GRANRODEO are back with a new single. KISHOW and e-Zuka bring us “Punky Funky Love“, single that is featured as the opening theme on Kuroko’s Basketball 3rd season.
What is expected of one of the best Hardrock bands in Japan? New sound or more of the same while keeping their usual quality? Let’s check it out with this review!
Single: Punky Funky Love Release date: 28/01/2015 Label: Lantis Genre: Rock
1 - Punky Funky Love 2 - 追憶の輪郭 3 - wish
Track by track analysis:
1 – Punky Funky Love
Going towards a more alternative rock track, Punky Funky Love makes us remember how awesome was “Brush the scar lemon” and “Crack Star Flash“, it’s a GRANRODEO‘s daring funky rock fill with powerful drumming, the right amount of synths (barely noticeable), impressive guitar riffs and basslines to die for. It’s lacks a bit in excitement though, like some of their previous hits that had that “hymn” aura with just the first guitar riffs, but e-Zuka compensates that lack with a mesmerizing guitar solo in the outro and KISHOW‘s flawless vocals – those seem to be at their best right now. 4/5
2 – 追憶の輪郭
Slowing down a bit we’re presented with the highlight in this release. Jazzy drumming, melodic guitar work, piano to ease in the ears and a funky, funky bass in a track that really brings out GRANRODEO in their best – both with the jazzy instrumental piece and with the flawless, angelic vocal work provided by our well known KISHOW. Great lyrics, laidback instrumental and breath of fresh air in GRANRODEO‘s repertoire full of great tracks but that lacked a bit of this laidback sound. We’d be lying if we didn’t make this comparison but this track just remind us of SID‘s work so far (one of the best Japanese alternative rock bands around). e-Zuka‘s jazzy guitar work really plays a massive role in this track alongside the spellbinding bass. Incredibly beautiful work. The best 5:24 minutes spent. 5/5
3 – wish
As we reach the end of this single we find “wish“, a mid-tempo rock powerballad that kicks off in a pretty exciting way, hinting off a bit towards the thoughts of – “is this going to be a hymn-like track?” – but, besides the fact that this isn’t a powerful track – at least instrumentally like some of the more hardrock tracks in GR‘s repertoire, it’s also not that far away from being a hymn-like track. Its slow paced but technical drums, the dexterous guitar work and the always on point bass show us yet another side to GRANRODEO in this song. It’s a beautiful track, especially in the chorus where KISHOW‘s vocals show all their splendor and in the outro with the highly emotional guitar solo but doesn’t show much more besides that, it’s actually a great track to listen to but that will certainly wear out a little too fast for some listeners. 4/5
It’s obvious that GRANRODEO has released better singles over these past few years, Punky Funky Love just doesn’t show us nothing of great change in GRANRODEO‘s sound – that has been sounding a bit off in our opinion since the release of 変幻自在のマジカルスター, back in 2014 – and the years of really impressive, aggressive and powerful hardrock seem to be well far back in history with these last two singles (exception is the jaw droppin’ “Karma to Labyrinth“). The band has tried to show us a different sound, bit by bit we start to listen to some new elements in their sound but the quality of their sound has certainly suffered a bit in these past few years. Still, a single usually doesn’t show much about where the band’s sound is going to so we’ll refrain from making further comments about it and wait for yet another single or album to really see where GRANRODEO‘s sound is going to. Punky Funky Love sure has its moments: the funky jazzy 追憶の輪郭 really left a big impression not only with the big change in genres between the tracks featured in this release but also with the amazing work behind both the instrumental and vocals.
Not a bad single but certainly not one of the best in GRANRODEO‘s repertoire, there’s way too many mixed feelings regarding it.
Punky Funky Love is available for purchase on CDJAPAN for all overseas fans.