SolidS “DOPE ROCK” (Review)

SolidS‘s 3-month wait was more than worth it. The group pushed the envelope once again in the RE:START series with a release that promises it won’t get off your head for a long time.

Title: SQ RE:START series vol.3 SolidS
Label: Tsukipro/Movic
Release date: 25/01/2019
Genre: Industrial rock

Tracklist:

1 - DOPE↗ROCK 
2 - DOPE↗ROCK -off vocal-

Track analysis:

1- DOPE↗ROCK

SolidS are back after a rather long pause between their 2nd and 3rd volumes in the RE:START series. However, that pause was more than worth it as it served to regroup and once more push the envelope.

DOPE↗ROCK shows clear influences of industrial rock in its instrumental, including rough guitar riffs, dirty synths, powerful, slow paced snare-driven drums, and deep, destructive bass lines. The verses flow well with a dark, dirty yet alluring industrial vibe leading the way however, everything changes when the chorus kicks in.

The transition between verses and chorus is rather abrupt and might sound completely off, especially on a first listen. Everything about it is different from the industrial rock that is going on in the verses. The chorus strays away and brings to the table funky guitar riffs, hi-hat-driven drums and expands on its sound into a brighter, more party-driven take on it. This is the reverse side of industrial rock, its danceable roots – from synthwave – show that well placed and tasteful synth leads or even small hits can completely change a song’s vibe and, in this case, a change for the best. To some listeners, the chorus might take a few listens until it’ll sound good and less overcrowded.

The bridge blends synths and electric guitar riffs, creating an exciting experience for the listener however, there’s more to it, as it builds up and takes the listener to what is one of the best bridges ever found in the group’s repertoire.

When it comes to the vocals, SolidS sure know how to deliver a powerful performance. Natsuki Hanae and Soma Saito bring a melodic, alluring touch to their performances while Takuya Eguchi and Yuichiro Umehara bring their best with deep, alluring tones and imposing performances. In the bridge, all members have brief rap parts, something that was unexpected, especially taking into account the group’s most recent releases and the song’s initial dark, rock-driven vibe. The rap parts ended up being a fancy addition to this 6-minute long song even if there were some inconsistencies with Umehara’s off/uncomfortable rap performance.

Out of all songs released so far by SolidS in the RE:START series, this is the most fitting with the “liquor” theme. It’s playful, sexy and aggressive, all in the right measures, making this song the perfect party/drinking theme song. This  is a song that will greatly benefit from being played in a live setting, as it sounds perfect to hype up the crowd while linking well with all other songs in their repertoire.

SolidS‘ 3rd entry in the RE:START series shows a versatile group filled with talent and currently in top form.

Final rating:

SQ SolidS [RE:START] Series Vol 3 is available for purchase at CDJAPAN.

SQ SolidS [RE:START] Series / Shiki Takamura (Takuya Eguchi), Tsubasa Okui (Soma Saito), Rikka Sera (Natsuki Hanae), Dai Murase (Yuichiro Umehara)
Shiki Takamura (Takuya Eguchi), Tsubasa Okui (Soma Saito), Rikka Sera (Natsuki Hanae), Dai Murase (Yuichiro Umehara)

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.