It is a realization that surprised even myself but had to be declared nonetheless: I actually like girugamesh’s latest single ‘>Inochi no Ki.
My reception to their previous effort, Color has definitely been caustic (you can read my review here) and when I first head the preview for Inochi, I was more than ready to pass this one up. However, when I first heard the full song I found myself rather enjoying it.. and even more so after a few more listens.
Blame it on that catchy guitar rift that opens the title track. It has the right hook that paves the way to a light and easy beat. It’s perky but not overwhelming. The overall vibe of the song is positive and it’s of the transmittable kind. In fact, if there’s one word to describe Inochi no Ki it would be breezy. Soothing would be a strong contender. In addition, Inochi no Ki is one of those songs that allows full appreciation of the vocals.And in this regard, Inochi no Ki does not disappoint. Satoshi did a good job in imbuing the song with emotions. No death growls, just honest to goodness singing.
The b-sides Vision and Endless Wing bring listeners to more familiar territory. Yes, they are still not of the hardcore variety that the old-school girugamesh dished out. Still they are more rock than pop which couldn’t really be said of Inochi no Ki. Anyway, I’m not really too keen on Vision. It has it moments but on the overall, it has the been-there-done-that feel to it. And to be honest, that pathetic attempt of a growl before the song ends sounds feeble.
Endless Wing, is a different story altogether. It’s a beacon of light that shows girugamesh still has traces of their former selves lurking somewhere. The song is not of 13’s reborn calibre, without a doubt. But the sound is somewhere between the self-titled second album and the divisive Music.
On the whole, Inochi no Ki sounds promising. I admit still waiting for the darker girugamesh to manifest itself again but in the meantime, I am willing to tolerate these little rays of sunshine. Well, maybe except Color.
bonus: The cover artwork is another plus point. To me, it looks like a doodle from Da Vinci’s notebook. Then again, it’s hardly original. There is actually a site that lists down album covers featuring.. you guess it right, trees. On the jrock front, these two came to mind:
Could you think of a few more examples?