REVIEW: Avanchick - "Jibaku"

Last fall, Avanchick released their latest single Jibaku. Formed in 2014 by the former guitarist of CindyKate, Avanchick has released 5 singles covering a variety of music genres. Let’s see how their latest experimentation holds up.

Jibaku Type B Cover
1. Jibaku
2. Seiten no Hekireki
3. JK (Type B)
3. Ikebukuro Shinjyuu (Type C)

Jibaku’s title track is a fun jazz rock song populated with plenty of rocking guitar chords and backing instruments such as trumpets, xylophones, and even an organ. Avanchick has a tendency to apply an added layer of glam influence onto whatever genre they’re experimenting with, and this is definitely present on "Jibaku." Vocalist NOAH’s vocals sound as beautiful and strong as they ever have, and they contrast nicely with the track’s jazzy sound. All of this adds up to Avanchick creating a slightly different take on the often-overdone (albeit never-unwanted) jazz rock formula that so many Japanese bands enjoy experimenting with.

"Seiten no Hekireki", the first B-side on the single, is chock-full of power chords and catchy drum beats, in addition to some subtly-inserted DJ scratches and electronic noises. The track is reminiscent of a lot of songs released by popular visual kei bands (it sounds like if Arlequin covered the GazettE’s "Vortex"), although I suppose these sort of similarities are to be expected of new indie bands in the visual kei scene in this day and age. However, the song is well-arranged and surprisingly catchy, so I definitely have to give Avanchick credit for packaging the track so well in spite of being such a new band. "Ikebukuro Shinjyuu", the third track on Type C of Jibaku, uses a guitar interpretation of  the melody from the popular orchestral piece "In the Hall of the Mountain King" as the skeleton for a much heavier sound than the ones found on the previous two tracks. As with the previous track, this is something that has been done before, but this time the track doesn’t hold up quite as well, mostly due to how incredibly repetitive it is. I would skip this track in favor of "JK", which comes with Type B of Jibaku. It’s a little more unique than the previous two tracks, alternating between a heavy metal visual kei sound and a melodic rock style populated with some fairly complex guitar patterns. While I found the former to be somewhat cliche, the melodic rock sound is much more original and allows each of Avanchick's members to show off their skills.

Like many "brand-new" bands in the visual kei scene, Avanchick is looking to nail down their own unique style. Personally, I think this band should consider making more glam-influenced jazz rock songs like "Jibaku." "Jibaku's" sound really seems to fit the bands’ personality in addition to heavily complementing NOAH's vocals. Overall, Jibaku is a decent next step for Avanchick. The lead track is a solid addition to the bands’ repertoire, and while the B-sides don’t get a lot of points for creativity, they are definitely well-composed (although I would stick with Type B to avoid "Ikebukuro Shinjyuu") and allow the band to continue to experiment with a variety of sounds.

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