Thursday, 19th July 2018. 1:50:30am ET
Reviews CD Reviews Alternative, Indie Rock Guittar Vader- Happy East
Artist: Guitar Vader
CD Title: Happy East
Label: Plugs House
Reviewer: Joshua Heinrich
Date: 6/8/05

Sporting an electronic-infused indie rock sound with a healthy dose of J-pop, Japan's Guitar Vader is back with Happy East, the follow-up to 2003's Dawn on Plugs House. Those not directly familiar with the band's work may recognize them from their spectacular contributions to the Jet Grind Radio and Jet Set Radio Future videogame soundtracks. Switching between the laid back male vocals of Ujuan Shozo and the childlike timbre of female vocalist/guitarist Miki Tanabe (not to mention switching between English and Japanese), the band's sound is rather stylistically diverse but always interesting. From quirky electronic compositions to hip, infectious indie rock to more serious mellower rock material, the 8 songs that make up Happy East cover a relatively wide range while remaining fairly consistent in quality.

The disc leads with its best, "She's So Heavy", a groovy rocker whose laid-back, bass-driven, slick demeanor is part modern indie rock and part retro psychedelic cool. The following "Sister Devil", on the other hand, is a plodding bass-driven rock offering with an excellent pop chorus set to a trip-hop beat. The album's title track is a nice synth string accented ballad fronted by Miki, while the delightfully quirky instrumental "Suspense" blends odd programmed analog electronics with guitar and keyboard leads. "Age", based on a simple but captivating bass melody, is an excellent indie number with a strong chorus, followed by "Ape Sound", another killer rock standout with a somewhat heavier distorted riff, hip electronics, and interesting vocal processing/layering. The upbeat, up-tempo rock and spectacular slower bridge of "Morrison House" is then contradicted by "Day Break", a mellow, sunny retro closer slightly reminiscent of Puffy (AmiYumi) complete with snapping.

Overall, Happy East is a very strong album with quite a few standout tracks. As with many Japanese full-length releases, it's more than a little on the short side (clocking in at under half an hour), but Guitar Vader fans and those that like their hook-laden, infectious indie rock or J-pop with a small side order of inventive quirkiness should certainly check it out.

 

Guitar Vader website: www.guitarvader.com

  

Banner
Advertisement
Banner
Advertisement
Banner
Advertisement
Banner
Advertisement

Radio Grave Concerns Ezine

Listen now!
Banner
Banner
Advertisement

Keep GC strong !

Maintaining Grave Concerns Ezine takes time and money.
To help, you can donate one time:

Or, help with a monthly gift:


Grave Concerns Ezine Grave Concerns Ezine

Who's Online

We have 152 guests online

Podcast

Podcast Feed

Free Downloads

Banner
Advertisement
Banner
Advertisement
Banner
Advertisement
Banner
Advertisement