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CAT5 last won the day on August 13 2017

CAT5 had the most liked content!

About CAT5

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  • Birthday 03/19/1987

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  1. @Chi - that album cover brings back a lot of memories from my early Jpop days! This album will be dropping next week, and I'm sure it's going to be amazing! 2018 looks promising.
  2. Fuck [999]. This isn't the downy news I wanted to hear this year. I hope that dude recovers, as he's an integral part of their sound.
  3. 26152319_208519753027828_467037441006501


    Happy Birththink!

  4. Nooo where did your BERSERK theme go?

  5. Welcome to the MH! Hope you enjoy the forum. If you have any have any questions or concerns feel free to contact staff members (those with red or blue names) https://www.monochrome-heaven.com/staff/
  6. Of course dude. Feel free! I just used the term "J-rock" loosely as a sort of buzzword, a term that I think resonates with all of us in some sense.
  7. LMAO. You are correct! And haha dayum, even the album art huh? Well, you're even on point regarding that: The female on the cover isn't a Jpop singer, but she IS the daughter of a Jpop singer - CHARA! And her name is, you guessed it, Sumire lol. I may have slightly misinterpreted the theme, as I didn't think the actual content of the mix had to be Christmas related, but I think this mix still works out in a way because I don't celebrate Christmas anyways, haha. I basically just constructed this mix based on the cover art. It's a nice picture, but I sensed an underlying intensity about it - like a storm of emotion raging underneath the calm, pretty veneer. So that's why I went with a kind of emo theme here. Nice! In their early years, THE BACK HORN were really raw, but as they've gotten older, their sound has unfortunately dulled out. They've been a solid band throughout their career, though. This was one from their first full album, so I definitely recommend checking that out. Their sounds has evolved a bit over the years, and they have done some straight-up garage rock, but a lot of their music still carries emo influences. I know that the dude from Spiral Chord was the vocalist of Cowpers, and while I'm not entirely sure how NAHT are related, I know that they were at least active in the same scene and time period. I'd have to ask some of the older J-indie fans I know about it.
  8. The mix I got was titled "Pain and Cheer for Two". The file included a nice little playlist description that reads as follows: Let's get straight into it! 01. THE NOVEMBERS - 瓦礫の上で I wasn't expecting to see a song by THE NOVEMBERS, and certainly not one of my top 10 songs by the band! This song must represent the "pain" aspect of the title, as it's incredibly somber and Koba sounds both desperate and afflicted, especially when the song reaches the climax. Fittingly, I always end up listening THE NOVEMBERS more around autumn, but their music is just as apt for the dead cold of winter. 10/10 02. Do As Infinity - Raven This is a major throwback for me, as DAI was one of the first Japanese groups that I'd gotten into way back in the early-to-mid 00's. For the most part, DAI's brand of pop-rock doesn't have the same awe-inspiring impact on me as it used to, but Tomiko Van's voice remains distinct to this day, and this was nice, nostalgic trip for my ears. 08/10 03. Hitomi Yaida - Mikansei no melody My journey into Japanese music first began with Jpop before expanding into other areas, and although Hitomi Yaida fit the criterior of the kind of singer-songwriter stuff I gravitated towards, for some reason, I never got around to really exploring her music. I do remember people comparing her to "Alanis Morissette" and I think that comparison holds quite a bit of water, especially given her vocal inflections during the chorus. The music itself is kind of your standard late 90's/early 00's alternative/pop-rock sound, but I have a bit of a soft spot for it. 7/10 04. Ellegarden - Santa Claus Neeeeeever gave Ellegarden a proper try, which i'm sure is probably blasphemous in some respects. Unlike the previous tracks, this is the first song that is perhaps a bit too on the nose regarding the theme. Now that's not necessarily a bad thing, but when it comes to my taste, I can't say that I've grown fond of any christmas song outside of Donny Hathaway's "This Christmas, or some of the stuff put out on Motown records decades ago, ahaha. That said, I still understand why you'd include this song as it encapsulates the general spirit and cheer of the holiday. 6/10 05. 彩冷える-ayabie- - 桜舞う季節に Ayabie is also a band that I don't have much experience with, outside of hearing a few songs on plug.dj or so. I've always been picky about VK vocalists - I love some of them, and there's a lot that I can't tolerate at all - but for the most part ,there are vocalists like this one, whom i feel are decent, but have some kind of weird quirk in their voices that just rubs me the wrong way! Here, it would be this guy's random high notes and the moments where he sings a bit too softly. For me, it just sounds a bit too awkward and uncomfortable. Dude sounds fine the rest of the time, though. Overall I like the song. It's the kind of timeless, upbeat, and melodramatic rock that's common within VK. 7/10 06. Nanase Aikawa - Unlimited (Samurai 7 Theme) The feel of this song blends perfectly with the last one, as it's a pop-rock song that continues the melodramatic sound of the previous track, but this time with bombastic orchestral strings. It definitely makes no qualms about being a anime theme, but I can also hear how it would work for the holiday season. There's a kind of vaguely hopeful feeling to the song. Nanase may not be the greatest singer, but her voice is unmistakable, and for me, a bit nostalgic even. 7/10 07. 安室奈美恵 - White Light After the Ellegarden track from earlier, this is the second straight-up Christmas song. It's a simple, easy-going, pure pop song, and I think it hits the "cheer" part of the theme right on the head. It's something you could imagine being played in the background to some heinously joyful scene of parents gleefully watching their kids rip open presents, or a young, happy couple enjoying a night out on Christmas eve. Now personally, i'll never listen to this song again, but it's perfect for the theme. 5/10 08. Kagerou - Kusatta umi de oborekaketeiru boku wo sukuttekureta kimi Another band that I've never really given a try. Just as I mentioned earlier, here's another VK vocalist that i'm struggling with. I enjoy his vocals when he really goes for it during the chorus, but at other times, he's got this really nasal thing going on that reminds me of Ryo from 9GBO. The song itself is alright. It's certainly not 'cheerful', it's on the slower-side, and the vocalist (inspite of my distaste) does a good job of sounding desperate and emotional at the peaks of the song. Overall, it feels a bit underwhelming, though. 6/10 09. Otsuka Ai - Renai Shashin Otsuka is another artist I somehow overlooked back in my Jpop days. This song is a pretty pleasant ballad with piano, grandiose orchestral strings and a soft electronic beat. For me, Otsuka's voice is pretty nondescript, but it's still got a sweet-sounding quality to it. The song overall has a really easy-going and wholesome feel to it, similar to the Namie Amuro song a few tracks back. It may not be a Christmas song per-se, but it's definitely season-appropriate and fits in with the "cheer"part of the theme. 5/10 10. Dance Gavin Dance - Strawberry Swisher Pt. II Outside of THE NOVEMBERS song (which I love), this song resonates with my personal taste the most. Great, smooth vocals, and fantastic post-hardscore instrumentation that's melodic, colorful, and even a bit mathy at times. This song is an interesting choice for the final track, because in a way, it kind of ties in both elements of "pain" and "cheer" - the song sounds really pleasant and carefree at first, but as it progresses, it reveals its emotional core. The lyrics add an extra dimension of pain, making things even more bittersweet. Nice. 9/10 Overall, this was a pretty decent mix. My personal music taste may not have agreed with every song, but thematically, I thought it was interesting. There were varying shades of light and dark though, so the spectrum of pain and cheer was very much present. I like that some of the tracks even seemed to be a blend of the two different elements. Whoever made this certainly lived up the theme they created here. And in general, I like the notion of "pain and cheer" in regards to this holiday, because I think both are heightened around this time of year for a plethora of different reasons - even for people like myself who no longer celebrate. I also didn't notice anything truly distracting about the flow of the mix in spite of all the different elements and timbres present, so good job on that as well.
  9. ^ done! @Mamo Please vote this image up! vote the following down, please!
  10. Happy Birthday, Fitz!!! Cheers to another year on earth, mah dude, and hopefully one fraught with amazing chunez! :D 


  11. I actually thought about writing about this! midori are definitely worth a mention - "shimizu" was good too. I also felt that needed to be on the list, but seeing as I'm not the most avid DIR EN GREY friend, and that my personal experience with that album is limited, I didn't feel validated writing about it.
  12. Yeah, December is usually a pretty busy month for ORZ, so we weren't able to cover as much as we usually would. There were definitely a few more things I could have written about, though. I just read that apparently there are only 4 new songs and 10 old songs on the album, although since I don't follow her that closely, most of it was still new to me. Completely overlooked them, as I've been out of the loop with new music for most of 2017. Did they release something new?
  13. We're a bit later than usual due to all of the seasonal business, but here's our latest installment of recommended tracks! We're not quite done with 2017 just yet!!! @The Reverend's Pick "流れ☆" by Free Aqua Butterfly "Nagareboshi" by Free Aqua Butterfly I try to use writing mini-reviews for the Recommended Tracks thread as a chance to expand my musical horizons, explore things from around the varied Japanese music landscape, and share my discoveries; and then sometimes I throw those noble intentions out the window and just use this as a platform to talk about a band I really like that has released something cool lately. Free Aqua Butterfly's "流れ星" (Nagareboshi) is a pick from the latter category. Free Aqua Butterfly have been a pet band of mine since I first heard them on the Deep More Deep #3 compilation back in 2015, and they do not at all fit the mold of J-bands I usually like. I think being Visual Kei is at least partially defined by the other bands you play shows with, but Free Aqua Butterfly barely look like a VK band most of the time and have a very J-indie lineup that includes a girl on bass who shares vocal duties pretty equally. (I wonder if it's weird for her to be playing at VK event shows with 25 boys who all spend longer on their makeup than she does?) Recommended if you're looking for some catchy, sweet pop-rock that is played and presented without any pretense, or if you're intrigued by the idea of VK band using a dual-female/male-vocal setup and playing upbeat tunes that don't veer too heavily into 'oshare' territory. @doombox's Pick "PULSE" by defspiral It was nice to see defspiral back in rare form this month with “PULSE”; It’s been a while since they've been quite this leather clad and smokey eyed -- possibly not since they were in their previous incarnation as The Underneath. defspiral have been riddled with some identity issues over the years that kept them from gaining as large of a following as they deserve, but I’m glad to see they haven’t lost their spark along the way. The song’s vibe is dark, dangerous, and sexy. Basically, the perfect storm to get your heart racing! @plastic_rainbow's Pick "絲" by BABOO "ito" by BABOO Who would've thought that BABOO, one of the biggest WTF bands of 2017 with their supposedly 'kawaii' toddler-in-diapers act, would turn things around and reemerge as a band with a lot of promise? Dropping the cute and bright oshare-kei look, they've gone darker yet still embody a kind of tainted playfulness to their look and sound. Upon listening to their new single 黒白-kokuhaku-, I was blown away by the very first track, "絲" (Ito). It starts abruptly but introduces an ardent guitar that soothes an empty heart, and Bero's impressive vocals float about in the background and come back to the foreground like a guiding light as he sings with heightened emotions. If you thought the year of 2017 was feeling short on notable VK ballads, you can add "絲" to that miniscule list. With such an unexpected change in sound within one year of their formation, it's not certain whether BABOO will stick with their current direction or not, but whatever they give us next I hope it'll be just as good! @CAT5's Picks "凍狂" by 八十八ヶ所巡礼 "koukyou" by 88kasyo Junrei It's been three years since 88kasyo have released a proper album, and to the average J-rock fan that seems like an eternity. To make matters worse, the guys have teased our starving ears with a few new music videos since the end of 2016, and now going into 2018, they've yet to announce any new releases! "koukyou" is their latest appetizer and it's a delectable mix of catchy hooks and melodies offset by the band's quintessentially progressive quirk. Their sound is continually being refined, and here they've hit the perfect stride between accessibility and untrammeled instrumental wankery. In short, it's a jam! Let's just hope they actually release something new this year! "同じ夜" by DAOKO "Onaji Yoru" by DAOKO "Wait....THIS is DAOKO????" is exactly what I thought when I first heard this track. It's dark, cinematic, atmospheric and dare I say 'mature'-sounding? Basically, the song is a stark contrast from the 'kawaii' hop-hop of her early career and miles away from the nondescript Jpop fodder that she's releasing now. It's produced by indie up-and-comers D.A.N., which explains why it's so different for DAOKO, as it essentially sounds like one of their songs with her on vocals (which is actually an improvement over D.A.N.'s tonedeaf vocalist, but I digress). It's great to hear DAOKO excel in a style so foreign from her usual, and although this song is a one-off, it shows that she has the ability to morph and adapt to the artistic inclinations of her producers. I just hope she does more cool collaborations in the future, because I could take an entire album of this! "鏡面の波" by YURiKA "Kyoumen no Nami" by YURiKA I'm a HUGE haisuinonasa fanboy, so as soon as this song started and I heard the robotic vocal lines, the strategically place guitar-flourishes, and the single piano hits that sound like raindrops gracefully hitting the ground one by one, I KNEW this was produced by Yoshimasa Terui! His style is unmistakable, and YURiKA sounds right at home with it. I love how Terui brilliantly tailors his mathy and experimental tendencies to the kind of wondrous and imaginative pop soundscape that you'd expect from an anime OP - all without sacrificing ingenuity for accessibility. I haven't heard every OP of 2017, but I love Terui's work so much that i'd proudly deem this the best anime theme of the year anyways! - Liked our list? Have some new recommended tracks of your own? Feel free to comment below and share your thoughts!
  14. Happy Birthday! :D

    1. helcchi


      Thank you!!