Japanese act DECAYS, led by Die (guitarist of DIR EN GREY) and Kei Kashiyama (drummer of MOON CHILD), brought its first mini-album titled ‘Red or Maryam’ in USB flash drive, quite surprising coming from the world’s largest recorded music market that still relies on CD sales. In the USB flash drive, seven tracks are included each in high-resolution audio format and MP3 format. The box also includes photographies, live-footage and the music video for ‘Secret mode’. As a whole, the album sounds pop-ish and features melodic-guitar riffs combined with distorted instrumentation, up-beat electronic elements along with smooth and mellow singing voices. The overall atmosphere is joyful and sunshiney as well as melancholic though every song is fairly different from each other and brings its own set of surprises. As soon as the second track starts off, ‘Ai to Aware wo Nokosazu’, we come to understand that DECAYS is more diverse than expected. Ayasa violin’s vibrato offers both depth to the tune and tones perfectly with Yusuke Kobayashi’s soft voice and Die’s skillful melodic notes. The combination between indie pop-rock sounds and violin reminds of Emilie Autumn’s haunting melancholy pattern music-style. The album continues with a more heavy-like song. ‘Dry’ is definitely one of the gloomiest tracks on Red or Maryam. Drummer Kei’s staccato rhythmic beats pace the plaintive vocals and airy background guitar-sound. ‘Red Tide’ follows up ! The percussions give groovy feeling to the track, the overall vibration is less pop-like. It feels like the more the music is played, the darker and heavier it gets. But surprise, surprise ! ‘Nova Spiral’ is an up-beat catchy tune that will energizes you up. ‘Rana – from Future Boy -‘ extends the trend, the song is cheerful and festive. Fans of indie pop who love danceable music, sing-along choruses and catchy lyrics for the ears will love the album. Those who love Die’s agile and skillful way of strumming guitar chords and making dark and beautiful melodies will do so either. In other words, Red or Maryam is a work inhabited by blissful shoe-gazing.
01. Secret mode (Red or Maryam vers.)
02. Ai to Ai wo Nokosazu (愛と哀を遺さず…)
04. Red tide
05. NOVA SPIRAL
06. Rana (ラナ) ～from Future Boy～