Making their first appearance this year, the currently famous band ONE OK ROCK presents us with their new album 35xxxv. The band’s last work released last year was the single Mighty Long Fall/Decision that has many amazing tracks. So let’s get this review started.
This album is available in two editions: regular and limited (CD+DVD).
Album: 35xxxv Label: A-Sketch Release date:11/02/15 Genre: Punk-Rock/Pop-Punk
Take me to the top
Mighty Long Fall
Paper Planes (featuring Kellin from Sleeping with Sirens)
One by One
Stuck in the middle
Fight the night
Track by track analysis:
Kicking off the album in a mysterious yet melodic way we have 3xxxv5 that starts with a piano and macabre synths on the background, but let’s not forget the drums and the rest of the instruments that one by one come into the piece, putting it together. The addition of some synths almost at the end of the track were a little unexpected but noneless a good experiment by the band.
2- Take me to the top
Take me to the top starts off with the trade mark instrumental of ONE OK ROCK, the powerful guitars, the drums that don’t stop and not to forget the vocal work by Taka that never fails to impress. The double bass in this track as well as the guitar that are completely in “solo mode” alongside with the bassand the high pitched notes that Taka catches easily, are simply amazing. The guitar solo is very slow but heavy with all the elements that were needed, the drums, guitar and powerful bassline. This track has a little more of screamo than the usual for the band which for some people that’ll aake it a little less appealing. 4.5/5
3- Cry out
With a melodic guitar and drums that are overall a little slower than the previous songs, Cry out is a very catchy track. The drums and the bass are the main attraction again, but the guitar that keeps playing and getting some attention here and there in not to neglect. Taka and his transitions between the japanese and the english are simple perfect. Cry out is more like an anthem with lyrics that are meaningful if one listens to the track carefully. 5/5
Suddenly kicks off with the guitars then afterwards, the drums make its way into the instrumental piece that is more melodic and gives off a little of sadness, especially the lyrics. The guitar are really not that fast or technical but they are amazing and surely complement the whole instrumental piece. In this track the bass is almost muted by the drums and the guitar, it’s only during the solo that we can listen to the it clearly. 5/5
With a little of electronica and drum and bass elements, giving some highlight to the bass as well as the guitar, we start off this single. The distortions in the vocal track make this song one with a good start in which all the instruments will build up momentum only to explode in the chorus turning out to be as ear-catchy as ever. The solo shows us that they added some “heaviness” to their usual genre with the aggressive guitar riffs and unstoppable, fierce drums completing each other. This track featured in the live action movie “Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno”, premiering in Japan this August. 5/5
Heartache is ballad to the core. This type of track is a little unusual for ONE OK ROCK but it isn’t a bad addition. Once again the high pitched notes that Taka catches as easily as if he was breathing are blissfull and plus the guitar, is just turns into a very beatifull song. One certainly was not expecting a ballad in this album but I think it’s pretty unanimuous between the fans that it was a very good choice. 5/5
The guitars start this song alongside with the electronica synths, that quickly are overshadowed by the heavy guitar riffs and bassline that go “head to head” throughout the whole track and truth be told the bass in this track is indeed powerful. Despite the instrumental being a little heavier than the previous tracks this one is definitely one of the best songs in their album. 5/5
Decision kicks off in a different way than the previous song. In this one we start off with a choir that then gives place to Taka‘s vocal work and to accompany him we have the guitar that is simple but perfect, ending up to complete the whole instrumental. The breaking in the tempo provided by the drums in the chorus was a good way to captivate the listener. In this track the highlight, without a doubt, goes to the mesmerizing drums, drawing our focus from the other instruments to the mighty rhythmic drums. 4/5
9- Paper Planes
Paper Planes is a collaboration with the vocalist Kellin, from the of the North american band Sleeping with Sirens. With more electronica elements and voice distortions plus the drums and guitar that come one by one, this song is a little different from the usual, almost like this it was influenced by Sleeping with Sirens, instrumental wise. Maybe that’s what makes this track so difficult to listen to more than one time and any ONE OK ROCK fan will notice that this genre doesn’t suit the band that well, not because the other band isn’t good or anything but it just didn’t mix well together. This track was a complete miss despite the good instrumental, the rest just didn’t click well with each other. 3.5
Starting with a “jazzy” instrumental that quickly give place to the acoustic guitar to show off, we have Goodbye. This song since the beginning shows that it is a ballad with a slower tempo and let’s just say how much ONE OK ROCK sound well in their ballad tracks. Like Heartache, Goodbye is one of those ballads that anyone will listen to one, two ,three times or simply just listen to it on repeat and perhaps some will feel like crying because of the lyrics, but that just proves how well this track was created. Definitely the best track of this album.5/5
11- One by one
Once again starting off with electronica elements and with a powerful bassline we have One by one. This song is also usual from the band with fierce drums and guitar riffs, but with a little of violins before the chorus. This is without a doubt a track with a faster tempo especially if we compare it to the previous tracks. The guitar solo provided by the band is simply amazing aslo well put together and of course the bass was really showing off. 4.5/5
12- Stuck in the middle
Kicking off with a powerful instrumental and with voice distortions just like in the Mighty Long Fall. The guitar and drums are once again of big highlight, but we cannot forget the electronica synths that were implemented on their “sound” on Mighty Long Fall/Decision. The solo is awesome with both the guitar and the bass competing with each other. Stuck in the middle is definitely a track that will make one start to jump and head bang. 5/5
13- Fight in the night
To end the album we have Fight in the night which is a slower track with synth pads that calm one when listening to it. The instrumental at the begining is simply but well put together and the instruments will appear one by one. Unlike the other track this one doesn’t have a powerful guitar or bassline, instead it was given grandiosity with the drums. In the solo it’s when we finaly have the guitar and bass that were well incorporated. When you think this track is over you’ll have a surprise, while reaching the 10:25 minutes of the track you’ll notice that it still has more to it than you thought initially. After that we have an almost parody song, that looks like they are performing inside a bar. The way Taka is singing is simply funny and it’ll catch you off guard. 5/5
This album is really good and worth listening to, despite there being a black sheep, Paper Planes. ONE OK ROCK is a band that just keeps on improving with each and every time they release a new work. 35xxxv is without a doubt an album of growth for better or for worse, tracks like Take me to the top or Memories, Stuck in the middle or even Goodbye, really make this album one of the best released by the band. We cannot forget the black sheep in this album, Paper Panes, that the instrumental had a lot of potential but the rest just didn’t mix well together ending up making the track a complete fiasco when it could have been one of the best ones. All in all it was a good album with lots of ballads which one could think that maybe it was not such a good idea but trust me, it was good and it was worth the risk taken here. The only thing left to mention it that this japanese band is really gaining popularity off country which is an awesome thing and we cannot forget to mention that they are still growing at a fast pace and the fans can only look forward to see how much they actually did on their next work.
35xxxv is available on CDJAPAN for all overseas fans.