MUCC - T.R.E.N.D.Y -Paradise from 1997-

review - 07.04.2015 20:01

Everything you might have expected from MUCC and more!

On June 24th, MUCC’s new mini-album T.R.E.N.D.Y. -Paradise from 1997- hit Japanese stores. The songs on this release started long before the band’s recent European tour, F#CK THE PAST, F#CK THE FUTURE. This is a concept album inspired by music of the 1990s, but it also offers a great overview of the band’s inspirations and activities throughout their career.

MUCC have been active for 18 years already. The year mentioned in the title of T.R.E.N.D.Y. -Paradise from 1997- is also the year the band got started. Since then, they’ve created songs of all kinds and genres. They also tried out many different music styles. Having started as a very dark band with depressive, heavy songs and an image inspired by eroguro style, they’ve gradually moved towards lighter rock. Thereafter, MUCC started to incorporate more electronic sounds into their music, making it more suitable for dancing. Now, they’ve ended up somewhere in between, creating their own very positive style.

Each of those episodes in their career has its fans, but what happens when you mix them all in one track? Catastrophe, one might say – but no. In fact, the effect is one of the more interesting of the band's recent works. Suiren is something that would probably result if you cut through MUCC's entire musical history. In this track you will find everything from darkness to lyricism, from heavy growls to electronic elements, from danceable parts to headbanging. And the most important thing – it works! All the elements are well-combined and melt smoothly into one another. The track is almost eight minutes long, but you won’t notice the length, because it’s very dynamic and never gets boring. It’s the pure magic of MUCC in one track!

Mixing the new and old is very common on this album. D.f.D. (Dreamer from Darkness) has a metalcore feeling; mixing heavy, headbanging parts with lighter moments of singing. The heavier parts offer a good occasion to observe how Tatsuro’s screams and growls have improved. AKI from SID also participated in recording this track, providing background vocals along with a few others, and these voices are a nice addition to those of YUKKE, SATOchi and Miya.

More screams and metalcore influences can be found in HATEЯ. This song seems to be inspired by the music of KoЯn, and the reversed R in the song title might be some kind of clue to this. The lyrics of HATEЯ reflect on the egotism and callousness of people nowadays, who only seek cheap thrills and news to share on social media. The song has a good, heavy feeling and suits the album’s theme well.

There are also two lighter songs on T.R.E.N.D.Y: B.L.U.E ~Tell me Kafka~ and RAINBOW. Both lack screams and heaviness, but their melodies, based on lilting guitars and light drumming, flow freely. Both songs seem to complete each other and evoke very positive energy. Randez-vous is similar but more energetic. The song’s distinguishing feature is its inclusion of 8-bit music; chiptune music, inspired by the soundtrack of early console games, that was quite popular in the early 1990s. Thanks to this, Randez-vous is not only catchy but also pretty original in terms of melody.

In the end, the album returns to heavier sounds. TONIGHT is famous from the European tour, because it was played at the end of each concert, leaving fans feeling satisfied but exhausted from jumping. This is another long and complex track, but unlike Suiren, it has heavier rhythms. There are also some slowdowns in this song, which contrast well with the dramatic screams from Tatsuro later on. Again, many guest artists recorded backing vocals for this track, and thanks to that, the dynamic of the song is even more profound.

We can only wonder what prompted this concept album based on the music of the 1990s. Maybe it was the fact the European tour was in sight, and the band had to look through their works to find their best songs to play. Maybe it was their looming 20th anniversary that made the band think about their past and future. Who knows? The most important thing is, the effect is more than satisfying. T.R.E.N.D.Y. is a unique and splendid release. Each track has elements contributing to the album’s main theme but also some characteristics of MUCC’s present and past styles. T.R.E.N.D.Y. -Paradise from 1997- contains all that MUCC was, is, and will hopefully continue to be.

This album is already available for digitally download thanks to Gan-shin Records. It was released physically in Germany and France on July 3rd, and on July 10th in UK and other European countries. The CD includes a booklet with English translations of the songs added to this release and hidden track waiting for you. So, if you’ve complained about lack of darkness and heaviness in MUCC’s recent works – stop now, and get this album! If you ever complained that MUCC’s music has become dominated by electronics – stop now, and get this album! If you ever wondered if it’s worth getting know MUCC – do not hesitate to get this album!

And before you do, you can watch an excerpt of the music video for Suiren below:

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