Review: Upset heroes! – sky high
Type: Mini-Album (EP)
“sky high” is the first release of pop rock/electro band Upset heroes!. It was released on March 11, 2015 and contains five songs, picturing perfectly the upbeat style of Upset heroes!. “sky high” is most definitely fun to listen to, so you should check it out. It is available at CDJapan as well as download from iTunes right now, so grab your chance and get it!
The first track, “HEART BEAT”, was used for the second PV of Upset heroes! and is a powerful start of the EP. “HEART BEAT” is an upbeat rock song with playful synths and a positive message: “Hey! Just believe in yourself!”. After the second chorus the synths taking over for a moment, then the fast and happy piano melody, which is omnipresent throughout the whole song, comes back. Generally speaking, this is a positive song about having faith in oneself despite all obstacles and facing tomorrow with a smile, framed with a rocking, danceable sound.
“COLORS”, second title on the EP, was used for the band’s first music video and was, for a long time, the only song available of Upset heroes!. Since then (February 2013) the band has grown, but this song still goes well with all the new songs on this CD. “COLORS” is a very upbeat rock song about how someone brought colour to the monochrome world of the speaker, how both grew dear to each other and how they are running to the place where the rainbow lights are together. Being also an upbeat rock song with electronic elements just like the previous one, “COLORS” plays more with changes of pace and style, changing from rock to rap parts and even slight dub step, but keeping its general cheerful base all the time. Also here, synths are taking over after second chorus, until Hiko’s high voice comes back, backed up by Kengo on drums. All in all, this song is perfect to sing and dance along with the band and have a really good time.
The following “LET’S GET DOWN” is a song with a much heavier base and singing style, relying on guitar and drums a lot more than before, even drifting a bit in the direction of punk rock. During their choruses the song looses a bit of its heaviness and gets a lighter feeling. Clearly the band has a thing for giving their electronic elements and synthies some time to shine after the second chorus and integrate them more afterwards, though these elements are used only sparsely in this song. Surely you will find “LET’S GET DOWN” a great opportunity to bang your head on one of their lives.
“ALEGRIA feat.RAGGA-G starts with a distinctive piano melody, which is joined by rocking guitars and again a slightly punkish arrangement, taken over by a pure rock frame and dual vocals by Hiko and Kengo. Expecting a pure rock song, the listener is surprised with a complete change in style when it is time for RAGGA-G’s part: as soon as his part comes close, the music gradually changes to a reggae beat, RAGGA-G raps his lines during the second verse, supported by backing vocals until Hiko takes over and the setting changes back to its origingal arrangement. But when RAGGA-G appears again, the rap parts and slightly reggae-ish tunes come along with him, making “ALEGRIA” a fascinating as well as laid-back summer song in keeping with Upset heroes! upbeat basic mood.
With a fluent passage, the last song on this EP, “GIFT” , starts. Unlike the previous songs, the feelings of regret and letting go dominate this balladic track. “GIFT” starts on a bigger note, steadily building up, but flows at a much slower pace. All instruments and vocals are very well mixed and appear equally important during the whole song. In the part after the second chorus, this time drummer Kengo and guitarist Bussan get a moment to shine alone until Hiko’s voice sets in again and the song is slowly going back to its base melody. With this rock ballad the EP gets a worthy conclusion, leaving the impression of the band being able to play happy rock songs but also adopt an emotional wider sound besides their short journey to RAGGA’G’s reggae island.
All in all, this first EP is entertaining and fun to listen to. All the songs are definitely fit for being played live, because all of them bear the promise of a good time while enjoying an evening with Upset heroes!‘s music. You like upbeat songs? – Upset heroes! is your band! I am looking forward to the next journey with this band, probably to even higher places than sky high. If you got curious, please listen to the album trailer in this review as it has previews of all songs on this mini-album.
More about the band at Upset heroes!’s profile on miji-p!