’ve been storing in my upper body I wouldn’t have been able to tell you, but now that I have listened to ‘Chimera’ I realise that was only because it hadn’t been released yet.

I don’t know how I managed to miss the warnings that this 7 track package of pure metal-infused joy was on it’s way but I am definitely planning to get myself a copy of the full album on it’s European release.

Now if you’ll excuse  me, I’ll be giddily anticipating every tempo change and bone-rattling growl as I make full-bodied attempts at following Satoshi’s vocal gymnastics. Let’s hope no one gets concerned and comes to check on me!

Day6 -Setting Me Freely (Free 하게)

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“There she goes, enthusing again!”

Hey Guys! Sorry, it’s me again! And I’m back with another dose of enthusing and fangirling! You’ve probably heard me say a million and one times that work has been hectic, life has been hectic and things aren’t quite going according to plan; today is no different. I’ll say it again but I promise I’m not complaining! If we’re honest, I chose to study and work at the same time, and I made the choice to attempt to squeeze anime and reading and crafting into the crevices of my day so I really can’t blame anyone but myself for the fact that I have forgotten what being bored feels like. Instead I am saying this in order to give you some context so that, when I explain why I love this album so much, you will be intrigued and enticed and, hopefully, will fall in love with it as much  (and as quickly) as I have.

It’s always been the case for me that when I am stressed out and my day has not gone so well, I step away from my desk for a brisk march around the block in an attempt to right the over-turned tables in my brain. When I do this I will listen to something heavy (and usually angry) loudly in my headphones in an attempt to drown out that little pessimistic voice in my head in favour of the louder more determined sound of my eternal optimism. For the past few years now, whenever I have felt frustrated to the point of tears, ‘Girugamesh’s’ growling has comforted me, ‘Dir En Grey’s’ Kyo’s voice has banished my demons or the rumble of ‘Kill It Kid’s’ guitars have aided my return to the real world. Though all very different and all brilliant in their own rights, these bands all have quite a heavy focus on big drums, deep bass and powerful, emotional vocals; virtually perfect for those days when you just feel like enough is enough.

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So imagine my surprise when, out of nowhere, a quite different and very unexpected EP from a band who I found completely by accident on the day of their debut, would replace all of those growling, heaving and furious balms to my frazzled nerves and become the very ultimate in relief from the daily stresses of an accountant/student/older sister/bill payer’s life.

The band in question is JYP Entertainment’s ‘DAY6’ from South Korea and the EP, ‘The Day’. These six songs by these six seriously talented and really funny guys have made the last few months not only bearable but really quite awesome. The EP takes you on a roller-coaster through breaking up and falling in love with its title track ‘Congratulations’ giving a real twist on that typical ‘bumping into the ex’ song and the whole thing is upbeat and catchy to the point that I can’t not dance and sing along the moment I hear those first few chords. Even ‘Habits  (버릇이 됐어)’, a song focused on the feeling of loss and longing that follows the end of a relationship, does so in a way that almost celebrates the pain as one of the beautiful, difficult parts of being young and growing up.

Day6

My favourite songs on the album are probably ‘Freely (Free 하게)’ and ‘Congratulations’ because they offer a feeling of liberation that I haven’t felt from a song in a very long time. I find myself grinning goofy-ly whenever I hear them ^^

To top off an already brilliant start for an excellent band, the members are all very active on social media with guitarist and vocalist Jae Park leading the pack and proving that there is, indeed, someone else in the world who thinks how I do but also, that he is possibly the funniest hashtagger out there.

Day6’s EP is available on iTunes and Apple music, and I really can’t recommend it enough! Now I just need to find some way of convincing them to come to England!

#Blightyneedstheswegchickentoo #Icanturnyouintopixelpeoplecrossstitchesifthatwillsomehowaidyourdecision

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What I’m listening to: 22nd November 2015

What I’m listening to: 22nd November 2015

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The last few weeks have been a revelation to me. A revelation in regards to exactly how diverse my music tastes can be. What started off as a little bit of curiosity following a very interesting recommendation by YouTube turned into a 3 month long obsession during which I have sampled more Korean Pop music than I had ever believed possible. And the song that set me on this incredibly satisfying tangent? ‘Back’ by the incredibly talented and wonderfully charismatic ‘INFINITE’

Why not give it a go? ^^ I am sure you’ll notice the brain-gasm inducing synchronicity of the dance routine which had me mesmerised from the very start!

DECAYS – Secret Mode – The Best Start to a Morning

DECAYS

When I woke up this morning to a message from my oldest friend, Allie, I was a little confused. It is quite unlike her to post on my Facebook wall about something but this news was definitely ‘Timeline’ worthy!

How it managed to escape my notice for such a long time I will never understand, but it would appear that Die from ‘Dir En Grey’ one of my all time favourite guitarists and a man I have been in love with since I was 16, has released a video for his new side project ‘DECAYS’ in which he is, not just a guitarist, but also a singer!!

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A bleary-eyed, 6am version of me very much appreciated being woken up to this news and listened to their new song ‘Secret Mode’ on repeat right up until the moment I walked into work! ^.^

The Video is available from Itunes for £1.89 here is a little teaser for your viewing pleasure 🙂 Now to stare lovingly at pictures of Die for the rest of the day!

What I’m listening to! – 19th May 2015

550455_426402460755498_67612896_n_zpsfd24a390Hello everyone!

It’s been a while! Things haven’t been all that sunny in life of late but I’m looking forward to a full and thorough recovery as May turns to June. I’ve missed you all immense amounts!

Today I’m feeling pretty tired so I was looking for something a upbeat to raise my spirits!

In two week’s time I will be celebrating my 25th birthday (yep, I am almost a quarter of a century old but still sound like a toddler, and yes I am a Gemini :D) To mark the occasion, Jack’s mum has bought us tickets to Hyper Japan!! For anyone who doesn’t know, Hyper Japan is a festival of Japanese culture with food, anime, gaming, fashion, dance, martial arts and even music including live performances from a number of Japanese artists, many of whom are using Hyper Japan as their UK debut. The festival spans 3 days in July and is based at ‘The O2’ in London. I will be attending on the Sunday and fully intend to leave just before the doors close for the day, full of food, laden with chibis and thoroughly satisfied!

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23rd February 2015 – What I’m listening to!

23rd February 2015 – What I’m listening to! untitled

I haven’t done a ‘What I’m listening to’ post in a while because I have basically been listening to the same thing over and over again but today I am so in love with my musical choice that I just had to share it with you all 🙂

While I was writing my Liebster Award post I was asked to tell a story about me, it was a great question because it really got me thinking and I ended up writing about my first ever gig. I felt so free as I danced wildly, thrashing about to the music and screaming until my throat was hoarse, and I cried like the world was ending and beginning all at once. Its one of those beautiful teenage moments that people write about but you don’t really understand until you experience it, one of those moments that makes you feel like your every ridiculous hormonal emotion coursing through your adolescent mind is perfectly valid. I will probably remember that day forever!

So while I was reminiscing about that wonderful day I started thinking about the music and before I knew it I was plugging in my headphones and blasting that album from my teens through the headphones as loud as I could.

Dir en Grey were the band that changed my perspective on music entirely and introduced me to Japanese music. I will always love this album as long as I live!

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Artist : Dir en Grey

Album : The Marrow of a Bone

28th January 2015 – What I’m listening to!

28th January 2015 – What I’m listening to! 

KIK_Site2014_Carousel-Images_on-tour-nowThings have been a little intense lately and it has been a while since I got the chance to do a ‘What I’m Listening To!’ segment but today I am particularly excited about my choices and I am feeling the urge to share!

For the days, weeks or months where things go from bad to worse I think it is important to inject a little bit of passion, emotion and escapism into your life. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, when I say I want to escape what I am looking for is something raw and emotional that I can throw myself into. I want to be overcome with the urge to thrash around hilariously, paying no heed to how ridiculous I might look and I want to sing along at such a volume that my throat bleeds and I lose my voice. There are any number of bands and any number of artists who can incite this kind of reaction in me but today I have pinpointed three fantastic albums which are helping me relieve the tension of a life that really shouldn’t be this complicated!

First up for acclaim is the beautiful, modern grunge-y blues band from Bath, ‘Kill it Kid’. I discovered this band from an EP a few years ago and fell completely and irrevocably in love with the unique voice of the male vocalist and guitarist, Chris Turpin. A voice this breath-takingly powerful needs to be heard to be believed and when accompanied by the hauntingly beautiful voice of the pianist Stephanie Ward, big guitars, awesome bass and phenomenal drumming, it becomes almost too much to handle. Every time I hear Kill It Kid the world seems to just fade away and I get goosebumps down my spine. Having been lucky enough to see them live and meet them in person I feel like I am personally invested in their success and I highly recommend everyone checks them out and prepares to be blown away!download

Artist: Kill it Kid 

Accompanying Kill it Kid on my ‘love-list’ today is the soundtrack from an anime so full of the joys of teenage angst, excitement and stupidity that I couldn’t help but warm to its craziness, ‘Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad’. A few weeks ago my partner and I demolished all 26 episodes of Beck in one sit-in and I have been addicted the soundtrack ever since! The music of Beck is raw, emotional and in some places nonsensical. Chiba wails into the mic like his life depends on it, Koyuki sweeps everyone off of their feet with his heartfelt rendition of ‘Face’ and Taira’s bass translates beautifully from screen to ear. I loved every moment of the series and I love this album just as much if not more! Check out my review of Beck:Mongolian Chop Squad here!

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Artist: Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad 

Finally, with Beck ringing in my ears, I have rediscovered a love which I had long ago forgotten, Nirvana. My partner is a massive Nirvana fan, he even has a Kurt Cobain tattoo so we do listen to them often and I have always had an appreciation for Kurt’s voice and the sort of recklessness of their music, however it is only in the last few days that I have realised just how much I love this music and just how good listening to it makes me feel. There are many things that music can do for a person, it can enlighten you, calm you down, get you excited there is literally no emotion that music can not inspire. Nirvana for me inspires a sense of freedom and encourages me to break away and remember who I am. I love it!

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Artist: Nirvana 

So now that I have bored you with senseless babble, please enjoy these YouTube clips with some of the best of today’s ear candy 🙂

 Kill it Kid – I’ll Be The First

Kill it Kid – Caroline

Beck: Mongolian Chop Squard – Brainstorm (English Dub version)

Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad – By Her (English dub version)

Nirvana – Negative Creep (live)

Nirvana – Rape Me (Live)

20th January 2015 – What I’m listening to!

incubusToday my world is covered in frost that is trying to pretend it’s snow. It looks super pretty but it makes even the simplest activity seem near impossible, for example: Driving to work (a 15 minute journey that for some reason this morning took 30), walking from the car to work (I would have found it A LOT easier if I had just scooted along on my bottom rather than repeatedly nearly landing on it) and of course opening the car door (why are these things sent to test me!); anyway, with the unprecedented cold weather making Petersfield look a town from a fairytale and my fingers firmly frozen to the keyboard, you’d think I’d be listening to something pretty, I’m afraid I’m not. Well I say its not pretty, as a matter of fact I do kind of think Brandon Boyd is pretty and I do love his voice so I guess that’s probably not 100% true…

Anyway, today I am listening to Incubus! Over the last few days, following our time spent with the boys of Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad, I have been craving big guitars and the upbeat rock of my teens, with this pursuit in mind I have rediscovered my love of bands like Nirvana, Foo Fighters and, of course, Incubus.

So here is today’s ear candy:

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Artist: Incubus

Album: Make yourself

Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad – Anime review

BeckMongolian Chop Squad – Anime Review

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One evening, whilst enjoying videos of the lovely girls from ‘K-on!’ we stumbled upon a very unfairly scathing YouTube review of the characters that we had grown to love. In this review they sited that ‘K-on!’ had no depth and that if you wanted to watch a real music anime you should check out a show called ‘Beck Mongolian Chop Squad’. Now, despite our initial irritation at the frankly uninformed dismissing of a show that has a genuinely very sweet feel-good vibe we decided we would give Beck a look. A day and a half later and we had completely demolished the entire 26 episode series and had located the soundtrack for our future listening pleasure.

Originally a manga series which ran between 1999 and 2008 boasting 103 chapters compiled into 34 volumes Beck has spawned an anime series, four soundtracks, a live-action movie, a video game and even a line of guitars.

beck_1Beck is the story of 5 teenagers who share a love for music and discover that they have wonderful chemistry as a band, this is the tale of the trials and tribulations that come with trying to make a name for yourself in the music industry. However this isn’t a simple anime of rehearsal montages and live performances in actual fact there are two main stories which play out to the back drop of overwhelming musical ambition revealing the true nature of the characters and the strength behind their friendships.

Koyuki (Yukio Tanaka) is a 14-year-old boy who has lived a completely boring and ordinary life. One day he saves a strange looking dog from being chased by some kids and that is when he meets the talented soon-to-be rock musician, 16-year-old Ryusuke Minami. Not long after their fateful meeting, Koyuki gains a growing fascination with rock music, especially the music of an American rock group called ‘The Dying Breed’. Stirred by Ryusuke’s encouragement, Koyuki begins to learn the guitar and finally finds something that makes him feel fulfilled.

The characters of Beck are delightfully flawed and thoroughly teenage, much of the story is a mess of hormones and koyukimistakes but that is part of the charm. Every time you think Koyuki will get ahead in life he is brought back down to earth with a thud but the way he picks himself up after every let down is inspired. You root for each character individually but you root for Koyuki above all else as he discovers his voice and gets ready to take the world by storm. Alongside rehearsing and learning songs, Koyuki comes up against the usual trials of a teenage boy, romance, exams and bullies cause him untold problems but he falls back on his music and the help of his friends allowing him to overcome every obstacle. I am incredibly impressed with the way he manages to keep his head together despite the continuous mixed signals he gets from just about every female character!

Alongside Koyuki’s story of growing up and finding himself is Ryusuke’s story. Ryusuke seems to be quite a grounded character at the beginning of the story, he has a confidence which allows him to blag his way into (and out of) a lot of situations and stands by his principles when it comes to music, choosing the leave his previous band in order to pursue ‘the best band in the world’. Music means the world to Ryusuke, who lived a somewhat troubled childhood in New York city. Now, following his return to Japan with his younger half-sister Maho, the guitar prodigy sets out to make it big and he won’t let anything get in his way. Continue reading