Review: Zekkei Kujira – Jidori

Following their April release of the mini album Tadori (“picture taken by another”) comes today’s release of the sequel work, Jidori (“selfie”). Although today is the official release date, I picked this up yesterday in a practice called “flying get,” where CD stores put out new albums the day before release in the afternoon. It gives them an advantage over internet retailers like Amazon and fans who can make it to a Tower Records and sometimes HMV, Disc Union, and Village Vanguard can get a head start listening. And boy am I glad I got a running start.

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Track List

  1. #selfie
  2. Saigo ni Ai wa Katsu (最後に愛は勝つ)
  3. Season II (シーズンII)
  4. Saishin Heiki (最新兵器)
  5. Demakase (デマカセ)

This album is fabulous. It’s a contender for best album of the year, with no throwaway tracks. Emotion drips off every lyric that frontwoman Natsuko Polaris belts out over the indie pop tracks. You can hear the influence of city pop and its dance beats as it mixes with their psychedelic tone and heavy hitting rock ‘n roll guitar with the fuzz turned way up. The choruses and instrumental leads are insidiously catchy, but they also don’t stray away from weird, especially when it comes to the keyboards (see the breakdown on Saishin Bukki with the reverse string setting or the intro to Season II with the synth voices).

Jidori is head and shoulders above their last mini. Although I enjoyed Tadori, the two strongest tracks, My Little Parallel Dreamers and papapa, were re-recordings from their demos, and two more of the five songs were relatively forgettable. Their newest effort is a lovingly crafted album of five single-worthy songs.

Standout Tracks

  • Saigo ni Ai wa Katsu – the frenetic spoken lyrics in the prechorus are only topped by the killer hook
  • Season II – addictive prechorus guitar riff

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