Review Summary: A pretty straightforward album from one of Japan's most schizophrenic acts.
In visual kei, if a band wishes to succeed, they must be an original talent. That could be one of the reasons why Japan's Cali Gari have garnered much attention all over the scene. Starting off in the early 90's, Cali Gari were a band that was born f**ked, and knew what they were doing from the get-go. They released a few demos, before making their debut full length, "Dai 5 Jikkenshitsu", to big success in the indie visual scene. Mixed with an angura kei fashion sense and a highly unique sound, it isn't hard to tell why it took Cali Gari a while to break into the major scene. That being said, in 2002, Cali Gari finally got their moment in the sun, when they released their first major full length, with a surprisingly straightforward sound.
Throughout the album, Cali Gari shed lots of their bizarre upbringings, but still maintain a unique sound. It starts off with a pretty deceiving opening track "Haikara.Satsubatsu.Haiso.Zessa", before spinning into a very f**ked sounding track, "Mahoraba Blues". After that though, the album maintains a pretty solid alternative sound, with a bit of experimentation thrown in the track, "Kuroi Kyuutai", but nothing too overbearing. The next few tracks even experiment with electronica. The alternative sound kicks back in after a while of electronic goodness, with even a swing-type song, "Wazurai". The album then closes with a kickback to their older side. The closer, "Shikkin", is essentially a lo-fi, noisy, chaotic piece, that barely makes it past 3 minutes. A helluva way to close any album.
The only thing that's keeping the album from being an absolute classic, or even superb, is the fact that it's length comes back and bites it in the ass. The album's a good listen... a damn good listen, but it does start to lack by the end of the album. For being an hour long, it really doesn't give the punch that it should. Not to mention, the 8-and-a-half minute track, "Tokyo Byou", sinks the album back to excellent status, while the previous track "Sora mo Waratteru" did its best to bring the album up even higher. And the overly-extended interlude, "Drama ''Kuroi kyuutai", brings the album down even lower. It doesn't lag enough to drop it incredibly (sort of like their previous album, "Dai 6 Jikkenshitsu"), as it does contain some damn good material to make up for it. It's just the longevity of the album really kills it at the end.
Overall, the album isn't as screwy as their older stuff. Actually, it's quite pale in comparison. However, the album is still only recommended to a specific audience. If you don't mind your rock to be a bit out there, but still maintain a bit of coolness to it, then give the album a spin. Otherwise, stay away. Definitely not for the closeminded.