OLDCODEX returns once again, before the year ends, with another single. This time around the pop-punk band delivers us Scribble, and Beyond featuring the opening theme for the Kuroko’s Basketball Winter Cup Summary movie and the Kuroko’s Basketball Winter Cup Complete Works SPECIAL TIP-OFF theme song. The band’s previous releases were Deal with and Fixed Engine, both of them more punk-rock oriented, so it is only fair that the fans expect something great this time as well. Without any further ado, let’s get this review started.
More information regarding the single.
Single: Scribble, and Beyond Label: Lantis Release date: 30/11/16 Genre: Pop-punk/Punk-rock
1 - Scribble, and Beyond 2 - Calling 3 - The Experience
Track by track analysis:
1- Scribble, and Beyond
Kicking off the opening song of Kuroko’s Basketball Winter Cup Summary movie with a distorted piano sample in a loop, we have the main point of the intro of Scribble, and Beyond. As a back up, the guitar and the heavy bass-line add a little more darkness to then the whole instrumental piece. Although it is common for OLDCODEX to have a strong focus on the drums, this time around the guitar and the bass, alongside the piano loop, are the stars of the show. Even though the pre-chorus is slow tempo-ed, it manages to be heavier than the chorus, for instance. On the other hand, although their solos are usually good, this time around we must say that, though the band has been increasing the presence of electronica elements such as synths, and for the most part they managed to make a nice fusion between the elements, this time around not only did they fail or did so poorly but they seem to have exaggerated the instrumental. With this blend the band not only does it have more mainstream sound but it also strays away, even more than in their last releases, from their original genre.
With a clear influence of the previous elements that the band has been incorporating into their “sound”, namely the electronica and dirty synths mixed in with the heavy and punk genre, this track’s solo is overcrowded, with a lot going on: the dirty synths, the guitar and the bass, plus the drums and Ta_2’s vocal performance which is not bad but, the fans will vouch for it, he’s done a better performance in previous releases. The only part where the fusion of elements was well done was in the last few seconds of the track and at the beginning. 3/5
Starting with a electronic intro, Calling quickly shows its true colors with a heavy instrumental, and fear more enjoyable performance that in the previous track. In this instrumental piece the guitar is on point, as well as the bass which is in “solo mode” while trying to keep up with the rest of the instruments. Although the instrumental piece in itself is practically simpler than the previous one, this one is preferably better. All the hard work in this track to bringing an eerie and dark aura is being done by the bass and guitar, and with that said the solo although simply it has a certainly emotion and quality to it. However, we must point out the fact that this track ends in a rather abrupt manner, which leaves one to think that this track had more potential. 4/5
3- The Experience
To end this single we have The Experience, Kuroko’s Basketball Winter Cup Complete Works SPECIAL TIP-OFF theme song. Going into the same path as the previous track, we have a clearly typical song from the band with the guitar and the bass being the fulcral points of the instrumental piece, especially the guitar which seems to be in solo, here and there. The Experience chorus’ is good in terms of the instrumental piece, the problem is when we analyse Ta_2’s performance. Not only is he singing in a such a peculiar way but also because of that he sounds out of tune. On the other hand, the solo makes one remember the solos of a rock band, with a slow yet melodic performance. To add up to this, the track seems to not progress any more other than the chorus, which by the second time you listen to it, it’ll most likely annoy you by its repetitiveness. 3.5/5
Scribble, and Beyond is an overall disappointment, althought Calling is a good track, the rest of the single has a number of aspects to address. Not only did the band stray away even more than in previous releases from their genre, but it also managed to exaggerate or the instrumentals or the way Ta_2 sings. This were the main issues in this single.
Scribble, and Beyond is a track that showed some potential, however the solo changed the tide. Not only is it overwhelming, since there’s too much going on, but it also isn’t not well mixed. OLDCODEX have been incorporating more and more electronica elements into their tracks with each release, which mean they should already know what they’re doing, even so this single just proved them wrong. If they wanted to add the synths and the distorted piano sample, maybe it would’ve been best to just not complicated the instrumental piece. This solo seems like the typical case of wanting to have a lot going on at the same time, and failling in doing so.
The Experience, was the same thing. The track started off with lots of potential, but it quickly went down the drain. In Scribble, and Beyond the problem was the instrumental whereas in this track, the problem is Ta_2. Not that we are telling that he doesn’t know how to sing, however the problem is the way he chose to sing, hence why we mention the fact that sometimes he sounds like he’s out of tune.
Calling on the other hand is the MVP in this single. Not only is the instrumental good, especially the solo which- as mentioned before- makes one remember a solo by a rock band, but Ta_2 is also singing well. The only downside in this track is the fact that the ending is abrupt.
“Scribble, and beyond” is available for purchase for all overseas fans on CDJAPAN.