Released: December 14, 2016
Boasting the songwriting and singing talents of member Maria and programming of Toku, Garnidelia decided to march onwards and upward with their December 2016 album Violet Cry. Though, to their credit, the artwork in my opinion is no different to their debut; the gurl has a fierce purple weave, features sublime shots of the members and electrifying themes of sci-fi-esque sparks that makes them look dope as hell! But what about the actual material to Violet Cry? Well, in comparison to Linkage Ring—their debut record—the result is a bit of a mixed bag.
The one thing I struggle to really enjoy with the groups sound is that, other than their anime-influenced hits, the rest of the record doesn’t really execute to its maximum potential. The album opener “Exxxtasy” is an EDM-fuelled anthem that does enough to get your up on the floor, but as an opener, it really doesn’t match the construction as to what “Pride” did, which bear in mind, was a F-ing party banger to the heavens! And because majority of the record is heavily reliant on your quintessential Anime sound, some of the appearances are plain, medicore fillers; “Cry” and “Real” being some of them, and the soppy “Inori no Uta” sounds like a rip-off between the late releases of Ayumi Hamasaki and your other generic rock hits that have somehow managed to enter the top 20… well, top 100 on the Billboard chart. To say the least, majority of these tracks just seem like off-cuts from their debut, and that’s not a good indication of moving forward.
Despite this, Garnidelia still know how to serve some pretty great songs, and I’m so thankful that there recent releases don’t have those sucky key-shifts that are unfortunately prominent in the J-pop world (like honestly, stop that crap gurls and boyz). “Yasusoku (Promise Code)” is hella awesome; it’s a return to their traditional Garnidelia sound, but the imagery and sound has advanced quite well. But for me, it’s the deeper cuts that makes me turn the stereo to max; “Burning Soul” is classic realness, “Life” sounds like a progressive metal/anime blend, and even the new track “Kawaranai Mono” does the trick by mixing a bit of trendy instrumentation riffs with a bit of classic teen rock sounds. And while the albums only ballad “Mirai” wasn’t the most impressionable song from the bunch, but manages to grow on your like a rash (in a good way though!)
But having said all that, the dynamic duo still know how to have a little fun when it comes to experimenting with some contemporary genres (thank you guys!). The one that stuck out to me was the Heavygrinder collaboration “Bad Boy”, which is one bloody intense penetration of solid EDM. I mean, the verses come off gentle and rhythmic, but the dubstep-filled chorus is pure fire (nuff said). The new tracks: “Neon Night” and “My Little Happiness” were complete shockers to me. They aren’t no anime jams, or even fixiated with EDM; they are some doo-woppy compositions that showcases some pretty savvy vocals by Maria; gurl snatching wigs and souls with these songs. And while I was quite iffy about the flat bass-lines of the agile number “Gorukakujouda”, the track is definitely worth listening to because of its intricate synths and sounds within the verses and chorus!
So Violet Cry isn’t as bad as I thought after all. There are enough party boppers and rock jams to really drain your energy and angst all in one. The songwriting and sound has developed quite well, but unfortunately, some tracks fall into the same sound-category as Linkage Ring, which doesn’t really show much innovation two years later. But apart from that, Violet Cry is solid enough with some small cracks to jump over.
Track List (Bold means best tracks):
- Yakusoku -Promise Code-
- Burning Soul
- Inori no Uta
- Gokuraku Jouda
- NEON NIGHT
- BAD BOY vs. HEAVYGRINDER ~Liam’s favorite~
- My Little Happiness
- Kawaranoi Mono