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Warning: this article contains fanboy gushing about Japanese stuff because that's what I was really into back in 2016. -Dustin

Music Review: Gacharic Spin - Delicious

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Gacharic Spin’s Delicious is an interesting album on a few fronts. It was their first full-length album and their first album to primarily feature two vocalists. It’s also the only full-length album of theirs that I would classify as pop. Their other full-length albums (Music Battler and Winner) jump from Perfume-style pop to metal-like hard rock and just about everything in between. But Delicious starts in pop territory and does not venture far.

That’s not to say that Delicious is completely devoid of hard rock. “Never say never” and “爆弾娘(ボンバーガール)” (“Bomber Girl”) represent Gacharic Spin’s harder style, and they’re great, energetic songs.

But I would consider the rest of the album to be pop. “今を生きてる ~2013年 春~” (“Imawoikiteru 2013 Spring”) is a great example of this: it’s a rock song, but the song structure and arrangement heavily favor the vocals and keyboard melody over the lead guitar and rhythm section and lend the song a pop atmosphere.

I usually listen to harder music, but Delicious is a great pop album.

I might have been brainwashed into thinking this. Let me set the stage for you. The penultimate track of Delicious is “メロメロファンタジー” (“Meromero Fantasy”) TOMO-ZO, Gacharic Spin’s guitarist, sang this song, and it’s about as bubblegum as it comes. The ending of the song has TOMO-ZO singing something that sounds like “HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY \ JUMPING JUMPING JUMPING \ AH YES, IT’S ALRIGHT” repeatedly. Those are probably not the actual lyrics, but the suggestion could have been enough to tweak my brain when I first heard it.

Come to think of it, any brainwashing must have occurred earlier. This whole thing dates back to sometime early in 2016. At the time, all I knew about Gacharic Spin was that their members were in DOLL$BOXX. I thought, “DOLL$BOXX is really great” and decided that I’d watch some Gacharic Spin videos without knowing that they played pop music. One of the few music videos that I saw was one for “NEXT STAGE” (the opening track of Delicious), and it made a fan out of me. It’s a really cool video for a fantastic pop song. I especially like the upbeat lyrics, it’s very much “go get ‘em” kinda stuff.

(Yes, I have some idea what the lyrics are! There are some cool people out there who translate Gacharic Spin lyrics, and they tend to congregate over at Gacharic Spin Lyrics @ Lyrics Translate)

“GS★PLANET” is another upbeat, poppy track. It’s a dance song! And a good one at that! It’s one of the few songs on the album with lead vocals from Oreo Reona (keyboards). Hana (drums) handled most of the vocal duties throughout Delicious (and did a really great job with it), but I could see where her voice would be out-of-place on “GS★PLANET”. Oreo’s excitement translates well and puts the track over-the-top in terms of happiness.

But not everything on the album is a happy-go-lucky joyride through the cosmos. For starters, “GS★PLANET” has a downer line about failing 12 job interviews in a row. And that’s one of the happiest-sounding songs on the album! There are a few other songs with lyrics dealing with hardship, such as the aforementioned “今を生きてる ~2013年 春~” and “Never say never”.

If that’s not enough, Delicious offers a duo of straight-up sad songs. I think that Gacharic Spin are at their best at their most energetic, but “My bird” is an excellent ballad - you don’t need to read a translation to feel the emotion on that one. “好きな人、だけど… feat. NOSE (METALLIC SPIN)” (“Suki na Hito, Dakedo…”) is another one of the album’s slow jams. It has a catchy guitar line, and I like the somber vibe of the tune. The only part of it that I don’t dig is the rap in the middle. Its delivery is quite deliberate, which is not a word I would associate with Gacharic Spin. It feels out of place to me.

The (seemingly) random sound effects also seem like they don’t quite belong. They are especially apparent on “GS★PLANET” (which has a glass shattering sound effect) and “My bird” (which has has static/interference noise at the beginning). During my first few listens, my ears went straight for those sounds and it was quite distracting. But I got used to it over time.

I say that, but I recognize that sound effects have always been part of Gacharic Spin’s sound. Their first single, “Lock-On!!”, has a well-placed gunshot in the middle of the track. Music Battler is full of more recent examples: the siren at the start of the title track, the wind noise at the start of “ファイナルなファンタジー” (“Final na Fantasy”), and the sampled “whoas” throughout “夢喰いザメ−Album Ver.−” (“Yumekuizame”). It would be crazy to fault Delicious for having sound effects, but they were more distracting than usual.

You know, one can tell that I enjoy an album when I can only come up with minor nitpicks for criticism :-) It’s tough for me to come up with anything negative to say about Delicious. I’ve listened to it plenty of times, and I don’t see myself taking it out of heavy rotation any time soon.

If you’re interested but can’t find a copy of Delicious (or are allergic to pop music), there’s a compilation (Gachatto BEST <2010-2014>) that just so happens to feature all of the album’s rock songs. And it includes an excellent track, “Ben-Jan-Dan -2013-“, that was previously exclusive to Delicious’s super-special, impossible-to-find, venue-only edition. If you want to see a review of the compilation, I have one that you can read: Music Review: Gacharic Spin - Gachatto BEST <2010-2014>.


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