DECAYS
Baby who wanders


2.5
average

Review

by Simon STAFF
March 13th, 2017 | 11 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: This baby wanders into mundane territory.

It’s a little unfair to compare any one of the side-projects that come from the members of DIR EN GREY with their main day job -- given just how special and creatively unique DIR EN GREY’s sound is. However, when a member of any prolific band goes off to do his/her own thing, it’s something they’ll have to come to expect; and from the listeners point of view, there’s an underlining preconception one has before they even hit the play button, one that tends to ultimately disappoint them because of it. Couple that with the handicap of the Japanese music scene not being for everyone over here in the West, and the odds are stacked against the likes of Kyo and DIE. The Japanese music scene is an arena that will either gel with you or it won’t; this is down to a cultural barrier that has an intense focus on upbeat and bouncy hooks, mega polished productions and epic riffing, matched by an equally important emphasis on what they’re wearing while they play this stuff. It’s an eccentric and strange world to get into, and even though DIR EN GREY have used a lot of these elements in the past, they’ve never projected it or exaggerated it like most in the scene; they’re a band that have strayed quite far from the native scene, and for many, that’s what makes them stand out most.

So for any member of DIR EN GREY wanting to get out there with a new project, they’re situated in between a rock and a hard place; and this is why I feel both DIE’s album here and Kyo’s other project, Sukekiyo, fail to deliver even a fraction of the artistic vision their main band provides. And it’s down to one thing: both are made for a niche audience; lovers of J-rock/metal. It doesn’t attempt to capitalise on or attract the complete audience of DIR EN GREY -- and more so DECAYS, which sells itself in a much more light-hearted way. A good bit of fun to pass the time. So for that, if you’re in the percentage of fans who doesn't necessarily like the J-rock/metal scene, but found something in DIR EN GREY, I’d suggest leaving this one well alone. But even if we look at both DECAYS, and Sukekiyo’s output, this album falls a lot shorter to the mark than Kyo’s project does. Kyo utilises a lot of the intense atmosphere DIRU has, with an equal measure of J-metal based underneath it all; and for that Sukekiyo will hold more appeal to fans of his main work, than anything DECAYS debut has to offer. To put it bluntly, Baby Who Wanders is a derivative piece of work, that offers very little in the way of an exciting journey. It’s all very cookie-cutter, with an aesthetic that has been used so many times before: the band’s duo of singers utilise the signature airy squeal the scene is known for, with melodies and ideas that you’ll have heard many, many times before. Which is the unfortunate reason you leave the album with a rather dim impression afterwards. There’s nothing particularly stand-out about any of the tracks on here; everything is by the book and executed by able and competent musicians.

So the question lingers: is Baby Who Wanders a bad album? The quick answer is no. Looking at it for the purpose it was made for, it will certainly appeal to the audience it’s always been selling itself to. As I said before, if you enjoy the sound many J-rock bands go for, you should lap this up; the likes of “Zero Paradise” and “AI TO AI WO NOKOSA ZU…” contain a boat load of string arrangements, epic melodies and catchy guitar hooks that are decently composed, while “Drifting Litter” offers a slightly more moody offering to the rest of the LP here -- and is likely the closest thing you’ll get to anything DIR EN GREY. The bottom line is that it’s a solid J-rock album. It doesn’t break any moulds, or define the genre. It’s a competent album that, while I didn’t particular enjoy it per se, I certainly didn’t feel it overstayed its welcome or stretch on. It’s a pretty one lined album, that doesn’t spike any real emotion other than “yeah, it’s okay.” Sure, songs like “Drifting Litter” and “Eve” fair slightly better than others, while the odd song like “HELLO NEW I” and “Rana” -- for their awful autotune -- slip into the negative side of things, but the bulk of the album just left me feeling indifferent towards it all. If you’re a fan of this type of music you’ll enjoy Baby Who Wanders, but even if you’re a fan of this sort, I still feel it’ll only offer you cheap thrills.

Average

EDITION: DIGITAL/C̶D̶/C̶D̶ ̶D̶E̶L̶U̶X̶E̶

PACKAGING: N/A

SPECIAL EDITION: CD DELUXE contains music videos.



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user ratings (3)
3
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
March 13th 2017


15631 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

As always constructive criticism welcome.

Digging: Chelsea Wolfe - Birth of Violence

Archelirion
March 13th 2017


5786 Comments


Only one tiny thing: it's 'per se', not 'per say'. Review was excellent man, mindpos'd. This sounds more disappointing than anything, which is always worse than out-and-out bad :[ I might try and find a link to check this, but if I can't find one, I doubt it'll be the end of the world.

DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
March 13th 2017


15631 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Corrected. Cheers bud.

CalculatingInfinity
March 13th 2017


9068 Comments


Musically you pretty much nailed it on the head, nothing much worth writing about really so a nice and appropriate review. However, I've really got to focus on one sentence:

" and this is why I feel both DIE’s album here and Kyo’s other project, Sukekiyo, fail to deliver even a fraction of the artistic vision their main band provides. And it’s down to one thing: both are made for a niche audience; lovers of J-rock/metal."

This statement is implying that just because it is made for that said niche audience that it can't have a great level of artist quality and vision by default, which is a pretty sweeping and poor statement. Along with that Sukekiyo now has more to offer on a creative/innovative standpoint than Dir en Grey do. Sukekiyo's live performances, Kaoru's recently saying that they don't really know where to creatively go next and Dir mainly relying on the past ideas now confirm that. Not saying that Dir has lost their ability to put out quality material (the opposite being the case), but they are getting to the stage where they're resting on their laurels a bit while Sukekiyo have so many ideas to express and are developing at such a fast and high quality rate.

DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
March 13th 2017


15631 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

In my opinion it really is a hinderance for the band though. It's more interesting than this, but even then there's too many of the Japanese staples that prevent it coming anywhere near a dir album/track. It might change in the future, but currently it doesn't come close.

DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
March 13th 2017


15631 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

In my opinion it really is a hinderance for the band though. It's more interesting than this, but even then there's too many of the Japanese staples that prevent it coming anywhere near a dir album/track. It might change in the future, but currently it doesn't come close.

DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
March 13th 2017


15631 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

The context of that niche is what ruins the music and makes it difficult to sell to people that don't like that sort of music. And, personally, while Sukekiyo is a much better listen, it still uses J-metal as a crutch, regardless of anything they get right. And that's why I think it doesn't come close to a Dir record, because DIR EN GREY seem to transcent that shit.

CalculatingInfinity
March 13th 2017


9068 Comments


"It might change in the future, but currently it doesn't come close."

It changed, literally one year after Immortalis came out.

"while Sukekiyo is a much better listen, it still uses J-metal as a crutch"

They sound like almost no band in 'J-Metal/Rock' today, this statement makes no sense (at least to me anyway). The ambient chill vibes of Hemimetabolism, the bigger emphasis the band has on the rhythm than almost any J-Rock/Metal band you will hear, the middle eastern vibes on Scars like Velvet, the traditional feel on Mama, the obscene structure to Celeste... In my opinion, you're really selling them short. I can't see how a performance like this is using 'J-Metal' as a crutch, in any aspect: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pi5rhAhh-ds

EvoHavok
March 13th 2017


7696 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great review. I did like the album a bit, mainly the Luna Sea-esque songs, but it's definitely marred by some inconsistency.

DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
March 14th 2017


15631 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Cheers Evo. Yeah, there's a couple of moments on here that are decent.

CaptainAaarrrggghhh
March 15th 2017


425 Comments


Yeah, there was very little hope this would be interesting in any way



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