MUCC

 

25th September 2013
Halo
Written by Rachel Yarwood

"HALO", the title track to MUCC’s newest release and bearing the same name as the single itself, is a surprisingly upbeat and melodic rock track. The band seem to have done away with most of the electronic and of course the more trance-club dance elements, instead giving fans a taste of something that would reminisce either their "Kyuutai" or "Karma" albums, with only the odd intriguing synthesiser accompaniment that you can make out more clearly between the vocals. 
The layout of the track is pretty much straight forward. The bass line from Yukke is once more prominent and clear through out against the steady, bouncing, beats from Satochi on the drums and there is also a guitar solo from Miya. The solo itself is fairly short lived and rather than sounding fancy or dramatic, it actually sounds as if to coincide with the peculiar melodies of the synthesiser instead, but other than that it is just refreshing to have a new track which showcases each of their talent without all the additional programming. 
The vocals from Tatsurou of course are arguably at their best again, offering a decent mixture of softer and heavier tones, although the repetition of 'Halo' during the chorus will probably be the point in the track where you wonder if it's his pronunciation or the actual title of the song is wrong. 
All in all, "HALO" is an agreeable track for most fans of MUCC as it compliments the rock side of them whilst integrating just a small part of their experimental electronic side as well. 
"HALO" will be released officially on the 25th of September in two editions in total, Regular and Limited. 
The Regular Edition will feature three tracks in total, "HALO", "Monroe" and "Mother (remix)". 
The Limited Edition will feature three tracks, "HALO", "Territory" and "Kyouran Kyoushou (remix)". This edition will also come with a bonus DVD, which will feature the music video for "HALO" plus additional footage from their 2013 "Shangri-la" tour. 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
7th March 2012 
Nirvana
Written by Elizabeth Flanagan
Released on the 7th March, Mucc’s ‘Nirvana’ is truly something to behold. Not, as many fans have hoped, that they have returned to their familiar heavy thick destructive sound, but once again… they have released a ballad.  The release before ‘Nirvana’ was ‘Akatsuki’ which saw all the money received donated to the 2011 Tohoku tsunami and earthquake victims. Such good intent, and Akatsuki was such a good ballad too. So why release another ballad?
‘Nirvana’ is MUCC’s third song for an anime opening (Chain Ring and Yakusoku previously), this time for Inu x Boku SS. Now, either MUCC have become yet another band stuck in the endless cycle of churning out anime songs… or they have simply lost their mojo in regards to producing good hard rock.
The song opens with a set of soft vocals from singer Tatsuro, that trademark flawless arch of sound that is often synonymous with MUCC. With the soft pop setting from guitarist Miya, the listener is treated to nothing but easy listening.
Yukke’s bass is lacking in a strong upbeat that often harden’s MUCC’s songs, making the progression of the song almost boring. His characteristic bass slapping is nowhere to be seen as he plays solemnly and subdued. 
The juxtaposition of the strong vocals versus the weak sounding instruments is one that you cannot avoid. Although the song gives a wonderful floating feeling, it falls short of having a decent crescendo that really rouses the imagination. You can tell the emotion is there, it just happens that the listener is left behind by it as it continues without disturbance.
Ah! The compulsory MUCC guitar solo! Well if you listen to it, you’ll probably feel just as lost as a MUCC fan. The sound is unfamiliar, once again, to their familiar style, rather than fitting in with the style of the song, the solo is speedy and takes no prisoners before dropping down and leaving one in a sense of feeling nonplussed. Miya’s skills are of no doubt, it is clear he is capable of achieving something spectacular within this song, it just unfortunately does not seem to fit so well.
Satochi’s drumming is one of persistence and consistency, it does not show off his skills in any way. Simplistic use of cymbals and the kick drum give no real stamina to the song. The occasional drum roll offers some excitement though!
With powerful lyrics, the song is mainly carried by Tatsuro, that emotion punching through at each moment, it almost appears he is struggling to maintain growls, but at the same time bringing a force of emphasis that is rarely heard in a simple ballad.  
The song does have a rather upbeat pace to it, not in emotion, but in almost half-speed. Think of a song that is between a ballad and an anthem…It will lighten your mood, but don’t expect it to set your heart racing. Although this may sound like the song is bad, there are good points, fear not. It is a great effort if you like ballads, good vocals, strong drumming (from satochi towards the ending), and anime!