ŹOOĻ make their debut with a powerful single that has sure made a strong impression among Idolish 7‘s fans.
If you’re only now getting to know ŹOOĻ, here’s a brief intro:
ŹOOĻ consists of Yuuya Hirose, Takashi Kondo, Subaru Kimura, Koutaro Nishiyama. They are a group unlike any other in the Idolish 7 universe. They don a mature, dark and edgy sound that sets them apart from most units. Their unconventional concept (rooted in madness and destruction, a group that will threaten the idol world) has stirred a lot of interest both among domestic and overseas Idolish 7 players.
Title: Poisonous Gangster Label: Lantis Release date: 30/08/2017 Genre: Pop/Rock/Industrial
1. Poisonous Gangster 2. LOOK AT... 3. Poisonous Gangster (Off Vocal) 4. LOOK AT... (Off Vocal)
Track by track analysis:
1. Poisonous Gangster
“Poisonous Gangster” brings to the table an edgy sound that is quite hard to find these days in the music business, at least done in such an overwhelming way like this one. It’s a sound reminiscing of the early 00’s daring K-pop sound or even the late 90’s western pop that some groups embraced. Dark guitar riffs and licks, eerie synths and piano melodies plus slow paced percussion, create a powerful ambience that is hard not to get enthranced by. On vocal duty we find Subaru Kimura taking the lead, performing with such a quality that we weren’t expecting. The same can be said about Yuuya Hirose‘s vocals, the counter part to this fierce performance. 5/5
2. LOOK AT…
LOOK AT… is not your typical pop group song, as matter of fact, this song is incredibly far from being a pop song. Heavy guitars, powerful double bass drums, melodic piano parts, everything seems to come from an early alternative nu-metal/90’s anthem rock band instead of a pop group. This sound fits well with ZOOL‘s daring demeanor. This might seem like a small detail but the outro made us beg for more yet little did we know that the song would end right there. Regarding the vocal performances we need to point out that Kimura‘s raw and rough vocals vs Hirose‘s melodic ones is such a nice sounding mix. There’s a gentle, melodic touch in the middle of such a high tension group, it’s a refreshing touch that will certainly impress some people. On another note: you can tell by the lyrics – that do have cursing – that this group has a rebel nature. LOOK AT… is a strong, well crafted intimidating song but that is exactly what makes this group stand out. 5/5
Bad boy themed groups are a constant but fierce groups like ZOOL are a rarity. This group is not for everyone though. If you were waiting for this group to be bright like Idolish 7 or sexy like TRIGGER, then this might fall a bit short for you. On the other side, if you are fond of daring melodies, 90’s throwback industrial rock inspired synths, heavy guitar riffs, powerful drums as well as mesmerizing basslines, of course, not forgetting raw edgy vocals, then this will be a fantastic release to listen to.
When we read the group’s concept we weren’t so sure if the group would be any different from Idolish 7‘s franchise units. It would not be the first time a concept would not match the music so we were rather reluctant – mind you we only recently started playing Idolish 7 and haven’t come across the unit, so we don’t know them well. Still we were pleasantly surprised. In a music business filled with pop acts of any and every kind, it’s nice to find a group that wants to stand out with something not typical of a boy band. Embracing rock and adding some industrial touches is something that quickly sets them apart from other units.
Don’t expect to find Koutaro Nishiyama nor Takashi Kondo. Both are nowhere to be found on this single, only Kimura and Hirose were on vocal duty. On polar opposites we find Kimura‘s powerful, raw vocals and Hirose‘s melodic versatile mid-tones. This mix shows a duality within this group, a sort of light vs dark with each performance.
Everything about this single screams rebel, edgy and raw. The music, the lyrics, the vocal performances, everything falls into place perfectly and the result is this memorable debut single.
This review was possible thanks to mallard084’s sponsored CD.
“Poisonous Gangster” is available for purchase on CDJAPAN for all overseas fans.