Awoi - Birthday


Run time: 44 minutes, 55 seconds
Number of tracks: 11

Written By: Rachel Yarwood
Release Date: 17th October 2012

Butterfly 16441
Sentimental Lastscene
Anti Music Funny Man
Yakou Boogie
Unhappy Birthday to Me

For fans of Awoi the news of their new full length album, "Birthday", must have left you hungry with anticipation for the day of release. Rightly so. 
"Birthday" boasts eleven tracks in total, each one offering something slightly different from the other, and yet fusing together fantastically to give us an album that is unique and perfectly co-ordinated. 

To bring just a tiny (and honestly the only) negative thought into the equation, the opening track "Rensa" might possibly be a little far from what you might have first expected. The beginning is slow with a haunting hymn-like atmosphere as we listen to the verse of a monk which then extends further as Otogi (vocals) enters with his own lengthy and steady notes. This is perhaps not the explosive introduction you might have wanted but non the less the melodies and the tone of this track could, for those more sensitive, give you goosebumps as you listen. 
"Butterfly 16441" however picks up the mood dramatically and whatever bad thoughts that may have been settling in your minds are now completely quashed. 
There is a fantastic bass rhythm from Saki which is both heavy and energetic, so rapid in fact, that it would not be a difficulty to enjoy the bass alone and then have to re-listen to appreciate the full track in its entirety. With the mixture of melody and growls, along with the jazzy feel you get with the backing vocals that creates a lighter mood amongst the heavier rhythms and fast pace of the drums (Ryo), "Butterfly 16441" has come together harmoniously and works well to get your mind and mood ready for the next tracks. 

The fourth song on the album "Parasite" introduces some notable and interesting backing sounds. Of course you have an upbeat and steady drum beat, as well as the heaviness of the guitars (Shou / SIN) and equally heavy vocal work again, but you also have a continuous computerized and near mechanical sounding accompaniment that sounds fantastic against all the other instrumentation especially as it is most focused on between Otogi's vocals. 

There is an increase of energy towards the end of this track which leads really well into the next, "Sentimental Lastscene", where once more we are graced with an abundance of intense hard rock from the string instruments and from the beat of the drums. 

"Sentimental Lastscene" however, unlike "Parasite" where Otogi's tone was deep and near monotone, gives twice the melody. This is quite possibly the most melodic track so far as you wouldn't need to push yourselves that hard to sing along to the chorus BUT, Awoi have cleverly combined both this and maintained the darker side by keeping tabs on their more angry and hard rock influence with added growls and screams. They have given us a two-in-one that will see you rocking out and joining in at the same. 

"Anti Music Funny Man" then seemingly takes us on a different route. This song opens with a peculiar, broken sounding, 'circus' musical theme which is followed by a slow pace on the drums and some brilliant deep grinding rhythms. The volume increases as the track progresses and as the chorus kicks in, the vocals also become a little more heavy, but in comparison to the rest of the album "Anti Music Funny Man" is fairly mid-tempo.

"Yakou Boogie" again is a little more different. Reaching the mid way marker for the album we have a more jazzy, melodic rock, style with Otogi's vocals being more smooth, sensual and with a hint of vibratto as well. Being void of heavy growls and screams is a nice breather for the album. As Shou and SIN draw "Yakou Boogie" to a close they ooen "Yubikiri" effortlessly with the perfect follow on melodies. The transition between these two tracks really is as if they were meant to be paired together, and whether or not this was the genuine idea, it really is a pleasure to hear. 

Each song on "Birthday" seems to bring something unique to the table, and it may only be a small thing such as the addition of certain background effects or vocal techniques or quirky guitar melodies, yet the succession of these tracks fit so well together as well which makes this album one of a kind. 

"Birthday" will be released officially on the 17th of October and it will come in two editions, Regular and Limited.