Review Summary: Maximum the Hormone create an album that is just as likely to make you dance as it is to make you head bang.
Maximum the Hormone are an interesting band to say the least. In fact, that would be a complete understatement. Hailing from Japan, Maximum the Hormone have become quite popular in their native land. After a few songs appeared on a some popular television shows, the band’s distinctive sound began to be noticed. “Buiikikaesu” is their fifth , and most successful album.
Writing on “Buiikikaesu” is a most monumental task. The majority of this difficulty arises from describing exactly what they are. They have the raw energy of “At the Drive-In” with the frenzied pace of “System of a Down,” but have a sound all their own. In fact, Maximum the Hormone have been described as the “Japanese System of a Down,” but I feel like that comparison is unnecessary as well as false. The overall sound is a metal of some kind, but with that being said, the band members are just as likely to jump into some sort of bubblegum j-pop segment as they are to make a break-down. “Buiikikaesu” is fresh, and the energy contained is incredibly palpable.
The band had a lot of fun making this album, and maybe too much fun at that. This feeling really comes through the music and adds to the already established energy. The multiple vocalists are fantastic, ranging from clean singing, screaming, growling, and even rapping. The instrumentalists also do an amiable job, adding a lot of variety and layers to each song. Every note is used to maximize the frenzy and chaos found here. The production is great, and each element comes together to fantastic results.
The true standouts are some of the most distinctive, as well as polarizing. “Koi no Mega Lover”, their first true hit, is a hybrid of j-pop, rap, and metal. This is probably one of the more “goofy” tracks. “Zetsubo Billy” and “What’s Up People” are two of the tracks used in TV shows mentioned earlier. These would probably fall under the more classic sound of metal, being more accessible than the rest. The title track proves to be a great opener, kicking things off with a great pace.
Without sounding too ridiculous, this album is like an adventure. It’s fun, spontaneous, and leaves you completely worn out afterward. Although you could definitely file "Buiikikaesu" under success, the band has a little maturing and refining to do. Although some may find the band’s sound unpalatable, those who embrace it will find an unforgettable album in “Buiikikaesu.”