AA= #3


Run time: 42 minutes, 37 seconds
Number of tracks: 12

Written By: Rachel Yarwood
Release Date: 10th April 2012

Dry your tears
Sunshine glow
We're not alone

AA= (AA Equal), which stands for 'all animals are equal', is the solo project of Mad Capsule Markets' Ueda Takeshi. AA= also features vocalist Takayoshi Shirakawa (of Back Drop Bomb), guitarist Minoru Kojima (previously of The Mad Capsule Markets) and drummer Nobuaki Kaneko.

Takeshi and AA='s roots are primarily punk rock and techno, creating a style of music that mixes these two fundamental genres together with heavy metal and drum'n'bass. 

'#3' starts us off with an earthy intro instrumental, with sounds much like a gentle wind backed by a pretty piano composition. As it progresses a soft rhythm is also introduced along with distorted vocals, calmly leading us in to what will be a rollarcoaster ride of an album.

"Distortion", the second and opening full length track, is a good choice to begin the album with, certainly starting this ride off with an immensly rapid drum beat and a heavy, grinding guitar rhythm. However, as the album unfolds this style becomes a little too familiar and it is not until perhaps the fifth song, "sTEP COde", where things start to take a more interesting turn. 

"sTEP COde" takes things up another level with a near techno, dance vibe introduction, which is greatly welcomed after the first three full tracks. So if a track with a bit more rave and electro is more your thing then this will easily be the song choice for you. Even though the electro over powers what guitar is actually there, there is an additional fast drum beat and the vocals themselves also contain a bit more melody, plus more lyrics in comparison to the usual repetitive one lines. 

"Dry your tears", the next song on the album, is a perfect follow on from "sTEP COde". The grind of the guitar makes its prescence once again, giving this track a more punk and heavy rock influence. This track is more like an instrumental, half-way mark, track of the album as the vocals here reminisce the intro track up until about three minutes through when Takeshi joins in with his own vocals as well. 

The deep and raw power of both the guitar and bass returns for "PEOPLE POWER". Lyrically we are back to a simple distorted vocaloid style, repetitive, yet strong at the same time. It is a powerful track musically with a good strong drum beat on top, the style taking us back to a prominent punk rock scene with a just a little more added melody.  

The 11th and final full length song on '#3' is entitled "We are not alone". This track is not just the current single on sale but also AA='s charity single in which the proceeds from both the single and this new album will be donated in support of those affected by the Tsunami of March 2011. "We are not alone" is possibly one of the most melodic of all the tracks on this album release and leads very well into the 'OUTRO' track, bringing everything full circle and closing everything neatly, just as gently as the album opened.