The first part of this Fukuoka double-header sees Trick8f’s new EP “STARtriangle” get put through its paces. Read on for the full review.
- One Day in Summer ~Kimi ga Boku ni Koi wo Hajimeru made~ feat. FantaRhyme
- Arigatou no Kioku
- Ame ga Yandara
- As a Child
- Altair & Vega
Trick8f are a 3 piece idol group based in Fukuoka. Formed in 2007 they are currently signed to the agency Trust Fukuoka along with a number of other local idol groups.
Their music is unique in that it doesn’t really sound like your everyday idol music. In fact there’s an argument to be made that their music isn’t really idol music. There’s a lot of western elements incorporated into their songs, from the flow to the composition sensibilities. It’s not terribly uncommon in Japanese music in general but you don’t see it crop up in idol music too often. Basically what I’m saying is don’t come into this expecting bubblegum J-Pop, there’s a lot more going on here.
Now that I got all of that pointless waffling out of the way, let’s get down to the business end of this review. “STARtriangle” is a 5 song EP which you can hear a preview of by clicking on the video I embedded above. I personally rather like it and I’m hopefully going to convince you to give Trick8f a chance by the end of this review.
The first track “One Day in Summer ~Kimi ga Boku ni Koi wo Hajimeru made~” features label mates FantaRhyme (more on them later). As the title might suggest, it’s a very upbeat “summer song” (god I hate this term now) and like much of Trick8f’s music features a very well thought out instrumental composition. There’s a lot of layers here and they all build together to form a very rich and intricate song. The guitar riff is infectious, Trick8f’s vocals have great depth, even FantaRhyme’s rapping somehow works and the drums just hold everything together really well. Good start.
Second track “Arigatou no Kioku” is a slightly more low key affair. I’m not typically one for these slower types of song but we’re two tracks in and Trick8f are showing that they have a good range of styles already. That a big positive for me. The instrumentals on this song kinda remind me of music from the Persona video game series, at least in the beginning anyway. I also thought that the piano and guitar parts worked well together and again the singing was top notch.
“Ame ga Yandara” sounds very K-pop influenced, especially in the chorus. I’m not necessarily talking about current K-pop when I say this either. I’m thinking of your SNSDs and Karas from say 3 or 4 years ago. It’s actually quite nice to hear this sound again; I enjoyed it back then and I still enjoy it today. There are a couple of really strange parts in the song where some guy is kinda sorta barely rapping in the background. Wasn’t really into that and it did detract from the song a little but still really enjoyable overall.
Things take a bit of an R&B turn with “As a Child”. While there were elements creeping through in the previous songs, it really takes form here. I really like how smooth the instrumental arrangement is. It certainly made me want to get my groove on (is that what the kids say these days?). Throw in a particularly pleasing guitar solo along with the great vocal work that I’ve come to expect at this point and I just don’t know what more you could ask for.
The last track on the EP is “Altair & Vega”, the title of which made me instantly think of that one Bakemonogatari song by Supercell (which is fantastic by the way). The intro also made me think of some American top 40 song from the early 2000s but the name escapes me right now. The song itself is rather calm and soothing with what I think is a really nice beat. There’s also some well executed synthetic(?) wind instrumentals which were a surprising but not unwelcome addition to the song. All in all a very nice note to end on.
Like I said in the beginning, I really like this EP and I really like Trick8f. I would strongly encourage you to check out not only this EP but the rest of their back catalog also. This is up there for one of the best releases I’ve heard this year and I only really started checking out this group a month ago. Trick8f are a breath of fresh air in what can at times be a fairly stale musical landscape.
Let me know what you think about Trick8f in the comment section below and be sure to thank my buddy @DJAMAYAOFFICIAL for turning me on to this group in the first place.