Daily Prompt has been talking about love. Seriously! But now they’re getting freaky. Just kidding! No furries here! Okay, let me get this out of my system:
Photographers, share a photo that says unconventional.
Okay, that’s enough of that. Now for the real thing
Over the weekend, we explored different ways to love. Today, tell us about the most unconventional love in your life.
I’ve been dropping little hints here and there about this band, but now I’m going all out. I’m talking about The Gazette! I’m also talking about right now, of course, because I’ve had many different favorite bands over the years. Not a huge number, but a lot.
The Gazette is comprised of Ruki on vocals, Reita on bass, Aoi on left guitar, Uruha on right guitar, and Kai on drums. I say “left” and “right” guitars because that’s how they are mixed on literally every single release, including live releases. Like most visual kei bands, there are five members, and they all go by a single name. They were formed in 2002, though Kai joined in early 2003. They have 6 albums and 6 EPs, along with several singles and live tracks. It seems like they have a full time videography staff following them around, because I have seen several dozen live shows they’ve done.
Ruki is a versatile vocalist, crooning in ballads, growling like Mike Patton on other songs, singing rock and pop vocals with the best of them. Aoi and Uruha fit in with each other nicely, never stepping on each others’ riffs and usually playing different complimentary parts, unless the song requires the same riff be played. Reita is a good bassist, playing slap on a couple of songs but normally using a pick. And Kai is one of the best drummers I’ve heard in years. The Gazette plays literally every kind of rock music there is (within reasonable limits). Their early songs were nearly all in Japanese, but later songs had some English, and a few have entirely English vocals. Sometimes the English lyrics don’t make sense, but hey, sometimes the lyrics from native English speakers don’t make any sense. I will try to give you a variety of songs here.
This one is the first song I heard that made me really take notice. It’s also almost entirely in English, and it’s probably not safe for work. This is the video I watched. It’s called Agony from their 2007 album Stacked Rubbish.
This song is the one that blew me away. This is an example of typical Gazette, in that it has multiple types of music within the same song. It’s the promotional video, or PV, where you can see the band. But by no means is this how the band looks now, or looked before this video or after it. They change their looks more often than any Bowie or Madonna ever thought about doing. It’s called Filth in the Beauty, also from Stacked Rubbish.
The next one is a ballad called Pledge, and is one of their more recent single releases (Dec 2010).
This is an older song from their first album Disorder (2004) called $ocial Riot Machine$. It’s entirely in Japanese other than the word ‘riot’, and I’m only vaguely aware of what it’s about because I haven’t seen a good translation of it, but it will beat you up and take your lunch money.
This is one of their poppiest songs, and has really deep lyrics despite the pop feel. It’s from their second album NIL (2006), and it’s called Silly God Disco.
I don’t know how to characterize this song, but it’s awesome! It’s from one of their EPs, Madara (2004), and it’s called No. 666.
Here is a straightforward power pop song called Regret, from Stacked Rubbish (I seem to be hitting that album hard). This is the live version, or I should say a live version.
This is will be the last one for this post. It’s the prime example of why I think Kai is one of the best drummers ever. He is phenomenal in this song, Before I Decay (single from July 2010). This is an excellent song to listen to in the car while driving.
I have tried to give a taste of their range and talent, and I hope I’ve made you curious to hear more. Some people might be put off by the Japanese lyrics, or by their image and style. So just to kick that in, here’s a commercial they did for Ruki’s line of jewelry. This short clip alone is cooler than 100 hair metal bands of the 1980s. #visualkei