LOVENDOR: TAKARAMONO / ITSUWARI 

By Paris365 on February 28, 2016

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Release Date

2/24/16

Genre

J-Rock
pop rock
punk

Label

Epic Records

LoVendoR is an all-girl pop rock band fronted by former Morning Musume member Reina Tanaka.  They have amassed a large international following after performing several tours in Japan and scattered dates in the U.S. and elsewhere.  If you're wondering if they are a "girl group" sort of band, well, they are not.  Not exactly.  You see, Yuki Uozumi and Marin Miyazawa both play guitar while Reina sings lead vocals and Marina Okada sings backing vocals.  As for bass and drums, uncredited supporting members Hayashi Tabasa and Kiyoshi have both played bass and Kaori Kobayashi and Yu Yamauchi have played drums.  So, they are a real band.  It's just that there are additional musicians on bass and drums.  As for the songwriters, they sometimes work with outside writers, but in this case Reina wrote the lyrics to both songs here and Yuki wrote the music of "Takaramono."
 
The double A-side opens with "Treasure," or "Takaramono," which begins with swirling guitars and strings that are enough to make you feel like you're on an LSD trip in the '60s.  Most of the song doesn't end up having that vibe, but that part does returns occasionally and the parts of the song in between are just as delightful, the song having a nice, uppity vibe that will, in fact, have you feeling like you've just uncovered a treasure of your own.  What I especially like about it is that it sounds like a pop rock song that could have come from anywhere.  It doesn't have that super cheesy vibe that many artists who do pop rock in Japan have.  The only thing that seems particularly Japanese about it is the vocals.  Speaking of which, the vocals are pretty and melodious, just not in any sickening sense.  I also have to applaud Yuki and Marin because the guitars are fantastic, especially the spot on solos.
 
"イツワリ" [Itsuwari]-- translation: "Falsehood" -- follows and has a slightly heavier sound that reminds me of Paramore, the very beginning especially sounding like they were trying to copy them.  Fortunately, I love Paramore, so it's right up my alley.  I would say that this song is purely rock, not pop rock.  If it's anything in addition to rock I'd probably say punk.  It has heavy, crunch guitars with crunchy solos, stomping drums and vocals with attitude.  Like "Treasure," there's nothing bubblegum about it at all.  It just kicks ass, dude.  -Michael McCarthy

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