Don't you just hate spoilers? I do, too. That's why I always try to include warnings. However, I sometimes ramble a bit too much here or there and maybe a few (or many) key plot points slip without me giving proper notice. So I'd like to include a blanket spoiler warning for the weary internet travelers of the world: Here There Be Spoilers. You've been warned.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Maximum the Hormone - Buiikikaesu (2007)

I have posted about this band before, but that was before I had actually purchased an album. Thanks to YouTube I had listened to a few of their songs, but after discovering their song Koi No Mega Lover and giving it a few dozen listens I decided to put up the cash and buy the damn album once I discovered that song was indeed on it. At a price of 35 bucks, this is just about the most I have ever paid for a single disc CD. But it is pretty worth it. That's what I think.

And this CD is a legitimate Japanese CD. All the lyrics are in Japanese. So are the song notes. Well, I am assuming they are song notes, but I don't know for sure since I can't read straight-up Japanese. They aren't even written in romanized Japanese. By that I mean that the album title really isn't Buiikikaesu but ぶっ生き返す. And the band's name isn't Maximum the Hormone or even the romanized Makishimamu Za Horumon, but マキシマムザホルモン. Unless you have memorized the symbols then you won't know which is which on the CD. This may sound obvious, but this is one of those things that I didn't realize until I actually got the CD. I was expecting to be able to read the writing even if I didn't exactly understand the words.

But the Japanese don't really need to write in romanized Japanese since... Well, they're Japanese. Romanization really only helps people who speak English to read Japanese. Although the Japanese are taught the process of romanization in school. Anyway, it is pretty obvious that this is an imported product. Although there are a few English words thrown around.

However, I am not really a person to give lessons on something I don't really know. I am just passing on tidbits of info that I think are neat.

As far as the music itself... Well, let me tell you about the musicians themselves.

The bassist Ue-chan is a beast and you can tell that he is influenced by Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. It is fairly easy to hear him over the harsh vocals and roaring guitars. Chu Chu Lovely Muni Muni Mura Mura Purin Purin Boron Nururu Rerorero is a pretty good example of what I am talking about. The bass on that song is pure funk. Even though the song is pop.

Ryo the guitarist and clean vocalist is a hook master. Whether it is the face-smashing opening riff of Zetsubou Billy or the Sabbath-esque opening riff of Shimi, the guy is just damn good. And just when you think you know him and his style you'll hear a song like Koi No Mega Lover which sort of combines the grinding mosh riff with a mix of pop. The verses being mosh (something you'd expect on a Slipknot album) with the pre-choruses and choruses being something like Poison mixed with the All-American Rejects. Kuso Breakin No Lilly also showcases some serious funky pop. Ryo's vocals are really good, too. He is a good foil for Nao and Daisuke-han.

Daisuke-han is the harsh vocalist for this band. Initially, when I first heard his vocals, I didn't care for them. Basically, he has a screeching rapping style that isn't for everyone. I kinda think of his voice as a bit of a Chuck Schuldiner meets early Corey Taylor (the rapping Corey Taylor). Although he is still my least favorite member of the band, I can say that he does fit the vibe of the band. What he does he does well. No, I couldn't understand a single word he sung even if it was in English, but he does fit the mood of the band. I mean, those heavy mosh pit riffs during Zetsubou Billy or Buiikikaesu!! go great with Daisuke-han's shrill delivery. But Daisuke-han doesn't just rap because he can do the guttural growl with the best of them. It's heavy even though it is a bit odd. And that fits Maximum the Hormone to the T.

Now I've come to Nao the drummer. She (yes, she) is an absolute boss on the drums. I mean, I know this is going to sound sexist, but I almost find it hard to believe that she is the drummer. My first impression was that the drummer might be some big hairy-chested dude who lifts weights and shits razors blades in his spare time. Not so. The way she sings like a Japanese pop idol sends the point further home. You wouldn't ever guess that she can play the drums up there with the likes of Slayer's Dave Lombardo. I know that sounds sexist but it isn't intended to be. I am simply impressed. Not just because she is a woman, but because singing the way she does and playing drums the way she does is as impressive as it is odd.

Calling them the Japanese System of a Down doesn't quite cover it. 

1. Buiikikaesu!!
2. Zetsubou Billy
3. Kuso Breakin No Breakin Lilly
4. Louisiana Bob
5. Policeman Benz
6. Black \ Power G Men Spy
7. Akagi
8. Kyokatsu
9. Bikini. Sports. Ponchin
10. What`s Up People?!
11. Chu Chu Lovely Muni Muni Mura Mura Purin Purin Boron Nururu Rerorero
12. Shimi
13. Koi No Mega Lover

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