The End by MUCC CD Album Review

Ohh, I slowly squeal inside. MUCC, oh, MUCC. This band is one of those rare beauties out in the world that is creating something in Rock or if you prefer JRock.

On first listen what I was jolted by was the oppressive, but the slowly clanking of the guitar. The intro is unbelievable. There is even piano in this! MUCC’s guitarist opens up in The End of the World (Song #1) all in due time. You can hear him slowly starting and taking his time. This is Miya’s beautiful guitar work. For those in love with Rock, one of the few moments of extreme excitement might yet be that moment when you discover the lead guitarist has great guitar work. Rest assured Miya has this. Afterwards, of equal importance is Tatsuro’s versatile singing. He can be both quietly pensive as per the start of The End of the World, but knows how to speed up at just the right pace to keep up with the music. His singing style is both confrontational and interestingly melodramatic. From first listen to repeat listens The End of the World coalesces into a song without equal. It’s absolutely perfect.

The End of the World

Lyrics translated by Gan-Shin Records

Lyrics and Music by: Miya

In the end, nearly everyone falls apart. Yesterday a middle-aged man missed the last train. And was found at the fare gate. Dead the next morning. We have a mountain of problems. And so many secrets. Even if the world ends. Not one thing would change. WHY? In an instant, lead dust gets in my eyes, and the world splits apart. This is the end. What are we living for? We gotta knock it off with fighting over stupid things. They say time will stop. That day has already stopped. Tossed around in a clattering train day and day out. Yeah, you’re magnificent. WHY? In an instant, lead rain lies thick in the painting. Anything and everything has shut down. Fallen apart, everything has perished. THE END OF THE WORLD. The world has fallen apart and we cried. Filled with sadness. Beyond the sky a wonderful future awaits. The world I imagined, is here now.

But wait there is more! I need to make this as clear as possible. This whole album is perfect! And while all the songs are without flaws I still feel there is a need to further make mention of them out of respect for MUCC’s The End album.

While Ender Ender is a perfect song. What I want to focus on is Ms. Fear. Before I only mentioned Tatsuro’s more conventional singing styles, well, there is screamo in MUCC’s repertoire. In Ms. Fear, an electronica based song they show off exquisite use of screamo. It’s both emotional and celebratory youthful. Though to show how great MUCC is they include conventional singing with thoughtful sync changes. All the while, the lyrics are without a doubt important here in Ms. Fear.

Ahhh. Tell Me. The guitar work right off. Both invigorates and makes you emotional. All in an enlivening way. Just the way Rock should be done. Here is where I want to bring up this song wouldn’t be what it is without Tatsuro’s lamentful singing. That rightly gets punctuated by an all encompassing guitar solo while he’s halfway singing “melody” that abandons the facade of lament. Yeah, Tell Me, is glorious but what is further beautiful is the embedded chorus in Tell Me also punctuated by yet another guitar solo of a whole different type, zooming past.

Tell Me

Lyrics translated by Gan-Shin Records

Lyrics and Music by: Tatsuro

The profile of the city illuminated by stars about to overflow. Suddenly I found that, see? Loneliness came gently down. If I sat on the quarter moon, it would seem insignificant. The ruler waved the baton. Wanting to get close to you, I hurt you. A hedgehog covered in tears, alone, in a mirror. Tell me. It’s cold, the melody of the world. Tell me, the strength to laugh just a little. The past, future, present, and this truth.

Dancing in the synapses, your universe. “I want to live simply”. Everyone asks for too much. And we sinners conceive children. Endless sleepless nights. Sea sparkle fluttering quickly down, writhe towards the dawning sky. Tell me. The world abandoned by the future. Tell me, let’s change this stage. Tell me. The melody of the world, painted in. Tell me. A beautifully dyed color. Tell me, the strength to change just a little. 

999. (21st Century World), on the other hand, takes us into a real through-and-through Rock number. The singing as you can expect is whole amounts of playful and rebellious. Usually while this might not be seen as all that innovative, the thing, is it isn’t a bad song and what makes it still stand out is that it has such wonderful guitar work. It can’t be said enough that when a band gives us a little of something expected, but done in their own way then it is still worthy of praise.

After the Rock stylings of 999. (21st Century World), we have 369 (Miroku) that is going a little away from the trappings of Rock. It’s going into Jazz territory. Lucky for MUCC, that I love Jazz! As you can expect the song is punctuated by some guest singers who I’m guessing are not usually part of the lineup of the band who sing the chorus. Even taking into account MUCC’s penchant signature sound, there is an empowering outburst by Tatsuro that leaves no doubt that this is one of the more optimistic songs from them in The End.

Japanese. A song I was instantly enamored with. Why that would be, of course, because they incorporated a distinct Japanese sound into it that fittingly fits with the song’s title. Not to mention the piano work and Tatsuro’s singing coupled with moderate overwhelming guitar work.

Hallelujah coming after Japanese is reminiscent of gothic musical stylings. A tad metal. Yet, what makes Hallelujah the wonder it is, is the meshed electronica with metal and the band’s choral work. All encased in Tatsuro’s memorable opening chant-like singing that is actually something not seen in the rest of the songs up to this point. His intro singing reminds me a little of Hyde‘s singing but as the song progresses there is not doubt that MUCC are of their own kind.

As an attempt to almost say to their audience that the album is not all melancholy, World’s End (In Its True Light) goes for optimism in a huge guitar heavy number. It wouldn’t be considered innovative, I know, however the song gives the album form and purpose, creating a bridge to the final song on the album called Shin de Hoshii Hito that is clearly waving goodbye to everyone.

The End also known as The End of the World contains 11 total songs. Originally released by Sony Music Associated Records, though this edition was released by Gan-Shin Records with English lyrics. Also this release contained a MUCC guitar pick. 

MUCC-Music Artists Biography

MUCC band photo by provided by Gan-Shin Records

MUCC Image Credit: Gan-Shin Records

MUCC Official Website: 55-69.com

MUCC on Twitter: MUCC Official

Members of the Japanese visual kei movement of the 2000s, Mucc have managed to stand out from the rest of the pack due to their flexible approach to songwriting, which has incorporated nu-metal, industrial, technical thrash, and even disco, all laden with catchy hooks. The band was formed in 1997 by vocalist Tattoo (in 2000, he changed his stage name to Tatsurou), guitarist Miya, bassist Hiro, and drummer Satochi, and was named after a character from a TV show (they’re known as 69 as well, since “six nine” is pronounced as “mucc” in Japanese). Despite their youth — in 1997, all the members were still in high school — Mucc quickly obtained a deal with the Misshitsu Neurose label, thanks to the involvement of Ao from Cali Gari, who took interest in the band. That was only the beginning, because the time until 1999 was spent on live shows, demo tapes, and lineup shifts — Hiro was replaced by Yukke — but by the end of 1999 the band finally had released its studio debut, the Antique EP. It didn’t chart, but it attracted the attention of the Japanese media.

Mucc delivered their debut full-length, Tsuuzetsu, in 2001, followed by another EP, Aishuu, that same year. The next album, Homurauta (2002), was released on Shu, the sublabel of Danger Crue, run by the band itself, and it sold out in under a month, prompting Universal to pick up the distribution for Mucc in 2003. That year, Mucc’s major-label debut, Zekuu, featured a significant stylistic turn, putting off some older fans but bringing the band a lot of new ones: by the end of 2003, Mucc were sharing a festival stage with Gazette and Miyavi.

A nationwide tour and the release of their fourth album, Kuchiki No Tou, both in 2004, established Mucc as a hard rock force big enough to be invited to the Wacken Open Air festival in Germany during the summer of 2005 (they’ve played more German and French venues as well) and gave the band the boost to push even harder. Mucc released three albums in 2005-2006, including 2006’s experimental and stylistically varied Gokusai, and debuted in the States at the 2006 Otakon convention in Baltimore. They returned to Europe and the U.S. during the following year, and were featured in the massive European/American tour Taste of Chaos 2008 along with Avenged Sevenfold, Bullet for My Valentine, and D’Espairs Ray. In 2008 Mucc also played at the Hide Memorial Summit along with J-rock stars X-Japan, Luna Sea, and Dir en Grey, and released their eighth full-length, Shion.-All Music biography by Alexey Eremenko

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