Release Date: July 18 2013
Formats: CD / CD + DVD
Number of Editions (2): Type A / Type B
Extremely afraid by Jui’s new project, I waited more than a year to listen to GOTCHAROCKA’s first album Crisis. The horrible band name, the horrible logo, the horrible covers of the EP Virginity, and of course the enormous legacy left by Vidoll, who for quite a decade embodied the concept of visual kei itself and in the lustrum 2002~2007 was absolutely the best band ever unable to perform even a single bad song, worked like an AT-Field between me and this band. Despite that, the pretty good single Shortcake, the fact they are D’s labelmates at GOD CHILD RECORDS, and most of all the hallucinatory vision of Jui dressed in necrophile nazi suit and Taishou floral kimono licking a katana in the PV for the single Gekiai irreversibly forced me to give a chance to this band.
I’m happy I went along my sensation: Crisis is a good album, and if compared with Vidoll’s production we can put it in the middle period, between Bastard and Esoteric Romance. Exactly like these two albums, Crisis offers to the listener a well balanced mix of ballads and up-tempo, sad and happy, electronic and good old rock ’n’ roll. Even the flaws are the same: repetitive ideas and a solid first part of good songs with a weak second part of fillers. Nevertheless, Crisis is manna from heaven for Vidoll’s orphans and GOTCHAROCKA are definitely, definitely better than Rame’s Black Gene For the Next Scene whose only good point is the stage dressing and no, not the music (Rame-tan I love you, so please don’t continue to get me down this way).
First of all, here you can hear the virtuoso voice of Jui, who was and still is one of the best visual kei vocalist ever, prince of falsetto, king of vibrato and emperor of sound effects. If in the last Vidoll’s releases Jui’s performances was not so remarkable, here the singer’s voice colours are back to full throttle and his shining palette is at the service of his favourite theme: Sex. Forget that sugary vapid silly Monad, here Jui wrote really explicit lyrics and the entire album is full of erotic innuendos and puns, culminating in the two pinnacles Yuujo (“The Harlot”) with its rich arrangement and the funny stuttering singing, and of course the majestic, paramount, total piece of art that is Virginity (well, translation is unnecessary). The band was surely aware of the potentiality of this song, as they put the instrumental beginning of it at the end of first single Hydrag’s PV. They were right: Virginity violently shocks the listener. After reading the line «For me it was all a first-time… the kiss, the 6, the 9, and the back too…» and watching the quite morbid PV in which Jui looks straight into the camera singing this, well, Virginity instantly became a guilty pleasure extremely difficult to keep hidden. The whole song, written words & music by the vocalist, is wonderful: The starting lento, the increasing rockabilly rhythm, the masterful guitars and bass, the story told in the lyrics and the final fake orgasm (yep…) make this song one of Jui’s finest achievement. Even better is thinking all of this live, and even better of better is realizing this is a wink for Vidoll’s fans who certainly still remember the infamous Jui’s fake (?) orgasm at the end of the song Heroine. Indeed the ghost of Vidoll lingers on all the album, like in the closing piece Gotcha6ka (note in Japanese “six” is pronunced “roku”, like “rock”), the band’s first song intended to be used as a presentation, and in this way it perfectly works: wonderfully entwined guitars, wordplays, poor english poorly sung, complex arrangement, rhythm and tone jumps, crazy vocal, BDSM costumes and a videoclip in a fighting cage at the end of which Jui shoots himself exactly like at the end of Occult Proposal, Vidoll’s first song: Absolutely touching. Gotcha6ka’s elements are spread all over the album: in the first part it’s possible to find the most interesting songs, like the singles and the ballads C U or Byousoku ai (“Love per second”), and in the second just some fillers like the BUCK-TICK plagiarism Qtie. Two bonus tracks closes the album: Lily187 is terrible, but Beautiful life is a perfect Christmas song (another Vidoll trademark) with a delicate signature.
A third of Crisis is completely useless and another third is just conventional visual kei, but the remaining third is so good that alone is worth the whole album. I still can’t understand why Vidoll really disbanded and frankly I thought it was because of Jui’s artistic flair was over. I was wrong, and maybe he just needed a new wardrobe and some different bandmates: a taste of KISAKI from JUN and his pink hair, an all-in-black unknown but talented musician like Tooya, a touch of romanticism by Shingo (who is now out of visual kei), and the new band is done. Let’s wait for a second album hoping it will be full of vulgar fanservice like this one is.
03. C U
04. Poisonous berry
05. Byosoku Ai
06. 99 Bangai no Je t’aime
09. Many Merry Moments
11. QtieThe Lyrical Jet Sky
13. Beautiful life (Type A exclusive) / Lily187 (Type B exclusive)
01. C U – (Music Video)
02. C U – (Music Video Bonus Shots)
01. Gotcha6ka – (Music Video)
02. Gotcha6ka – (Music Video Bonus Shots)