High and Mighty Color is no more and for their swan song, the band chose the poignantly sweet rock ballad Re:ache.
It was a good choice actually. Beginning with light tapping on the drums coupled with easy guitar strumming, Re:ache immediately lures listeners in to reminiscing mode. By the time Halca begins her vocals, the nostalgic mood is already set-up. It’s very easy then to groove along with Re:ache’s light and easy beat. It helps as well that Halca breezes through the song’s lyrics. Even motor-mouth Yusuke sounds restrained (in a good way) as he sings the second verse. Re:ache is sentimental without being cheesy. And in its almost five minute run, the song was able to encapsulate what good farewells are all about: bittersweet.
The next 2 tracks: night light parade and day dreaming utilize Yusuke’s machine gun vocals to full effect. Both are edgy songs compared to the poignant Re:ache and are stunning reminders of High and Mighty Color’s dynamism. night light parade is along the lines of the band’s most famous song Ichirin no Hana. It also showcases the great chemistry between the two lead vocals. As for day dreaming, the intro is a tad too long but once Yūsuke begins his rapping, the song unleashes it magic. The chorus part is actually ho-hum and the random screaming at the end is a bit off but overall, day dreaming is still a good song.
The track list ends on a high and vibrant note with the live version of the band’s previous single, RED. It suspiciously sounds too polished for a live recording but then again, High and Mighty Color are one of those few bands who actually sound good on both studio and live performances so this is to the band’s credit. RED is a great song. I like the energetic vibe it fosters. It also made me warm up to Halca more. I still think that Mākii is a better fit to High and Mighty Color but in this performance Halca was able to prove that she too can hold her ground against Yūsuke’s overwhelming presence.
Overall, Re:ache is a solid release. It’s a fitting gift to all the fans that are without a doubt very sad to see this wonderful band go. High and Mighty Color is in a class of its own. As they have blazed an innovative trail in the jrock map, they leave behind shoes that are very hard to fill. But as Re:ache ends on a hopeful note, perhaps it’s not too presumptuous to wish for a reunion sometime in the future.
(band photo courtesy of JpopAsia)