Released: July 19, 2017 (Rhythm Zone)
Funnily enough, funk and disco has sprinkled all over the world of pop in the last two years, and now, it looks like LDH have decided to grab a bit of that sprinkle and throw it all over their acts. We first had a taste of it on the E-girls’ album E.G. Crazy, then went onto the singles “Superfly” and “Happy” by Exile the Second and J Soul Brothers. And NOW, it looks like the latest LDH baby-faced offering THE RAMPAGE have decided to take that same route with their new single, “Dirty Disco”, a retro number that shimmers thick guitar riffs and 80’s synths.
Now, let’s go back a few months y’all. Their debut single “Lightning” was an impressive opening to the group, mixing severe electronic dance beats and hooks all together. But then, “Frontiers”, to me, felt a lil’ bit of a regressive step to the generic hip-hop-ridden EDM that we’ve all been hearing for many years (no tea no shade…). But hey, they’re up-and-coming, so I let that track slide off the chopping block. And I know I’m gon’ probably be red to filth about this, but after giving a few spins off “Dirty Disco”, I just didn’t get that excitement like I did with “Lightning” or even their B-side tracks.
But lemme say this; the production and composition of the song is a lot more well-rounded and more radio-friendly than “Frontiers”, and shows a lot more maturity and change in their sound. Yes y’all, big ticks for the band on that note. But what bothers me isn’t necessarily the production, but it’s their singing and rapping that kinda… ehhh, throws me a bit off (no shade boyz and gurls, no shade…). I noticed on several sections of the track that their voices sound off to the keys of the track itself, and at points, I noticed the weird change in pitch in different areas. Now, the boys—or the three vocalists Kazuma Kawamura, Hokuto Yoshino and Riku—have decent voices; nothing at a powerhouse level, nor a bad “mehhh” level either, and surprisingly, Mr. Kawamura, yet again, manages to convey a spark of slickness and originality with his twang of rapping, fun deliveries and control of the song, but with “Dirty Disco”, that’s as far as it goes.
Now let’s move on to the B-sides; the first is “Shangri-La“, an agile house jam with traces of hip-hop and trap breakdowns, which I completely LIVE FOR! Honestly, I would have preferred this as the main single and swapped “Dirty Disco” as it’s B-side. It’s a lot more suited for their vocal deliveries, and the production is crisp as hell! ABSOLUTE BANGER I SAY! And per usual, for every single released there is a interlude number that shows the performers their skills, so there’s no bad comments to the over-the-top retro synth/hip-hop beat “Rampage All Day”… yep, I said it, no bad comment. And to treat us English peeps, the band have created an English-version of “Frontiers”, which is fairly okay in terms of deliveries.
Overall, “Dirty Disco” as a single is a lil’ bit underwhelming and doesn’t sound as extremely polished as you would expect from a LDH brand. But as a whole package with the rest of the numbers here, it’s quite a decent-sized release with some better and exciting offerings. The B-sides, without a second bloody thought, stand out the most and showcase a fun and radio-friendly vibe. Good job on that part boyz!