UVERworld “Nano Second” (review)

ナノ・セカンド“(…) the fact that their sound, besides being so unusual, it’s so easy to identify, is one of their strongest points.”

UVERworld is, today after having released seven studio albums and twenty five singles with considerable success, one of the most popular rock bands in Japan. The numbers show this as clean as crystal:  they have sold two million records worldwide.

UVERworld’s newest single “Nano Second” has hit the stores on 18/12/2013, just in time for Christmas. The twenty-fifth single by the talented eclectic rock band known for not following any specific genre is back. A rock band where having a sax and synths working together is as normal as it could be, not only that but they blend perfectly with a more rock focused instrumental provided by the drums, guitars and the piercing vocals by frontman TAKUYA∞.

Now for the details regarding the single:

Single: Nano Second
Label: Sony Music Entertainment
Genre: J-Rock
Release Date: 18/12/2013

Tracklist:

1. ナノ・セカンド
2. LIFE
3. DEJAVU

Track by track analysis:

1 – ナノ・セカンド

The title track ナノ・セカンド or “Nano Second” is an interesting track. Starting off with the harmonica sounds a bit bold but quickly the synths drive the song with a bit of dubstep to the first verse. Strong vocal work by Takuya helps building up the song to the explosive drums and guitar riffs. With outstandingly calm verses the song always builds up and completely explodes on the chorus where the guitars and drums go wild. The synth work is pretty good with the pads giving a relaxing feel to the song and when we reach the chorus the synths are on top of their game, blending all the instruments showing the incredibly eclectic instrumental drawing such an incredible power from the song. Strong track and a good way to start off the single. 4.5/5   

2 – LIFE

“LIFE” is one of those songs that has “classic UVERworld” written all over it. The instrumental work is once again overwhelming with the electric and acoustic guitars showing us the way throughout most of the song. The drums are fast, precise and as technical as they could get with double bass throughout great part of the song. The vocal work is flawless with Takuya hitting all the notes you put in front of him. The song sounds almost like a “3 songs into one” with the all calm and introspective pre-chorus verses, the strong and speedy chorus and the slightly slower outro where the piano and bass come on top of the rest of the instruments. 4.5/5

3 – DEJAVU

The highlight of the single “DEJAVU” is such an addictive track by instrumental only. If you listen to the whole piece with the vocal track the song gets even “catchier”. A full throttle eclectic rock song with the already traditional UVERworld instrumental with the fabulous saxophone work mixed with synths, the raging guitars, aggressive drums and piercing vocals giving life to one of UVERworld’s best songs released so far. A great song from start to finish. 5/5

Final rating: 4.5/5

UVERworld are on top of their game with this single release. By far a stronger release than the previous released “Fight For Liberty / Wizard CLUB” that managed to fail to impress. “Nano Second” is a strong single showing the best UVERworld have to offer: multitude of instruments, strong vocals plus a range and freshness on their sound when you look at the J-Rock panorama and clearly a band on their own league where competition is nowhere to be found. Their sound might not sound new for some since, after a few listens to their albums and singles you start getting a feel of their “genre” and with that you can without problem identify this band. But the fact that their sound, besides being so unusual, it’s so easy to identify, is one of their strongest points. The usage of more jazz-oriented instruments like the saxophone and contrabass that add that bit of edge that all rock music need together with the dawn of electronica synths and voice manipulation make this band a one-of-a-kind group that knows well how to blend instruments and make the instrumental pieces sound good in the process. This is one of those singles that we simply recommend anyone looking for something fresh and with edge in the music industry.

This is rock, this is electronica, this is industrial and this is jazz… This is UVERworld.

Nano Second” is available for purchase on CDJAPAN for all overseas fans.

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Author: midorin

The Hand That Feeds HQ founder and music reviewer writing about Japanese music since 2010. After a 6 month stint in Macau SAR, I am back to being based in Cascais, Portugal. Mamoru Miyano's "Orpheus" was the catalyst to completely focus on writing about male seiyuu music.