Anamanaguchi
Endless Fantasy


4.0
excellent

Review

by Will Robinson STAFF
May 14th, 2013 | 120 replies | 20,611 views


Release Date: 05/14/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "Thank you, this is the Illusion. I ran long as always, dude, 'cause I get so FIRED UP ON THE DREEEEEEAM"

Sugar can do wondrous things. The bane of young parents, kindergarten teachers and dietitians everywhere, the magical carbohydrate has inspired countless displays of unhinged artistic brilliance. Case in point: chip-rockers Anamanaguchi and their video for "Meow," the first single off their debut full-length Endless Fantasy. The video is an experience anyone looking for an introduction into the wilder side of the genre based around video game bleeps and bloops should watch, and even for non-chiptune fans it's quite entertaining. The basic premise (if there is one) is this: the band walks into an arcade-turned-stereotypical-Japanese-anything, goes on crazy adventures, gets killed off in various ways, and is reborn by a magical cat-like creature just in time to appear on stage for a show, complete with totally off-the-wall visual effects and the occasional string of Japanese (I'm assuming) characters. Needless to say, the visually and conceptually batty video piqued the interest of many, and when the band released a Kickstarter campaign to fund the album and its subsequent tour, fans poured thousands upon thousands of dollars into the band's page as the band reached its $50,000 goal within 12 hours of opening the page. (At the time of writing, the fund has surpassed $150,000.)

The important point about this brief history lesson: Anamanaguchi's mad genius has made quite a few people salivate over the promise of a debut full-length. Now that the band has delivered on that promise, though, it's great to see that the music shouldn't let fans down. The album is all over the place in the best way possible, with the standard formula of chip-sounding lead instrument over a rock background taking on many different forms over the course of the album's 22 songs. Speaking of those 22 songs, though, the album is really long. It's not unheard of to have an album over 70 minutes, of course, as many releases last well beyond two hours. However, a sugar high just can't last that long, and most listeners will probably "crash" midway through and have to stop. The length is pretty much the only negative about the record, though, and once one gets past the formidable run-time it's clear that Endless Fantasy is one of the best chiptune releases in recent memory. That's not hyperbole, either - it's truly an incredible album in terms of what it accomplishes given the somewhat limited scope of chiptune. There's a ton of variety here, and it's apparent that Anamanaguchi's creative genius reaches far beyond an insane music video.

Most pieces here are rather upbeat, whether it be the sugar-rushing "EVERYTHING EXPLODES" or the anthemic "Pastel Flags," and the band does a great job at varying exactly what "upbeat" means every time. There's also a fair amount of pop-electronic viewed through the lens of chiptune, like the alternate-dimension-top-40-hit "Prom Night" and the euphoric "Japan Air," the latter of which sums the album as a whole up. Tempo changes, guitar-with-crazy-chip-distortion noodling, and the occasional vaguely auto-tuned vocals demonstrate the ridiculous amount of energy present throughout the release. As a whole, though, it's hard to tell if there's some sort of master plan behind this behemoth. The members of Anamanaguchi probably have some ideas about what their aim is, as evidenced by the interludes and widely varied song lengths, but it's kind of difficult to tell what the whole point of this thing is. That might not be such a bad thing, though, as it's also entirely possible there is no point except for the listener to sit back and enjoy for a while.

I guess what makes me rate this album so highly is that I always come back for more. I really enjoy the instantly recognizable first five seconds or so of every song, I really enjoy the kick-ass distortion behind every synth and lead guitar line, and I really enjoy the sugar rush I get through every track, be it uptempo or more chilled-out. Boiled down to its essence, Endless Fantasy is a "rad" experience. It's fun, it's fast, it's full of energy and life, and it's what chiptune should really be. So, fans expecting a lot from all the hype this album's been getting won't be disappointed - it's truly excellent.



Recent reviews by this author
Venetian Snares My Love Is A BulldozerSeven Lions Worlds Apart
Big Freedia Just Be FreeSam Smith In the Lonely Hour
Throwing Snow MosaicFatima Yellow Memories
user ratings (165)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
Kyle Robinson (5)
Two pixelated thumbs up....

Acanthus (4.5)
Your own person story arc score....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Brostep
Staff Reviewer
May 14th 2013



3344 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Originally posted at www.muzikdizcovery.com, not sure if it's streaming anywhere but it's been sent
out to Kickstarter backers so the review is fair game.

Video for "Meow:" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vc3JWo2iiGc (WATCH THIS)

Mad writer's block on this one, but I fought through and came out with this. Constructive criticism
greatly appreciated

Keyblade
May 14th 2013



14251 Comments


great review man. not sure if this is a 3.5 or a 4 yet. have a soft spot for this band

Digging: Phlebotomized - Immense, Intense, Suspense

theacademy
May 14th 2013



28240 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

sweet review

theacademy
May 14th 2013



28240 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

The album is all over the place in the best way possible, with the standard formula of chip-sounding lead instrument over a rock background taking on many different forms over the course of the album's 22 songs.


this is such a good summation.

altho i disagree with your perspective that an album's length should be counted as a negative (but this may just be a fundamental difference in the way we evaluate albums). 22 tracks is still shorter than the Pilgrim soundtrack...

theacademy
May 14th 2013



28240 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

was curious to see what others thought of "Prom Night"

(a song i hated a little the first time i heard it, loved it the second time, then proceeded to listen to it like 40 times)

johnnydeking29
May 14th 2013



8987 Comments


Fantasy

Digging: Naked City - Radio

johnnydeking29
May 14th 2013



8987 Comments


Is this better than Metapoddestroyer?

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
May 14th 2013



3344 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I loved Prom Night, I love how the band can make cheesy-ass pop sound good.

Re: length - Scott pilgrim had mostly 2/3 min songs, whereas some of these go well beyond 4 and 5. I don't think it's a huge negative, but I imagine many people (including myself) having trouble listening to 75 minutes of this stuff straight.

Acanthus
May 14th 2013



9537 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Awesome to see some love for this, I too am reviewing it.

Digging: The Cure - The Head on the Door

Kris.
May 14th 2013



12152 Comments


their scott pilgrim soundtrack was cool as hell, might check this out. they're coming to town here in like a month, too. might go

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
May 14th 2013



3344 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

definitely go to their show, they got funded on kickstarter so they can have an awesome light show with their music. going to see them on Saturday, super pumped for that

WashboardSuds
May 14th 2013



4984 Comments


coo

Digging: Acid Bath - When the Kite String Pops

bloc
May 14th 2013



34679 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Meow, Planet, and Japan Air are my three favourites

Digging: Anberlin - Lowborn

theacademy
May 14th 2013



28240 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

i also love the interlude right before meow

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
May 14th 2013



3344 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

That interlude is in my top 3 favorite tracks on the album, along with Meow and EVERYTHING EXPLODES. Seriously good stuff (I think it's called Interlude (Total Tea Time) if I'm not mistaken).

theacademy
May 14th 2013



28240 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

yea lool

hesperus
May 14th 2013



184 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I actually think Meow is one of the weakest tracks on the album. It's still great, but that atonal riff is kind of a point against it, at least in comparison to the other tracks. My personal favorites right now are the title track and Planet, although I'll have to listen to it a couple more times.

ViralOblivion
May 14th 2013



7679 Comments


Might check this out

Acanthus
May 14th 2013



9537 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Worth it.

slackjawedyokel
May 14th 2013



1 Comments


Excuse me, how do you get a profile picture? Sorry, I'm new here...



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2013 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy