I invited Patrick Kirby, one of the admins of the Idolmetal/Alt-Idol Facebook group, to give his thoughts on Fruitpochette’s recent “Scream~Unlash” maxi single, and a little on the state of Fruitpochette itself. Ping the man here, and remember that you can snag the tunes on iTunes and Google Music.
FruitPochette released a new single last month to go along with debut of a new member at TIF 2016. The new member, Rum, would feature “desubo,” or “death growl.” The new single is titled “Zekkyou ~ Unlash”, “Zekkyou” meaning “Scream.” The single featured one more song with death growl, “Flying~In my dream.” Unfortunately for most of the metalhead FruitPochette fans, Desubo FruitPochette would only last a month.
Now that part is out of the way, I will say the screaming is more background than the feature. The mix has the screaming pushed to the background, and other than that, there is no back and forth. It is pretty much The Shiori Show. Shiori sings lead on every song, and she sounds amazing. Despite the difference of no back and forth singing, and the addition of desubo, this sounds like the same FruitPochette we all know from the previous releases.
Now for my track by track take on the EP.
“Scream~Unlash” is probably the most pleasing song on the record. Very metal with the death voice. This is a high-energy song has metal/rock-sounding guitars with a mix of guitar riff and synth sounds for the hook. The lyrics have a theme of leaving weakness behind, and moving toward the future. The death growl is great, it can be hard to place at first, but is all in English, which is fun for us English speaking fans. [Maniac: ALSO USES F-BOMBS!]
The start of “Meditation~In your dreams” just went right to blowing me away with synthesizer. There was a smile on my face before I even hear any vocals. This is one of two songs on the disk that’s sung solo by Shiori without the backup of Rum. The song has many tempos, and gets kicked into high gear whenever the synth riff kicks in. Any cool guitar riffs are more filler than thriller. The theme of the lyric suggests trying to get into the mind of someone, and that it does not go well, and in turn cannot tell this person how they’re feeling.
“Soulfire~Devotion” was debuted last December when Teratani Mina was still in the group. This is the other Shiori solo on this EP, and her vocals have gotten so strong after her time spent performing solo. It sounds like what I would expect to hear from FruitPochette after releasing “Ijin~Cleaver Dick” and “Souten~Paradox.” As the song title suggests, the lyrical content is about swearing eternal love. The music has a backdrop of keyboard, but is really led by amazing guitar work. Great guitar solos and a hook riff so intense, yet bouncy, it is the perfect rhythm for what I hope to be accompanied with a killer dance routine (provided they recruit a proper partner in crime).
The last song, “Flying~Believe my Dream,” is the other track which will feature Rum’s death voice. The lyrical theme is something like being tired and leaving ordinary life behind. Believe my dream. As the kanji for the first part of the song, 飛翔 talks about flying, as if to fly away. Like the first track, the screaming parts are English, except for a audible growl that kicks off a chill yet rockin’ breakdown. The music for this track has a good mix of synthesized audio as well as guitar, which leads into a killer guitar solo taking you the scream fest that is the end of the EP.
This is an excellent blend of idol and metal, but falls more into the solo idol category, especially with the departure of Rum. Hopefully, with the addition of Narasaki Yuri (Kyuri), who briefly trained with Mina and Shiori in August 2014, the future of FruitPochette can look like the past. Come full circle, to which there will be featured dancing and back and forth vocals again.
Maybe FruitPochette was not the best fit for Rum. Maybe someday, we may hear about a lovely girl with desubo making noise as a lead screaming singer of a metal band in Japan. I would be a fan of that band.
So I give the rating of this album a less than perfect score, of 4.5. I’m really just taking back a partial point, as the death voice feels like it was added in after the album was pretty much completed. Until I got the physical CD in my hands and saw a credit of “Rum (scream),” I was not 100 percent sure it was Rum on the track. The screams were mixed lower and to the background of the tracks, under Shiori’s lead. The rest of the album sounds fantastic, the guitar, bass and drums meld together with Shiori’s vocals like it was meant to be.
I’m not going to argue with the man. But you may have heard it by now — what do you think?