Monday, August 1st, 2011

T.M.Revolution – Flags

If this were a shoot ’em up, it’d be a late stage…


Pete Baran: Boshi-boshi J-Pop which to my untrained ear could either be Japan’s entry for the Asiapeon Song Contest or is a massively elongated anime theme tune. The slightly slow-to-anger track soon gets to grips with its relentless beat, but the multiple climaxes and a chorus that always feels like the end makes it feel a little too pre-meditated. It’s a safe bet that some other medium is using it — there is barely a Takanori track that isn’t a theme tune to something or other, but it does feel a bit like forty seconds stretched over four minutes.

Brad Shoup: I can’t constitutionally resist something this gonzo. Jumps straight into the refrain, which then eases into some new-romantic emoting. Mr. Nishikawa frequently strains, to be sure, as does the deployment of that electro-koto, but this is bombast of the insanest order, an odd programmed cousin to power metal.

Iain Mew: This has such a great sound. I’m sure it has different antecedents, but to me it sounds like the result of taking emo, keeping all the best bits (the energy and theatricality) and replacing the annoying stuff with high-tempo electronic beats and even more ridiculous guitar solos. It’s so exhilarating, and it’s structured well to keep up the momentum through a series of increasingly dramatic surges.

Katherine St Asaph: The spirit of Panic! at the Disco’s vocalist has been blown across the Pacific! And he tumbled over himself enough times in flight that he’s developed perma-vibrato, gotten metal wedged all up his sides and soaked up too much still-kinetic energy to stop moving! And somehow we’re not supposed to find this exhausting.

Jer Fairall: Gargantuan, sugary and whiplash-inducing hyperactive. I’m almost willing to accept this as some kind of exaggerated parody of pop music, but even four minutes of this is just too exhausting for my critical faculties to be anything but shredded to ribbons by the end. 

Michaela Drapes: Clearly, there is nothing more unpleasant than being trapped inside a video game with a tiny Japanese Bruce Dickinson wannabe. I recently had a large amount of dental work done, and the sound of the drill inside my head was more pleasant than the interminable 3:55 I spent listening to this song. One point for the tinkly synth bit that inspired some air keyboarding.

Edward Okulicz: I’m a fan of T.M.Revolution – his 2004 album Seventh Heaven is a monster, and what I usually like is that his songs are such a rollercoaster; they don’t ease you gently in, they simply attack you with hooks. As on “Flags,” that can be a mixed blessing — it bludgeons you up front with its chorus, but what it has in excitement it lacks in interest. It’s not a particularly compelling chorus and instead sounds like background music from a long-forgotten video game. Video game music is art to me, but this is just average.

Ian Mathers: About the fifth time I played “Flags,” I happened to be playing an old fashioned shmup. “Flags” sounds amazing while you’re in the midst of bullet hell, but every listen I’ve had since has paled significantly in comparison. So it’s good that I found the songs meatier, but a little disappointing that outside of that setting I can’t summon up the same enthusiasm.

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