They’re @charisma_bot_co if you want to follow them!
Alfred Soto: Listening to a few Chuck Berry tunes persuaded me to give this riff-with-song a third listen, and insofar as it got me nodding by attaching its riff to the title hook. No reason it had to shimmy past the 3:30 mark, though.
David Sheffieck: The jittery energy is infectious, the rapping solid, the hook indelible. The production is an utter sugar rush, already too much at the intro and only doubling down from there; the climax reaches the kind of delirious, go-for-broke heights that few can attempt, much less pull off. I’m catching my breath, but I’m still ready for another go.
Katie Gill: Everything about this has the potential to be so dated, from the band’s name, to the sound of the guitars, to the fact that the chorus is based around the word “hashtag.” Thankfully, Charisma.com pushes RIGHT PAST THAT. The fun, funky sound transcends and pushes past the smaller, more dated aspects. Add in Itsuka’s insanely precise raps, and you’ve got a beautiful, bright, polished dance jam.
Ryo Miyauchi: Charisma.com’s top-notch delivery almost lets them off the hook but, sorry, a hashtag stinks of cheesiness no matter how prolific the musician. It’s a minor bug, though, for an otherwise bold statement of a chorus that plays as the centerpiece in a conversation about the IRL/URL divide.
Scott Mildenhall: In the past, Charisma.com have made music that’s more exciting than 95 per cent of songs that grace these pages, but this is disappointingly tame. Maybe it’s too demanding to ask that everything they do be as frenetic as “Otubone Rock” or “Suppliminal Diet”, but “#hashdark” feels ordinary by comparison. Many of the ingredients are still there — the crunching, the growling, the spinning — but they’ve been brought to a simmer, and it doesn’t have the same effect.
Jessica Doyle: Both the chorus and the guitar line, separately, get repetitive mighty quickly. If I had a lyrics translation at hand I’d be able to appreciate the point better; without it, and without Itsuka taking control by sheer force of will, this feels poppy and empty. I’m excited for the album (complete with Cibo Matto collaboration!) but I won’t be at all surprised if this turns out to be its weakest track.
Jonathan Bradley: Charisma.com have voices cut from stone that pound like they’re being struck against an anvil. On “#hashdark,” one of their lesser songs, those voices carve paths considerably more brilliant than the lower-carat funk guitar and a papery beat. The addition of a vocoder perks it up into a retro workout fit for indie disco night, but the repetition of the title wears quickly, particularly since it sounds like it might have warped into “hashtag” while we weren’t looking and is now reverberating like a banal viral tweet that keeps reappearing in your feed.
Mark Sinker: Half desolate, focused pragmatism, half tamped-down rage, Itsuka’s machine-gun deadpan so intuitively fused into Gonchi’s unrelenting plastic motorik you can’t tell which half comes from where. In an earlier jukebox Edward O invoked t.a.T.u.: and it’s true that when these two hit lift-off there’s a not dissimilar cruising ground-cam glide. Maybe the war they’re waging here isn’t as clear as it’s sometimes been before (unless it’s on being translated tidily); maybe that’s just my fault for not knowing Japanese.
Will Adams: “#hashdark” appeals to me in much the same way that Avril Lavigne’s “My World” does. Both couch a potentially corny concept — for Lavigne, hometown rapping; for Charisma.com, hashtag references — in an infectious guitar riff and an unabashed declaration of “this is me.” As is typical for them, Charisma.com bump up the electronics to 11, and as a result they maintain a consistent energy that is captivating to hear.