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12 Surprising Songs: WTF Were They Thinking?

WTF Were They Thinking?  

22 members have voted

  1. 1. Which surprised you the most?

    • "BLACK STARS" by Sadie
      2
    • "冬のカスタネット (Fuyu no Castanet)" by MERRY
      0
    • "aquarium" by a crowd of rebellion
      0
    • "Ritual (feat. Juka)" by HIZAKI grace project
      2
    • "ボーナストラック (Bonus Track)" by DEViL KiTTY
      7
    • "consent." by Plastic Tree
      6
    • "僕は死にました (Boku wa Shinimashita)" by 白黒キネマ  (Monokuro Kinema)
      1
    • "shiranai hito" by cinema staff
      0
    • "首輪 (kubiwa" by 愛狂います。 (Aicle)
      3
    • "UB YOURSELF" by Je*Reviens
      3
    • "Destrudo" by sukekiyo
      2
    • "Paper Planes" by ONE OK ROCK
      3


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Thank you so much to @Tokagefor suggesting this list idea! And extra kudos for joining in as a guest writer for it! We love hearing everyone's suggestions for future lists so please let us know what you'd like to see! Today we're tackling songs that sound misplaced or completely random on album or in a band's discography. So please join us as we wonder, WTF were they thinking?!

 

 

 

"BLACK STARS" by Sadie

Release: 陽炎 (Kagerou)

Never mind that the single 陽炎 (Kagerou) deserves this reward for even existing - releasing singles after the album never made much sense to me - but "BLACK STARS" gets the gold medal in causing second hand embarrassment. A testament to binaural bilingual slaughter I thought only existed in fabricated straw man arguments is the best way to describe such poetic genius like cracker mad song and shala lalalalala crazy stupid breaking my shadow. Add in uncharacteristically brash production, a terrible flow, and a dreadfully catchy chorus, and you have the modern day equivalent of Sister no Future's "Fancy Meeting You Here". This is the worst Sadie track ever released. This might be one of the worst 100 visual kei tracks of the last decade. Worse than Sadie's "Struggle against betrayal" or the similarly styled "GREEDY EMOTION". I would say don't listen to this song but I think everyone should so I can reference it in the future.

I'm also dying for a rough translation I need to know what this song is about it's been an obsession of mine low key for the last few years...

@Zeus

 

"冬のカスタネット (Fuyu no Castanet)" by MERRY
Release: Under World
I’m not completely sure whether I’m alone on this one or not, but when I think MERRY, I usually think either fast-paced punk or kayokyoku-inspired retro tunes, so when they suddenly dropped a Christmas song I was kinda surprised to say the least. Guess they finally decided they had to put the ‘Merry’ in ‘Merry Christmas’.. Whatever it was that drove the guys to make this track, I would’ve preferred if they hadn’t. Maybe I’m slightly biased because I just really, really don’t like Christmas music in general, but  the track just feels so incredibly vanilla and straightforward to me. Even "木洩れ日が僕を探してる… (Komorebi Ga Boku Wo Sagashiteru…)" another one of the band’s slower songs I’m not a huge fan of at least has that funky instrumental passage about halfway through to shake things up. This one  just plods on and on.. I thought it’d just be a one-off single for the holidays that would be promptly forgotten afterwards, but for some opaque reason the band decided to slap it onto the tail-end of their next album Under World. I guess it must’ve been some contract-related shenanigans, because it just doesn’t fit in at all. For starters, Under World’s pretty much the band’s most raw and punk-sounding album yet, so having this polished, limp-wristed pop ballad closing things off feels totally out of character. But most importantly.. the track comes right after "激声 (Gekisei)", MERRY’s 15 minute long epic. "Gekisei" would’ve been the perfect closing track, as it basically cycles through all the different styles in the band’s repertoire before building up to an emotional climax, but nope. Instead we were stuck with unnecessary Christmas songs in February. Ho, ho, ho everybody. Just skip this one.

@Tokage

 

"aquarium" by a crowd of rebellion

Release: Calendula
Soft, emotional ballads aren't exactly what a crowd of rebellion are known for, or rather weren't before the release of their first full album Calendula. The band's previous releases all spliced high flying, melodious choruses with djent-y post-hardcore and insane breakdowns to create a unique blend of controlled chaos that became known as their signature. Even their most melodic songs still broke down into some kind of distorted, metallic riffs coupled with screams at some point throughout. But "aquarium" showcased the band in an entirely new light. While the bridge does explode into an emotional crashing wave of raw, aggressive vocals, it is the most restrained the band has ever been to that point. Last year's Daphne attempted to repeat the effort with "Iris no hana", but still managed to keep things much more upbeat and less atmospheric than its predecessor. Maybe "aquarium" is a little less 'WTF' and a little more 'Who knew they had this in them?' Either way, it remains as the most eyebrow raising surprise in the band's catalog. 

@doombox

 

"Ritual (feat. Juka)" by HIZAKI grace project

Release: Dignity of Crest
HIZAKI grace project was an important band for me, as they ushered in the second wind of my VK fandom, which is still kickin' today. I was delighted to see an old face, Juka (ex-Moi dix Mois), combined with some great neoclassical guitarwork. I still consider Dignity of Crest a hell of an album to this day, but one track stands out as Juka's first misstep: "Ritual". I suppose it's all about how high your threshold is for uniquely cheesy VK vocal shenanigans, but I do draw a line here at 'pseudo-operatic notes you can't really hit' (see 2:31 and on). I almost prefer fu-ki's (ex-BLOOD) strained and whiny, but non-operatic original version of the song. Almost. Sadly, it went downhill for me from there and I stopped tolerating Juka's--I mean, Shaura's--crap in VII-SENSE altogether.

@fitear1590


"ボーナストラック (Bonus Track)" by DEViL KiTTY
Release:  鬼愛 (Kiai)
 I wrote up a big long post about Yuuga's career and how um...environmentally friendly he is from all that recycling, but that's just the tip of the iceberg of why I find him so interesting. On DEViL KiTTY's first mini-album, 鬼愛, there was an additional track added simply called "Bonus Track." How exciting! Everyone loves free bonuses, including vkei fans who buy 8 types of maxi-singles to make sure they can hear all of a band's output. Undoubtedly Yuuga knew this, because his music since DEViL KiTTY formed has more or less just been commentary on the scene itself with this track being no exception. So, what is this "Bonus Track"? It's literally just Yuuga speaking into the mic to say "Bonus....track..." and then laughs. 16 seconds of him laughing at you for thinking you dun get a free rare track for buying his album, but no, you, the listener, were actually the joke here.

@Peace Heavy mk II

 

"consent." by Plastic Tree
Release: ドナドナ (Donna Donna)
Despite having a gradual evolution in terms of sound and style, Plastic Tree never really changed their sound all that drastically over the years. Many of their earliest releases were quite blatant The Cure/Radiohead/The Smashing Pumpkins worship. Later releases saw the Britpop/alt rock sound gradually adapting more dreampop and shoegaze elements, while their most recent output seems to be more like the band trying to emulate the sound of a skipping record. Overall they never really strayed all that far from these particular sounds, at least until the ドナドナ-era. Not only did that album feature their first foray into instrumental post-rock, it also featured this particular track. Now, this song to me proves that these “What the hell were they thinking?”-moments don’t always necessarily have to be BAD. With this song Pura takes us in an almost electropop-ish direction that sounds more like something you’d expect from the likes of Proxyon or ADAPTER。. Yes, it does stand out like a sore thumb among all the other tracks on the album, but I feel like they actually do pull off the style quite well, and although I may be COMPLETELY off here, I also feel like the song probably at least partially inspired the addition of more electronic elements to later songs like "ピアノブラック(Piano Black)". To be perfectly honest, I would really like to see them do something like this again, if only due to the fact that almost all of their recent singles have basically sounded like the same track with swapped lyrics..  Oh, and don’t forget to check out the PV for this one, it’s gold.

@Tokage

 

"僕は死にました (Boku wa Shinimashita)" by 白黒キネマ  (Monokuro Kinema)
Release: 白黒映畫  (Monokuro Eiga)
Monokuro Kinema was another one of those angura kei bands with a retro-aesthetic that I’ve got a huge weakness for. Sound-wise I feel like they’re somewhat in line with bands like ハッピーサッド (Happysad), ホタル (Hotaru), MERRY’s more kayokyoku-influenced tracks and on their later material there’s also some similarities to pre-是空 (Zekuu) era MUCC. On their first (and sadly also their only) full-length album their sound definitely had more in common with those first three bands, though. While the album definitely does have its fair share of at least somewhat uptempo rock songs, it doesn’t really go completely crazy and let loose all that much. Well, with the exception of this particular track. Here in the middle of an album filled with melancholic ballads and slightly less melancholic rock songs the listener’s suddenly slapped in the face with this headbanger that’s also finished before the listener even knows what hit him. It just comes out of nowhere, doesn’t fit very well within the context of the album, and, hell, it doesn’t even fit all that much within the context of their entire discography. I mean, it’s not really an awful track, it just has “token headbang song” written all over it. Oh, and it may just be me, but I feel like the band got 'inspired' by MUCC’s "大嫌い (Daikirai) a little bit TOO much here..  There’s definitely some similarities there.

@Tokage

 

"shiranai hito" by cinema staff
Release: Drums,Bass,2(to)Guitars
While I'm not a big enough cinema staff expert to discuss their entire discography as I fell into them around the time they came into popularity from Shingeki no Kyojin (aka Attack on Titan) using their song, I can say I was a big fan of their Drums,Bass,2(to)Guitars album. Most of the songs are indie pop 'bops' that balance smooth vocals and catchy guitarwork. A track like "shiranai hito" stopped me right in my tracks. What was this grungey rock tune that sounded straight out of the 90s doing on my cinema staff album? Now don't get me wrong, "shiranai hito" still incorporates a lot of what I know to be classic cinema staff sound, but the chorus comes in and rips everything to shreds and boy does it leave an impression! I was not ready. I was nowhere near ready. 

@doombox

 

"首輪 (kubiwa" by 愛狂います。 (Aicle)

Release: 心臓。(Shinzou)
Aicle pulled a pretty ballsy stunt when they released their first album 心臓。(Shinzou), going against the grain by not including any previously released material. We got some of the band's craziest work, but also some sprinklings of poppy tunes that really hold their own. Unfortunately, however, all that momentum sputters out on the insipid final track,"kubiwa". Sure, I guess the lyrics are kind of quirky (life as told from the perspective of a pet cat), but the song is just a letdown and certainly no way to close an otherwise great album.  'Saving the best for last' was a concept lost on the band here.

@fitear1590

 

"UB YOURSELF" by Je*Reviens

Release: Romantic Jewel

Je*Reviens are currently most known for being one of the early bands of Asagi (from D) before he was famous. At the time of their activity, two other members of this band were quite famous in the indies scene as they were ex-Deshabillz. Their lead guitarist, Shi-no, was responsible for Deshabillz signature gothic compositions and their drummer, KAZUKI, later left the band to form what would become the incredibly popular Due'le Quartz. Because of this background, Je*Reviens' music, especially their first album Ne'Phesh, sounded fairly similar to what one might expect from an ex-Deshabillz members band--frilly, over-dramatic, and airy gothic rock with the occasional examples of more straight forward rock numbers. Then you get to "UB YOURSELF." Out of no where, they made a ska song, and not like the random ska-ish breakdowns vkei has been doing for decades, either. Like, if you wanted to know what Asagi would have sounded like if he was featured on a Less Than Jake song, here's your chance. Chocked full of syncopated horns, melancholic swing bass, and random backup vocals interjecting between phrases in the chorus, this song is by far one of the most out of place additions to a band's discography that I can think of. Now, my reaction to this song isn't because of the chosen genre, but more so from how unexpected it is compared to everything any of the band's members have ever done. I cannot tell if I should applaud them for their willingness to take a risk and try something out of left field, or laugh. I usually just laugh.

@Peace Heavy mk II

 

"Destrudo" by sukekiyo

Release: IMMORTALIS

Honestly... I don’t think there’s very much left to say about this one that hasn’t already been said in the review thread for IMMORTALIS, ‘cause to be quite frank, it’s just not a very interesting track in the first place. IMMORTALIS already suffered from a severe case of bloatedness, and this song doesn’t really help. Also.. why’d it have to be track 2 anyway? It really pulls me right out of the atmosphere "elisabeth addict" creates, it doesn’t flow all that well into the third track, it just simply adds nothing. There’s not even any crazy ghost yodeling or cat sounds from Kyo to shake things up a bit. Just skip this one if you still somehow happen to feel like listening to IMMORTALIS in 2016, I don’t think anyone will judge you for it.

@Tokage

 

"Paper Planes" by ONE OK ROCK

Release: 35xxxv
It's not a secret that since expanding their gaze to the global market with 35xxxv ONE OK ROCK's music has been having heavier pop leanings, but maybe none quite to the level of "Paper Planes" featuring Kellin Quinn of Sleeping With Sirens. This is the type of song that divides a fanbase. While some can forgive catchy synths and a featured singer claiming the largest slice of the song for himself, others were left wondering who was this band and what had they done with the emotional rock dynamo with angelic vocals they'd come to know and love?! And in their defense, "Paper Planes" really does come off as more of a Sleeping With Sirens song featuring ONE OK ROCK. Though, it wasn't the biggest surprise after learning both bands used the same producer for their most recent work.

@doombox

 

 

 

Thank you for venturing through this wtfery with us, and please let us know what you thought below!

Do you know any other songs that just make you stop and think WTF???? when they come on? lol

:hum:

See ya next time!

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Jesus, this is the thing I needed to know about visual kei: strange tracks, references, subliminal messages and stuff like that (~cough, cough~ suggestions for more lists ~cough, cough~). Unfortunately, in all of the vk music I listened to in my entire life, I never saw this type of thing; consequently, I think I'm lucky because of this poll.

Edited by IGM_Oficial

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My personal picks:

 

Melt-Banana - Zero (album: Fetch)

 

Even in the midst of Melt-Banana's trademark mashup of quirky and fast-paced noise frenzy and poppy hooks, you ought to expect almost down-to-earth but still the most definitive song of "Fetch"'s organized chaos as a soundscape. The tempo and overall accessibility of this song is unusual for otherwise the act of songs below 2 minutes of high-pitched, guitar-squealing chaos if we delve back to their back catalogue. Nonetheless, it's a great way to showcase how much they have managed to look behind and encapsulate all things left there in a bit mature way.

 

Tokyo Jihen - Honto no Tokoro (album: Color Bars)

 

Ever thought how early catalogue of THE BACK HORN would sound with an intentionally godawful vocalist (read: the joke track) and the lyrics being a huge piss at alt. emo anthems? The dynamo of jazz rock-meets-alternative genres, TJ, makes a huge setting for goodbye with this mini, while not forgetting about the last and final contribution of their hue and glamour - their drummer's first and last real song! A lot of insider humor for TJ/Ringo fans but I won't be surprised if some do not understand the point of this track really lol.

 

http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XNDk1Mzk1Mzc2.html

Skip to 40:50

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I'm very surprised to see Fuyu no Castanet on the list to be honest. It's a bit different than your typical Merry song, but i always thought it was a very Merry-esque sounding song and it gives me a retro vibe too. Gotta admit I'm a huge fan of the song as well. I think it's fantastic.

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Fuyu no Castanet was an odd one to me when it came out. Wasn't a fan back then and I can barely remember what it sounds like today. At least to me it was their weakest single up to that point - and it came out right after Gekisei too...

 

Pura's Consent. is awesome and that entire album is ridiculously good. As for cinema staff, I don't really think shiranai hito was all that different from their other harsher tracks (still a great song though!). If I had to pick one time they actually surprised me, it'd definitely be the release of that monstrosity YOUR SONG.

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Honestly, I was kind of flip-flopping between writing about Fuyu no Castanet and THE CRY AGAINST..., I feel like both of those are sort of high up there on the ''wtf?'' spectrum. I'm glad   Merry didn't end up turning into Yet Another Diru Clone like a lot of people were fearing at the time the latter came out, although I'm still not totally 100% there for some of their newer output

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