I was searching for new indie idol groups to cover when I came across one in particular in which the members weren’t actually particularly idols. They were a band. Now, when I look on sites that usually cover idols and I happen to stumble upon occasional bands posted, that’s surprise enough. (Well, not really a big surprise, but just a “OH!” and move on) So you can guess how surprised I was when I clicked on their blog and saw a young girl’s face at the bottom of the page. Scrolling down even more to the other young members’ pictures, my jaw metaphorically dropped even lower, though I literally did go “WHAT!?!?!!?” constantly throughout the blog viewing.
These elementary school girls formed their band in 2007 when they wanted encouragement for their hometown of Kumamoto. Luckily for them, with their debut song “Shinkansen de “Kumamoto” e”, they appealed to the whole city! The current members are Mao on vocals, Rena on bass, Haruka and Hanna on guitar, Mizuki on keyboard, and Mio on drums.
It’s really heartwarming to see people try and make a dent in the world map, or at least in their own communities, and this band is no different. They ended up lifting up the spirits of locals everywhere in Kumamoto, and that makes me joyful in turn. You’re never too young to spread happiness, and especially through the universal language of music! (More cliches have never been typed before in one of my posts) Speaking of music, let’s review their debut song that captured the hearts of the people of Kumamoto!
Shinkansen de Kumamoto e – Studio Version (Also in the link is their other debut song, 400nenmae no Katou-san no Ouchi)
The song composition and lyrics, ESPECIALLY during that repetitive chorus, is not the best. It feels so empty with the gaps in the verse and bridge. I think they could’ve added some cheesy echos in there to fill up the spaces. But then again, I feel that if they did that, the song would lose a type of raw pureness and simplicity that it already holds now.
Maybe it was the vocalist’s voice that didn’t do it for me. There are plenty of things “wrong” with it, (Not necessarily wrong, but just… Not the best? AAAAH, I just don’t wanna critique a girl whose younger than me with that word! XD) including being off-pitch, off-timing and instability in her voice, even if they’re all in the slightest. On the other hand, she is a young girl and she might not even have past vocal training or whatever prior to joining the group. (I’m guessing not) Plus, her voice sounds so adorable even if it is far from being amazing. It reminds me of Dream5’s Mikoto’s voice, which is so sugary sweet! They’ve already gone through at least one lineup change, but I don’t know when, so I’m not sure if the vocalist in the studio version is the same in the live. But in the live, it IS an improvement.
For me, what makes this song worth listening to most of all is the instrumental. I mean, there’s nothing particularly spectacular about it or anything. But I just like the whole atmosphere and mood of it. No wonder it cheered people up; it’s so upbeat! Plus, the instruments that I like listening to the most are the drums with its simple beat and the guitar with its cool sound. They just captivate me. Simple as that. Nothing more to it. They still have to work on unity with all their instruments during lives, but I liked it a lot!
Would I call this the best song of encouragement ever? No, definitely not. But it’s simple and happy enough for it raise people up. Plus, who wouldn’t like songs sung and performed by elementary school students?
Yup, I played that card. For a debut song, it’s okay, but I’d like to hear them play something a little more complex. So I hope that, with more practice, they’ll be able to release some really rockin’ songs…
Or maybe they already have? They have other, newer songs in their discography to listen to, so I’ll put them up and let you be the judge. Personally, I really like Ganbare Japanese. ^.^
Asagohan wo Tabeyou