When I first heard the news that Ling Tosite Sigure was going to release, es or s, on their Official Twitter I was ecstatic! Rumor had it from what I take to be longtime Ling Tosite Sigure fans that they are a band that releases new music material in rather long interval ouputs. If they release something in 2010 they might not release another full-length album until let’s say 2013. That to me is a long wait especially if you are like me, a 1994 millennial generation Ling Tosite Sigure fan, who cannot always be accounted for being patient. So this new release unusualness was quite the pleasant surprise since I am always up for more of Ling Tosite Sigure’s brand of Rock.
I mean why wouldn’t I be?
Like everyone I have musical preferences or biases. Music after all cannot be “musically objectively good”. Anyone who says otherwise is in denial. Think about if there is passion behind music than likely this is due to music being individualistic, more than anything. As such rock, classical, electronica, opera, and some pop are my preferred music genres. I have listened to tons of Pop especially more mainstream stuff but I never was capable of connecting with the likes of Katy Perry or other artists since their self expressions as individuals in the end did not prove authentic. Basically to me genre does not matter as long as a music artist is trying to be highly experimental and thus capable of creating something original. I am not someone who likes to listen to music based on liking one band to another with a similar sound like most regular individuals. I want to have variances in sound and rare singing voices from one music artist/band to another. Ling Tosite Sigure offer exactly this.
They are one of the few bands that are creating this unimaginably graceful, Rock bursting with uninhibited passion. And I don’t know about you but sure I listen to a lot of rock from U2 (more commercially successful) to Broken Bells (more on the indie rock spectrum) but Ling Tosite Sigure’s rock is breaking a whole new realm within Rock music itself. All very good since even for us Rock appreciators, Rock, can get formulaic. Not that it is all bad since at the very least us Rock appreciators can stick to agreeing that all Rock has at least more musical richness than most run-of-the-mill music. Given that I am always ready for more from the band or even TK (TK from Ling Tosite Sigure) himself. All for selfish reasons, of course, since I know no other composer can create this kind of music but TK.
With that in mind, this latest mini album release by Sony Music Associated Records includes: 1. SOSOS, 2. Mirror Frustration, 3. Karma Siren, 4. Tornado Mystery, and 5. end roll fiction. All these songs were as stated on numerous Ling Tosite Sigure news sources all recorded in the legendary Hansa Studios in Berlin, Germany. This recording studio ironically has been walked upon by my personal favorite rock band U2 and another known music artist to the public, David Bowie.
This particular music release released September 2. 2015 on Regular Edition and Limited Edition. I chose the Limited Edition since I love whenever TK can further put to use his excellent, photography skills into photobook releases showing that TK is a man of many talents. Even more important is that Sony Music Associated Records knows how to release very attractive music releases with class, as to quote another Ling Tosite Sigure fan. Though at this time I am unaware of the music release in Limited Edition. While my order has shipped I have yet to receive it via mail. So moving on! I’ll get to the Limited Edition presentation at another time under es or s Limited Edition by Ling Tosite Sigure Review [Extended Edition]. The fact that you are getting this earlier review of es or s is simply because Sony Music Associated Records has made es or s available on Amazon.com Music. I know, I know. Rejoice!
Now with this newest release I am incredibly lucky that leading up towards the release I immersed myself into listening to Ling Tosite Sigure’s past music (Best of Tornado) a bit more and what I noticed surprised even me. I am not sure what it is but I started to hear a barely there but noticeable tremble underneath the music. Making me see that while not perceivable it becomes more and more noticeable as you listen to Ling Tosite Sigure music. The powerful musical tremors of Ling Tosite Sigure!
As a whole Ling Tosite Sigure music creates wonderful sceneries which one could argue are stories unto themselves through simply their music (a 7days wonder, Ling Tosite Sigure). This is a band that is showing you rather than telling you these stories. After all with Ling Tosite Sigure’s music this is the type of music that is beyond imagining at times. Music where you can actually feel the movement.
es or s is for certain Ling Tosite Sigure grappling out into a Rock with a poppier direction. Hey, even if Ling Tosite Sigure is getting more on the Pop territory they still manage to maintain their original signature sound. It’s all about their sound.
The es or s songs in a Breakdown
SOSOS: Originally when I heard this on Youtube when the SOSOS fragment was released I did not like hearing it at all. At first I found the song’s movement boring and then I felt guilty for thinking like that toward TK’s music since I do so admire his work. So a day later I gave SOSOS about 8 new listens and then some. Then I liked the music and the singing except the lyrics, I realized. In a breakdown, the lyrics lack strength. Which is truly sad since TK is an excellent wordsmith. Usually what happens when I listen to Ling Tosite Sigure’s music I can picture something from the music but this did not happen with SOSOS. Music: Exceptional | Lyrics: Lack strength despite me not understanding any Japanese. | Singing: TK and 345’s singing is still as lovely as ever.
Mirror Frustration: Mirror Frustration is quite beautiful in opening. Very easy to move to or dance to. While some would go as far as to call this literal Pop, it undoubtedly gets bombarded by TK’s hard-edged guitar playing. Oh, and 345’s singing in Mirror Frustration is quite the beauty! 345’s singing even in small doses can totally change the tilt of a Ling Tosite Sigure song. To me, Mirror Frustration, is a marrying of Rock and danceable Pop in the right measure. Never allowing it to overpower the song toward one direction.
Karma Siren: Karma Siren is a song I don’t necessarily like the music but all can be forgiven when TK says “Karma Siren” so invitingly.
My Personal Favorite Songs from es or s
1) Mirror Frustration
2) Tornado Mystery
3) Karma Siren
Thus musically es or s is beautiful like most of TK’s music compositions. For those who are compatible with TK’s music composition imagining this is going to be another beloved release despite how es or s was in dire need of better lyrics composition, mostly SOSOS. Look we all know TK excels in the music itself but the lyrics needed serious work. If the lyrics are weak justice is not given to TK and 345’s beautiful singing. This new direction leads us into a more poppier sound, for sure. Ling Tosite Sigure has had two extremes in the past for the most part. A cleaner sound that was too raw in the early days and as they have progressed their musical sound has grown to be a more smoother sound, Pop? Since I am compatible with TK’s musical direction 100% and everything he has produced from the most recent to the past, I’m okay with a lot as long as I get TK singing.
If anyone has their problems with TK’s singing voice, 345’s, or Pierre Nakano’s drumming then too bad. TK is someone with an alarmingly uncompromising singing voice be it uber sharp or soft and delicate. This goes for his musical vision as well. You either have to accept it, like I do or not. Then again this could be because I am always searching for music that is very original within a genre or even better across multiple genres through genre-blending. I mean musicians put out music and we either connect with their vision or not.
Music can be universal only to an extent and for those who do not connect with Ling Tosite Sigure’s music or nitpick, maybe, you are not the right listener for Ling Tosite Sigure and Ling Tosite Sigure are not the right music artists for you. So instead get out there and keep searching. The indie scene of music for certain has a lot to offer. Now considering music is largely preferential and thus biased this latest direction from Ling Tosite Sigure should be up to anyone’s liking who are deep appreciators of these, oh, so talented musicians.
My previous top appreciations: Best of Tornado Hyper Tornado Edition by Ling Tosite Sigure: Everything on Disc 1 except Enigmatic Feeling 2015 mix! Sounded too murky. Other than that, especially love Acoustic [Live], Sadistic Summer [Live], and TK in the Sunset (from Demo Tape) on Disc 3. just A moment by Ling Tosite Sigure. Abnormalize [Single] by Ling Tosite Sigure. Enigmatic Feeling [Single] by Ling Tosite Sigure. Who What Who What [Single] by Ling Tosite Sigure.
es or s Availability on Amazon US
Ling Tosite Sigure-Music Artists Biography
TK | Pierre Nakano | 345
Ling Tosite Sigure Official: http://www.sigure.jp/
Ling Tosite Sigure on Twitter: Sigure Official
Find out More: Last.fm
A Japanese rock band from Saitama, formed in 2002. TK is the composer/songwriter for Ling Tosite Sigure songs, guitarist, and lead singer to the band. 345 plays the bass guitar and backs TK with singing. While Pierre Nakano is the most precise drummer you will encounter. This is Ling Tosite Sigure. The band uses Ling tosite sigure (凛として時雨) on their website, albums, and other materials. The band’s name means “A frigid autumn’s rain shower.” Their music style is aggressive, fast-paced rock with rapid changes of tempo and mood reminiscent of styles as diverse as progressive rock, post-hardcore, post-rock, and funk. They utilize both male and female vocals ranging from soft singing to loud wails and screams. They signed for UK distribution with JPU Records in June 2013.
Edited on April 11, 2016 for better clarification since music is, in fact, so hard to review due to it being hard to conceptualize into words.