GRANRODEO “Memories” (Review)

GR memories

GRANRODEO‘s “Memories” is finally out. This is the final opening theme to be featured on “Kuroko’s Basketball” anime and the hardrockers second single to be released this year.

We take a look at this single in hopes that the band has got their act together from the previous two singles’ decrease of quality, in what is a drought of really good singles dating late 2013.

Regular edition
Regular edition
Single:メモリーズ
Label: Lantis
Release date: 03/06/15 
Genre: J-Rock

Tracklist:

1.メモリーズ
2.僕だけの歌
3.日常ホライズン
4.メモリーズ (OFF VOCAL)
5.僕だけの歌 (OFF VOCAL)
6.日常ホライズン (OFF VOCAL)

Track by track analysis:

1.メモリーズ

Memories” kicks this album off in the best way, e-Zuka‘s guitar solo right from the beginning of the track leading the listener towards the first verses will grab you atention automatically, if it didn’t grab your attention here just listen to the guitar solo – truly mesmerizing – . Joining in this hardrock mix we find the powerful drums giving us glimpses of what sounds like a mix of the drum parts in “can do” and “rimfire“, two of the band’s greatest singles and some of the singles where the drums really shined a lot. The bass goes thick in the background, shinning in the chorus with its groove. All of these elements get just the right bits of synths to make this one of the best instrumentals GRANRODEO has released in the past two years. If the instrumental piece didn’t impress you enough, KISHOW‘s vocal performance is just as powerful and energetic as ever, with perfect vocal execution on both mid to high notes. Mix everything and you get the best track released by GRANRODEO since “偏愛の輪舞曲“. 5/5

2.僕だけの歌

Keeping up with the fast beats and addictive rhythms, “Boku dake no Uta” gets into the punk-rock groove with fast paced drums, tight, fast guitar riffs and reverberating bass. With an instrumental as fast and hyped as this one it’s almost impossible not to be affected by it. The vocals match both the rhythm and the speed of the track, keeping the energy flow high. Punk-rock tracks by GRANRODEO are rare but this one was pulled off with flying colors. It’s raw punk-rock and we love it! 4.5/5

3.日常ホライズン

Completely breaking the pace set by the previous tracks we take a look at “Nichijou Horizon“, a track that is immersed in a melodic, funky harmony, more laidback in comparison with the fast-paced songs in this single. Slow paced drums, melodic guitar riffs, jazzy piano and bass make this an entertaining, fresh instrumental, at the same time the perfect place for KISHOW‘s vocals to shine. Also e-Zuka‘s guitar sounds so rich really adding up to the already rich and enveloping instrumental. GRANRODEO has done before we’re presented in the final stages of the track with a choir – something that isn’t interely new to GR‘s fans – just take a look at 桜色第2ボタン. In the end this was the best track to complete this single. 4.5/5


Final rating:4.5 stars

GRANRODEO took two years to redeem themselves (we’re not counting with Karma to Labirynth since the album sounds more like a Best Of than with a proper album) from their decreace in quality with both 変幻自在のマジカルスター and PUNKY FUNKY LOVE.

To think that the last really good single the band had released was back in 2013 left some fans thinking that the band maybe had hit a wall and their creativity was suffering in the process but everything worked out in the end.

Memories” is GRANRODEO‘s first big single release in the past two years, period. It has all the right elements together not only giving us that vintage rock sound that has been GR‘s trademark for 10 years, but also has the punch and power that only KISHOW‘s lyrics and vocal execution have. The past two singles had a lot of experiments going on with their sound, in the end the singles sounded fragmented, with unusual choruses or verses and over-the-top ideas that failed to deliver something memorable for their fans.

As far as we can tell there are two faces to GRANRODEO: the pop-rock and the hardrock. And although GRANRODEO sound great with their pop-rock like on “Go for it“, it’s their hardrock in “Rose Hip-Bullet” and “tRANCE“, for example, that made them the big rock band they are today. “Memories” shows KISHOW and e-Zuka in their best to celebrate their 10 years of career as GRANRODEO.

Memories” is available for purchase on CDJAPAN for all overseas fans.

Author: Vanessa Silva (midorin)

The Hand That Feeds HQ founder and music reviewer writing about Japanese music since 2010. Metalhead. Gamer. Based in Cascais, Portugal. Mamoru Miyano's "Orpheus" was the catalyst to start writing about male seiyuu music.