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[Album] Abingdon Boys School – ABINGDON ROAD

2010年 2月 25日

Abingdon boys school’s covers tend to be rather boring. Usually just that lion door-knocker thing and the title, but this time they decided to take a picture of some road and stick the title and band name on it. They produce great music though! Anyway…

STRENGTH. starts us off. This was the second ending in the anime Soul Eater. It starts off with heavy chords getting progressively darker and into a bit of piano melody. I think that this was my favorite part in the song. Once vocals come in, the rest of the band backs off, the bass is very present (love to hear Japanese basses) and one guitar noodles around in the background while the other plays intermittently. The song is a great start.

The first brand-new song in the bunch is PINEAPPLE ARMY, a rather interesting title. Starts off with a short intro with an electronic melody and drums, it’s very happy sounding, but they don’t follow that. Their guitar parts are very nice and vocals too. Nishikawa (T.M. Revolution) uses a little bit of auto tune to add some effects. In the middle there is a softer section that uses acoustic guitar. That is a huge contrast to what comes right after it; heavy heavy guitars.

and i love… I would have expected this to be the title of a ballad, but I was wrong. They’re tricky…. Anyway, abingdon boys school uses a heavy sound instrumentally, but they accompany a very melodic voice this time. The tempo is quite a bit slower too. In the choruses I like how a guitar starts doing work in the background.

JAP is a very upbeat song. I like the melody a lot, and the instruments really support it harmonically. There are a few pauses throughout the song that are quickly followed by the whole band and backing vocals. Getting towards the end of the song, there is a section which T.M. Rev raps while the rest play very loudly and a guitar solo a bit later.

Next was SOUEN feat. BASI, Sakkon, FUNKYMIC from Insist, a great collaboration. I don’t know who Insist is/are, but they worked very well with abingdon. They sort of do some background rapping while abingdon does their thing. Lots of vocal melody while the band is more rhythmic, this is what makes this song a bit more catchy. About 2/3 of the way in, there is a wind in for Insist’s rapping under a very thick instrumental backing, a short sweet guitar solo, and we come back to the chorus. Awesome song.

Shiosai uses some similar sounds to STRENGTH. but it is still quite different. The melody reminds me of another song of theirs… A rather normal-sounding song for them. It’s still a strong one but kind of lacking in my opinion. Background guitar sounds more interesting that their chorus guitar. There is an instrument only section that is a bit heavier than the rest of the song and a voice-only part that is short too.

From Dusk til Dawn -INCH UP- starts off with soft guitar and T.M. Rev singing the chorus. A beautiful intro. From Dusk til Dawn was used as the ending theme for Darker Than Black: Ryuusei no Gemini (great series!). This song is much more chill than what came before. It sounds more pop-like using acoustic guitar and synthesized strings. They still use heavy sound but it is used sparsely throughout.

Heading straight into a hard scratchy intro we have Siren. The intro pretty much sets the precedent for the rest of the song. Heavy guitars and a more harsh vocal line. There is a guitar solo with light accompaniment and then another round of solo guitar against a darker background. Good song.

BLADE CHORD, from a while ago, but a great song nonetheless. It employs some Japanesque flute playing in the beginning and spread throughout. Abingdon plays this song with elements of hard rock style and a catchy melody.

Kimi no uta… I sort of got it right on this one guessing it would be more pop-like. It still has some rock elements, but it is easily a pop oriented song. This song has a much lighter texture than most of the others on this album. Also, the accompaniment tends to be more rock-like especially during the short guitar solo.

Next up is Sweetest Coma Again. It has a very thick intro, but when T.M. Rev sings they drop down to acoustic sounds with a nice bass. The guitar solos in this song is much more showy, having them trade off between each other was pretty cool. It was a straight-forward song in my opinion and quite likeable. Oh, I almost forgot that it’s a bit unusual in that it tricks you into thinking that it has ended by fading out completely, then coming back with this pretty chaotic sounding section.

Gold Eclipse is just an interlude. Very techno/electronic if you want to listen. It leads right into…

Valkyrie -Lioleia Mix-, originally the B-side to JAP. I know how it’s different and don’t plan on listening to find out. Buuut it starts by continuing where Gold Eclipse left off using completely electric sounds then going into an upbeat rock style (still mixed with electro). This will pretty much be the feel through the entire song.

Lastly is nocturne. As you may have guessed, it’s a quieter song. It consists of some soft, slow piano, synthesized strings, and a little bit of percussion. Basically, the song is the same throughout with some variation.

Overall: This was a solid album. Although it included a bunch of singles, it also had its fair share of new songs.

Rating: 8.5

Tracklist:
1.) STRENGTH.
2.) PINEAPPLE ARMY
3.) and I love…
4.) JAP
5.) SOUEN feat. BASI, Sakkon, FUNKYMIC from insist
6.) Shiosai
7.) From Dusk Till Dawn -INCH UP-
8.) Siren
9.) BLADE CHORD
10.) Kimi no Uta
11.) Sweetest Coma Again
12.) Gold Eclipse
13.) Valkyrie -Lioleia Mix-
14.) nocturne

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