BAND-MAID – New Beginning (2015)
Who the hell are are these 5-piece girl band coming from Japan dressed in provoking maid outfits? BAND-MAID might get your attention with frilly costumes and the playful ‘Welcome home, master’ slogan on their YouTube channel, but there’s no fronting when it comes to their music. Listening their last album “New Beginning” released at the end of last year it’s clear these girls are here to rock hard and get your head banging.
Something about the maid outfits just makes your jaw drop even lower when they bust out metallic grooves like the kick-ass opening track ‘Thrill’ (check the video) and the follow-up ‘Freezer’. It’s just non-stop from there across “New Beginning”.
The album fuse modern commercial hard rock taking elements of pop, metal and even heavy funk. It is full of addictive numbers with a powerful chemistry of twin vocals, killer guitar riffs, low-end bass line and a precise pounding beat of the drums.
Each sound by the five band members has a strong personality, but their collision unleashes huge amounts of energy in each song. Although the Band-Maid shows their techniques throughout the album, all songs have both pleasant and easy-to-follow melodies for every one to enjoy.
Perhaps the key of Band-Maid catchiness is the twin vocal delivery creating cool melodies, but also the clean, extemely polished production & mix.
But do not be fooled; this is commercial stuff, yes, but these girls rock hard via sharp guitar riffs and a full throttle rhythm section.
Band-Maid shows no sign of being girly. Vocalists Saiki and Miku (also rhythm guitar) sing their hearts out to show their determination to lead their own live concerts during songs like ‘Price of Pride’ and ‘Arcadia Girl’.
Damn, check the melting riffs / groove of ‘Shake That’ akin Jake E. Lee or George Lynch and then tell me.
Or just take rocking ‘Don’t Apply The Brake’, with a strong potential to become an anthem and a special arena favorite.
However, Band-Maid is not a one trick pony. The band shows a different side in ‘ Beauty And The Beast’, a mixture of pop and heavy funk rock combining memorable guitar riffs and Misa’s slap bass play.
Japanese artists are somewhat isolated from international listeners, with their records rarely edited outside Asia. Hopefully there will be a full international release of Band-Maid’s ‘New Beginning’, because it rocks.
Sure, there’s some bubble-gum choruses plus a clear commercialism printed all over the album and the girls image, but believe me, these chicks kick some serious ass for the most part.
The guitars switch things up between precise hard rock riffs, layered power-chord choruses and surprisingly competent soloing, whereas on the frequent occasions where the bass is thrust into the spotlight there are some great licks and fills.
Strong musicianship, melodic catchy songwriting and a punchy production combine to make “New Beginning” a truly refreshing rocking album from start to finish.
Try something different. And good.
01 – Thrill
02 – Freezer
03 – Real Existence
04 – Price Of Pride
05 – Arcadia Girl
06 – Don’t Apply The Brake
07 – Beauty And The Beast
08 – Don’t Let Me Down
09 – Shake That
10 – Summer Drive
11 – Big Dad
12 – Forward
Saiki Atsumi – Vocals
Miku Kobato – Guitar, Vocals
Kanami Tuono – Lead Guitar
Misa – bass
Akane Hirose – drums
BUY IT !