Review: ANOTHER STORY OF THE OTHER SIDE – Rapid Eye Movement

Rapid Eye Movement

Type: Mini-Album (EP)
Release date: 2015.06.03
Catalogue No.: UMAS-1001

01 Just remember
02 Empty Words
03 siren
04 鼓動 -Piano Remix-

ASOOS - Rapid Eye Movement Cover

“Rapid Eye Movement” is the title of the new mini-album of emotional piano rock band ANOTHER STORY OF THE OTHER SIDE (ASOOS), marking their fourth release since their formation in July 2011. “Rapid Eye Movement” perfectly sums up their current style and abilities and you should definitely check it out. The mini-album is available on iTunes from June 21, 2015, so grab your chance and get it! For those who are traveling to Japan from June 3, 2015 on, you can buy the CD at various music stores such as Tower Records and Village Vanguard of course.

“Rapid Eye Movement” is rich in variety, going from sweeping rock songs to emotional ballads in only four songs. ASOOS are mixing English and Japanese language, making their songs easily accessible for foreign listeners as well. Starting with the most powerful track on this album, “Just remember”, the band makes sure to thrill the listener right from the beginning. The song is powerful, high quality music with catchy melodies and an infectious rhythm. ASOOS are playing with many elements in this first track, combining varied guitar riffs with great piano accents, staccato drums, giving the bass lines a big build-up and adding additional chorus vocals to support Shouta’s memorable voice. Vocals and instruments are conflating into a perfect unity. I can’t wait to hear this song live and rock together with the band and the fans. Honestly a strong first impression of ASOOS’ current music.

With the last rocking tunes of “Just remember” still resounding in the listener’s ear, the following song “Empty Words” strikes another note. In the beginning, the arrangement comes in a very reduced way, letting only Shouta’s voice shine, framed by a distinctive guitar melody with the other instruments only in the background. From a pure ballad, the song gains a bit more strength with the first chorus and a change of pace. Powerful drums with some harder guitar riffs throughout the song change it into a rock ballad, though the chorus is a bit softer than the rest. As pictured perfectly in this song, changes in tempo are one characteristic feature of ASOOS’ music. As this song sounds quite emotional – while Shouta is showing his whole range from his usual relatively high voice to really high pitches – you can say “Empty Words” sums up the concept of “Emotional piano rock” pretty well.

But on with the tour! Third track “siren” was chosen for ASOOS’ latest PV, which you can find on their official Youtube channel. The song starts with a rocking melody dominated by the guitars and supported by varied bass and drums, only to change to a very calm tune right after the intro. However, after the first verse the song is steadily building up again until it climaxes in the chorus. “siren” is an emotional rock ballad, living on constant changes of pace and powerful sequences – especially in the chorus and interludes – making this track entirely interesting and a great choice for the new PV.

The last song, “鼓動 -Piano Remix-” (Kodo -Piano Remix-), strikes a whole different note. Much more than a simple remix, it is a ballad living on only a piano and Shouta’s voice, very calm and using only a minimal arrangement. Nevertheless this track is touching and must be very emotional when performed live. The lines “Maybe someone … someone changes the world for the better” and “It’s time to wake up” in the chorus transport the vocal’s strong wish and the longing for a better future. This song stays pure and keeps its calm tune until the end, making this last track easy to plunge into. The original version of “鼓動” (Kodo) was released on ASOOS’ third mini-album “But I shouldn’t stop here” (you can buy it on iTunes and at CDJapan!) and is originally a strong rock song. Interesting how ASOOS were able to change the mood of this track completely while laying emphasize on the “emotional piano” part of their motto “emotional piano rock”.

The mini-album “Rapid Eye Movement” definitely whets the listeners appetite. I can’t wait to hear more of ANOTHER STORY OF THE OTHER SIDE in the future!

“Rapid Eye Movement” is available from June 3, 2015 as a CD at music stores like Tower Records and Village Vanguard in Japan and as download on iTunes. Be sure to check it out!

Get to know more about ASOOS on their profile on miji-p!

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