Motto Vol. 4 (a quick review)

Akhirnya karena inini dan anunu, Revelin batal ikutan kompilasi ini. Gak perlu alasan gimana-gimana sih, cuma memang susah ngatur jadwal kalo satu band kerja semua.

But nevermind that, saatnya membahas album kompilasi ini.

Langkah awal… ke mana?

Jejepangan itu merupakan satu niché market yang cukup unik. Eksklusif, tapi cenderung pelit dalam perkara ngurusin band-bandnya. Instead of: “belinya di mana?”, kita punya: “download di mana?”; dan instead of: “tiketnya berapa?”, kita punya: “ada freepas nggak? Gue pura-pura jadi kru deh.”

Thus, merilis sesuatu secara gratis seperti album Motto ini adalah pilihan yang masuk akal untuk survive. I mean, buat dapetin live kan makin banyak yang sikut-sikutan, persaingan makin ketat dan cara terbaik buat dikenal adalah dengan punya karya.

Beberapa track memang berkesan, lepas dari gue kenal para performersnya. Dan sebagai pecinta glam rock tentu nggak mungkin gue bisa nggak dengerin Tiger’s Eye – Amakusa lagu yang konon terinspirasi dari kisah gue waktu belajar tinju sama Rocky Balboa (kalau lo percaya hoax ini, gue ga heran kalo lo juga percaya Jakarta bisa ga macet di tangan Foke) ini merupakan nomer yang sangat kencang dan menohok untuk membuka sebuah album. Sesuatu yang akan gue sayangkan kalau cuma stuck di Jejepangan aja.

No, seriously. This is one good shit that deserve more spotlight. Apalagi dengan pergerakan musik Indo sekarang, carilah gig yang ada di luar comfort zone band-band komunitas.

Clearly gue nggak akan bisa objektif dalam membahas Romansa – Murasaki. All I can say is… get a fucking permanent bassist, godammit. 2012 nih!

Sebenernya, yang bagus dari lagu ini adalah penulisan dan tema liriknya sih, ga common-common amat dan sangat meninimalisir penggunaan kata “cinta”.

Seriously, get over that word.

Oh, and the mixing is great.

And if you still don’t get it, I was in the fucking band, and I’m still helping them working on this and that. Objectivity can run out of the window, bichaaaaaz!

Tapi omong-omong soal keluar dari comfort zone, Murasaki dan HoneybeaT itu sudah mulai bergerak dari batasan komunitas juga. Lagu Rupa-Rupa dari HoneybeaT ini juga menunjukkan kelas mereka yang lebih dari sekedar “band cover” doang. Masih bermain di area aman juga sih, karena “Jazz” yang ada di lagu ini pun masih ada dalam batasan Jazz yang bisa diterima telinga umum.

It’s not a bad thing, as a matter of fact, it IS a good thing. Seriously, you don’t want to stuck here forever, you need to spread your market more than your peer and get recognized by the world. Banyak part “manis” di lagu ini, tapi dua hal yang sangat gue suka adalah suara dari keyboard dan gitarnya. This song is the prime example what they meant when they say the word: “cozy”.

Depapepe is never my cup of tea. I guess that’s pretty clear why I can’t talk much about Sparkle Days – Momiji ini. It’s a well-made song, that’s one thing for sure. But it’s passable for me.

No, not because it’s bad or anything. It’s a matter of a personal taste. I still say that if you love Depapepe kind of music, you’d love this song.

…and here come the weird part. HaChi ini beneran band jejepangan? Mungkin gue kurang gaul atau gimana ya sampe nggak tahu, cuma gue bener-bener vaguely can recall any Japanese influence or reference in this song. It’s not bad, it just feel misplaced =/. I’d give the benefit of objectivity; the song is o-kay… and just okay. It has the one hit wonder material for last year’s Indonesian pop scene, and it surely serve its purpose as a pop song, but like I said… misplaced.

Uh yeah, and the song is galau tudemeks. Serve the purpose of the band’s name, dare I say–

The next song is… [BOX] – Seize. again with cup of tea, this song definitely is not something for my heart. Subjectively speaking, It’s because I always crave for a badass male vocalist. No unique technique, no complication, just plain in-your-face balls-to-the-walls rock.

Well yeah, we have Amakusa for that. but seriously, only one? Grow some balls, men!

But hey, this section isn’t about Amakusa. Let’s focus on the band, Seize. In a very objective way, it’s a beyond decent rock song. Sure, it still have a lot of flaws here and there, but I can see the problem is probably, probably, probably, they don’t have a good producer just yet. Or a good soundman, sayang lagunya lho.

I want to see them live, I bet they kick more ass on the stage. Seriously, this is one of those band that sounds MUCH better on stage; something like Andra and the Backbone.

And X-Shibuya is obviously a DIR EN GREY cover band. Yes, DIR EN GREY, not Dir en grey. Diru’s hardcore fans would know the difference by just seeing the capitazation, ain’t y’all?

What’s with the statement? It’s simply because I can’t love this track. Yes, it’s a good metal track with definitely decent arrangement and great solid sound. Tapi Cia yang disebut beberapa orang sebagai “Kyo nya Indonesia” gagal memuaskan gue (not in THAT way, mind you). No, not because he’s bad, it’s completely the other way around. It’s because he’s so good on being Kyo, he’s miss the part where he’s supposed to be Cia.

And why I’m focusing on one person only? Because it’s crystal-clear that he is the band. Like Axl Rose, Yoshiki, or Ahmad Dhani, the band run with one man steering the wheel. While it’s a good thing because it will keep the consistency of the music, but once that person trip the whole band will fall apart.

Oh, on side note, kalau di lagu sebelumnya gue cukup yakin kalau Seize akan sangat keren di panggung, X-Shi akan kesulitan untuk menjaga kualitas lagu ini seperti kualitas rekamannya kalau live. Ini masalah umum yang dimiliki band-band dengan satu vokalis, tanpa backing vocal decent, sementara lagu di rekamannya ada beberapa lapis vokal di saat yang bersamaan. Unless you have a pretty good sequencer operator, you’ll lost the main selling point of the song, a layer of vocal, that is.

Oh, Blodwen. I was a fan of Le Sacralist and also a fan of Private Joker. How can I NOT love this band? They put up a pretty heavy shit tho’, definitely not everyone’s cup of tea, but there will be no argument that this is a good song.

But yeah… limited market. It’s gonna be a bumpy road in a long run, but hey. They’ve run long enough to know how bumpy the road is. I’d love to hear a song with more single-material tho’, something more radio-friendly. I hate to repeat myself, but this is a pretty heavy material, lagu-lagu lain jadi kebanting.

Tokyolite definitely is the next big thing that’s still have a lot of space to improve, yet already have solid ground to stand. Masih terasa kegugupan di vokalisnya sih, cuma itu bukan masalah yang segitu berasanya, it will gone by the time goes by.

But one thing:

Get. A. Freaking. Soundman.

I love the song enough to listen to ever detail of the audio that’s not a release-material yet. Serius deh, mixingannya masih mentah banget, menutupi banyak bagian yang harusnya bisa jadi keren. It’s a pity that a great song ended up sounds not as good as it should be. I’ll be waiting for more material, seriously.

…okay, second wtf moment. I’ve prepared myself for a heavy rock stuff, since the band’s name is Volcanoes. This is like Greenland which in reality is covered by ice, or Iceland which in reality is pretty green. I mean, try to advertise yourself like HaChi. You’d expect the galauness from the beginning, knowing the band’s name is similar to the saddest bee alive.

(Yes, I just have to use this joke)

But I digress. The fact that I’m not into the genre (and the false expectation) kinda push me aside from reviewing this track. Just for the sake of objectivity.

Oh, one objective comment: sound-fucking-man. I don’t know what went wrong, but several bands sounds really good, while some others simply sounds… like it’s unfinished. I mean, damn, kasihan lagunya, sayang bandnya. Materi bagus kalo kurang well-executed malah bikin sebel.

I mean, kalau jelek kan bisa dikatain, ini nggak jelek, jadi malah jadi kayak… “HARUSNYA BISA LEBIH BAGUS TAUUUUK!!!”

Lagu Yume yang ada di album ini juga lagu lama dengan vokalis baru, CMIIW. It’s a pop song, to say the least. It is what it is, shows us every good cliche of a pop song as well as the decent execution. It’s like hearing Vierra with a much better vocalist. And it’s not a bad thing, I love Vierra. Yes, the song is a bit generic, but it actually know its place and not pretending it’s bigger than it actually is.

And that’s actually make it sounds a bit better. It’s pop, but it’s an honest pop and I appreciate it.

Oh, and the sound quality is good on this track. Very well-executed and marketable. Now get out and get serious on the music!

Umm…

Yeah, problem with sound (again). Gue rasa Dai*Shi sudah cukup terkenal sebagai band yang memiliki karakter sound yang unik, tapi di lagu ini entah kenapa semuanya terdengar datar; well, nggak datar sih, lebih tepatnya ngawang (entah apa bahasa Indonesia yang tepat untuk ini). Komentar masi sama dengan beberapa lagu di atas, sayang lagunya.

Wyvern is good. Really good. The arrangement is solid and the flow of the song is great. Plus, the vocal is way above the standard. But sadly, there is still a downside… on mixing.

Again.

I think I have the conclusion that some of the band only have musician and manager on their team. No, it’s not enough. It’s never enough. You need someone who knows and understand the music producing on your team to keep the quality good AND consistent.

Something that I guess Amakusa, Murasaki, X-Shibuya, HoneybeaT, and Blodwen already have.

Okay, Purei. Where do I start… this song only have one flaw. Only one, but it’s extremely fatal. This song isn’t a single material, it’s a filler material. This is the 7th or 8th song in your own album, not a compilation. You’d want an anthemic catchy tune on this kind of album to catch the audience’s attention. Yes, Blodwen also didn’t put a “single-material”, but they song was way more powerful and iconic. It’s a marketing gimmick, not something a band should be aware of, but since most of us are self-managed, I think it’s just make sense if you’d want to learn a thing or two about this matter.

Ohai, J-Rocks Foru. Well, despite of all my hatred toward J-Rocks, I think I’ll give this song a chance.

When they become Peter and deny the connection between them and L’arc, I was pretty cool with that. But then I took a meme on my knee.

(Oh yeah, if you want to deny something, at least be consistent about it.)

But Foru actually did a pretty good job ending this compilation. Simple anthemic song is definitely how you want to end an album. And hey, at least they admit from the beginning that J-Rocks inspire them… aren’t they?

I’m not a good judge, or so they say. I’m foul-mouthed and highly subjective. In case you didn’t realize it, I have the link to the songs up there, go listen and prove me wrong (or right) :D.

(originally posted on: 

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