The WAGAMAMA RAKIA glow-up has really been something to behold, hasn’t it? I would say that the group was always interesting, albeit kind of lost amid a ton of competition in their early years, but they did seem to be moving in the right direction by 2018. Then they add MIRI, start to shift their sound a little bit, and then last year’s WAGAMAMARAKIA effectively sealed them as major breakouts. And now look at them compared to this — Minami and Rin are still there from the beginning, but it’s effectively a completely different group doing different things and still just way the hell interesting and doing musical stuff that seems just a step beyond the cutting edge compared to their peers.
The SUPERIORITY EP has a certain victory-lap kind of feel to it in that regard. WAGAMAMARAKIA was the hey-look-at-us, and now here’s the follow-up, five more songs from guest writers that have this much more “street”* feel to them, doubling down on rapping and rocking and idoling all in equal measure — it seems like half of all new units anymore try to work in some raps no matter how incongruous, and while Wagamama may not have been the first, they did seem to emerge as the best practitioners.
The MV for the record’s lead, “JOKER”, hit this morning, and … yeah, really, you just have to experience it:
Some– Somebody should tell Miri that you probably shouldn’t play video games in the bathtub
It’s actually not the rapping (but also the rapping) that’s giving me this really hard nu-metal-circa-2001 feel, though by 2001 nu-metal already felt like it was on shaky ground and WAGAMAMA RAKIA are, I think, only mid-ascent. Just look at the colors and saturation in the video, the deliberate cultural clashes in their attire; hell, just look at Minami’s hair! But also hear it, again not just the rapping (but also the rapping) in the deep pop hook smashed down into much heavier verses and the influence of enough concurrent musical styles to give even me a headache.
SUPERIORITY is out at the end of the month, and fingers crossed that we get more shiny media to enjoy with it.
*I hate that term so much