Uncle Bomb “INFINITE” (Review)


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Uncle Bomb made their debut in March with the mini-album “INFINITE“. Hiroyuki Yoshino and Daisuke Namikawa are the fourth seiyuu unit branching from Kiramune (Connect, Trignal, KAmiYU). What do they have of different in comparison with all other units within the company? How do they sound? These and more questions answered below.

Regular edition

Regular edition

Mini-album: INFINITE
Label: Kiramune
Release date: 23/03/2016 
Genre: J-Pop/Rock

Tracklist:

1. LOCUS
2. Yeah Oh!! 
3. Party Star
4. all the time ANNIVERSARY
5. stand by
6. 港区ラブロマンス

Track by track analysis:

1. LOCUS

In an alternative rock fashion, Uncle Bomb deliver an exciting performance in “LOCUS“. With an energetic instrumental resorting to mid to fast tempo drums, adding powerful guitar riffs and a reverberating bass performance, this track still has a bit of gentleness courtesy of the delicate piano melody looping in the background. In this bundle of energy the vocals add the edge and power to complete this track. Both Namikawa and Yoshino‘s vocals give so much to this track really making us sing along with them. Exciting, exciting, exciting! They kick off this single on the right foot. 5/5

2. Yeah Oh!! 

With cheeky guitar riffs as the opening the track adds synths and brass to the traditional rock triad. Pretty much on the brightest side, Uncle Bomb opt for something that isn’t done for quite a while among Kiramune artists – go full out bright with no regrets. On our side the track could have a toned down chorus to sound a little bit better and less annoying. On a funny note: the pre-chorus is actually done in an “ode to joy” fashion – listen to it – the melody is exactly the same for that part which makes this track hilarious. Other than being hilarious, this track lacks content and the chorus is absolutely annoying – especially when we reach the final chorus and have to listen to it on repeat. 3.5/5

3. Party Star

With an explosive intro, “Party Star” easily caught our attention. With an alternative rock sound mixing heavy guitar riffs and splashy drums with synths, the instrumental track is certainly a winner. For those of you that are suckers for amped up rock tracks with an alternative edge to it, this is the thing for you. If we thought “LOCUS” was great, “Party Star” certainly exceeds that classification. The mix between the rock elements and synths was made in a way that none of them ruin the track, in fact, it’s thanks to this instrumental that these lyrics can shine. Regarding the vocal performance: wow. Namikawa and Yoshino in unison is something not to mess with – they really blend well in the powerful chorus. 5/5

4. all the time ANNIVERSARY

Keeping up with their rock sound we now delve into a more classic rock sound. Keeping it simple with playful guitar riffs and the mid-tempo drums, a simple piano melody keeps playing the background battling against the funky bass. The result is this laid back classic rock / pop rock instrumental that although not being spectacular, it’s quite entertaining. Namikawa and Yoshino‘s mid-tones are enough to put a smile on our face – it sounds like one of those songs in which they had a lot of fun recording. On our end it is an entertaining performance. 4/5

5. stand by

Bringing back synths, “stand by” is yet another bright song in this release. Completely drifting away from the main sound of this mini-album, this track relying almost exclusively in synths and those aren’t certainly the best choice to make both singers shine. Yoshino is struggling right from the bat with his first verses. Namikawa has a sloppy performance also in the verses. It’s only in the chorus that they actually sound good. The instrumental, as we stated, lends a lot from the synths not only in the main synth line but also in the pads playing in the background. Drums are toned down to a minimum, guitars only serve the purpose of being with lots of effects on them – adding little not nothing to the track. Overall the track was a mess – vocal and instrumental wise. 3/5

6. 港区ラブロマンス

To complete this single we’re presented with a sort of “enka” feel to it. The shamisen mixed with the acoustic guitar’s rasgueado at the beginning was actually a nice touch to the track, but the instrumental is always changing – shifting between exciting to lyrical even to dramatical. We don’t know if this was intentional or not but this track even has ments within it – just like those spoken parts in Marginal #4 or Lagrange Point‘s songs – it was really unexpected. Vocally this track has a completely different registry for both of them. Namikawa is really deep in this track, completely in charge of those low tones while Yoshino goes towards a higher registry, impressing with his control. A complete surprise. Not the best track but entertaining enough as any song should be. 4/5

Final rating:

Showing us an energetic brand of pop-rock, Uncle Bomb presented us a playful mini-album. Although a bit annoying and repetitive at some parts, the mini-album actually kicked off in a pretty awesome way with “LOCUS” a hyped up rock track that really made us sing along in the chorus.

Then we got “Yeah Oh!!” sending us those awful debut Trignal vibes to us with the overly repetitive chorus and simple lyrics.

Party Star” was last good thing on this mini-album. With an amped up rock instrumental that got us on the edge of our seats, it was a track in which nothing failed – the vocal performance, even on the hardest parts in the chorus was flawless. Both Namikawa and Yoshino had that rock edge to their voices that made their performance sound natural.

all the time ANNIVERSARY  and 港区ラブロマンス showed us that this group can also delve into different genres and deliver something unexpected. Pop mixed with enka? Yeah, these guys tried it – it was our first time experiencing such thing.

stand by” made us cringe and wish it was on this mini-album. Starting from the shakey vocal performances and going to the awful instrumental, there was nothing really worth point out. Certainly a memorable track, but not for good reasons.

In the end this was an exciting first release from this unit. If Uncle Bomb grow as much as Trignal did in a span of two years, maybe we’ll have a great unit in the future.

INFINITE is available for purchase on CDJAPAN for all overseas fans.

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