Review Summary: A 'WHIRLPOOL' of sounds
“Uzu ni Naru
” literally translates to “becoming a whirlpool”. Practically applied as to blend in with the music and all of the emotions that follow, in the sense of letting the music carry you and fill your mind. Kinoko Teikoku instill their debut with the principles of "Uzu ni Naru
" instantly, the opening track 'WHIRLPOOL' envelopes its listeners in a warm and looping wall of sound. The bass and drum in the track serve as its foundation, allowing the guitar to resonate as if it’s dancing along with the rhythm, while the vocal goes as if it’s chanting a spell. And of course, it doesn’t stop there. In fact, none of the tracks in Uzu ni Naru
are akin to its opener; the album moves from a straightforward shoegaze to a well-rounded post rock sound.
There is not a single moment wasted on this album, as a result of the seamless progression and the variety of tracks, which makes Uzu ni Naru
a well-structured album. The album itself is just like a rollercoaster, starting off slowly before accelerating its pace. Kinoko Teikoku assemble their harmony through the prowess of each band member. Bassist Taniguchi and drummer Nakamura stand as the pillar, allowing the frontwoman Sato to unleash a heartfelt vocal delivery along with slick arpeggios, all the while as A-chan adds an extra layer of uniqueness through her guitarwork or synths. It is nothing but a harmonious wall of sound. Tracks like ‘Taikutsu Shinogi’ and ‘ASHIKUBI’ are time bombs, slowly ticking, patiently waiting for that explosive moment, similarly to ‘The Sea’ and ‘Yoru ga Aketara’, but only quicker. Aside from ‘WHIRLPOOL’, it’s songs like ‘School Fiction’ and ‘Girl meets Number Girl’ that provide contrast from the album’s post rock sound into a heavier sounding, post punk element.
Uzu ni Naru
is like the morning of springtime, where a chilly breeze and the warmth of the sun easen up any kind of discomfort. It’s also a sound of solace, where the depressive and cynical lyrics are transformed into a comforting mood. It's almost as if Kinoko Teikoku intentionally made this debut album only for themselves. It’s somewhat tragic to imagine the life they lived before this debut album. Taikutsu Shinogi speaks about being broken out of boredom; ‘School Fiction’ screams upon a state of being lost in a frustration; ‘The Sea’ and ‘Yoru ga Aketara’ chronicle both the denial and acceptance of moments of a betrayal by the loved one. “I want to be forgiven, but I can’t forgive (translated).”
In this album, front woman Sato showcases her ability to pull off different kinds of tones in her vocal. From being deadpan and carefree in ‘WHIRLPOOL’, cynical yet energetic in both ‘School Fiction’ and ‘Girl Meets Number Girl’, or emotionally broken down in the final track ‘ASHIKUBI’. Sato’s smooth and soothing vocal breaks through the barrier in where the imagery will flow, even without understanding the lyrics, something that is worth coming back to.
For Kinoko Teikoku, their debut album is simply nothing but a success. They have certainly embraced the definition of Uzu ni Naru
itself. It can be seen through their live performance of this album. They dance, they smile; they reach euphoric moments. They are a whirlpool.