Underground’s Artists : The Gazette


Some of you may be disappointed to here that this blog was actually created with the soul purpose of informing the English speaking world about Asian music, mostly Japanese rock.  On the other hand, there are probably a great deal of you who are screaming fan girls (like me!) who worship this genre and roll around on the floor after watching one of their videos while simultaneously squealing with glee and exhuming adoration.  And there are some men too who are all hard core and shit wondering why girls go nuts over this stuff, but they still like the music cause some of it is really hard core!

Then, for the latter, do I have a post for you today!  I am here to talk about one of the most bad ass, talented, and one of the most entertaining of all current J-rock bands!  The Gazette!  This band of 5 is fronted by what I once thought to be a lovely walking tossed fruit salad, but, upon watching a few more videos, I came to realize his true awesomeness!  And believe me, the other members are are just as special…and not in a short school bus kind of way.

To start, here is a small history lesson and if anyone is familiar about how this blog operates you will know that means a rather lengthy lesson!

The Gazette was formed in 2002 by Ruki (lead singer), Reita (bass) and Uruha (guitar) after several failed attempts at trying to keep their other bands formed. (For those of you who are not aware, some J-rock bands have a short shelf life however there are some that keep like mustard so you just have to keep tabs on them to make sure their still around after a few months.)  They are classified as visual kei but they evolved somewhat into a standard rock band…nah, I’m just kidding!  They still do visual kei every once in a every other concert while.

They then found Yune and Aoi and began The Gazette and lived happily ever after.  Oh, that is after Yune left the group and was replaced by Kai (far better!) and then they struggled up the music scene at a rapid pace changing around their styles and sounds even to this day…and then they toured their asses off!   Since then, they have released five studio albums along with a few EP singles and romanized their name from Japanese characters, you know, to make them more international.  You might not think they would have compilation albums but the life of J-rock is so short lived that in 10 years they have made two!

So here are lists comprised of the band members and their albums.

No joke!  I found this amount of in depth information on a website!  I am not that into knowing this much about a musician but I found it reminiscent of the 70’s with David Cassidy when he did interviews for Tiger Beat.  I’m just going to do a simple list so all you hard core fans can just read the list on the link for your full dose of obsession!

The Band

Ruki

Here he is!  The main source of madness and sex appeal for the band making women and closeted homosexuals go mad with wild, crazy little dreams of sequins and leather!  To add, he also has an incredible voice compared to many free-floating Japanese bands that last only a few weeks on the circuit.  On stage, he is not necessarily the main focus since all the members contribute to the glitzy stardom, but he is the one most watched since he has no real instrument to tie him to the immediate stage.  Armed with only a microphone, this tiny metal wailing powerhouse grinds on rails, consistently licks his band mates and their instruments, and manages to include into his repertoire a lovely masturbation technique with a water bottle which is supposedly kind of like a religious ceremony for almost all j-rock acts.  Combined with his outlandish clothing designer, the Bejeweler is kept hot and busy for Ruki’s best outfits most recently in the Suicide Circus video.

Reita

The bassist and the one that gets most of the attention.  Why you ask?  He wears a handkerchief, bandana or bandage around his face at all times!   He says he doesn’t like how his nose looks, I say you earn more than enough money to fix that, honey.  Well, he does now.  Maybe when they started he didn’t and now he can’t shake the trend he started.  He’s sorta looks like a really sexy Asian version of Zorro who is abused by Ruki during photo shoots.

Uruha

The lead guitarist and a special performance partner to Ruki’s on stage fan service antics.  It is said that Uruha uses the “shredding” technique, you know, sort of like the guitarists from Rainbow and Nightwish.  One of the more odd habits he has on stage is presenting his guitar to be licked by Ruki which brings up the point that all of the things The Gazette touches have been contaminated by rock and roll and yes that includes Ruki’s tongue!  It’s very rock and roll!

Aoi

If Ruki is to have competition for stage presence, it’s going to be battled out with Aoi!  He is very showy on stage and makes his appearance known more so than almost every other members besides Ruki.  But damn he’s fun to watch!  In a tweet that caused a big shit storm for him, he commented on Vocaloid, a software/animated/computerized “band” that uses technology to make music and neglects real musicians.  I’m still lost as to what the fuss was about, but I agree with him on the matter!

Kai

You cannot leave out the drummer!  Kai is considered the leader of the band and keeps the others in focus because I don’t know of anyone in this band without ADD.  Other than that he is fantastic and quirky enough to be a normal, stable leader…at least for The Gazette.

The Albums

Cockayne Soup

Released in 2003, this EP introduced the world to the new sound of The Gazette.

  • “Beautiful 5 [Shit]ers” – 3:24
  • “32 Koukei no Kenjuu” (32口径の拳銃; 32 Caliber Handgun) – 5:41
  • “Shiawase na Hibi” (幸せな日々; Happy Days) – 4:39
  • “Haru ni Chirikeri, Mi wa Kareru de Gozaimasu” (春ニ散リケリ、身ハ枯レルデゴザイマス “In the waning springtime, one’s existence withers away”) – 5:29

Akuyuukai

Also released in 2003 (you have to stay on top in the Japanese music scene and pump out licks at a speed that requires only three hours of sleep every two days) and didn’t see much success.

  • “Oni no Men” (鬼の面; The Demon’s Face) – 5:02
  • “Ray” – 5:49
  • “Wife” (ワイフ) – 5:22
  • “Ito” (絲; Thread) – 6:41

Spermargarita

What in the hell is up with the title…oh well.  I’ve seen far worse!  This 2003 EP threw me off with the song titled Best Friends but then shrugged it off as something most musicians do on small releases.

  • “Linda: Candydive Pinky Heaven” – 4:17
  • “Black Spangle Gang” (ブラックスパンコール ギャング) – 4:06
  • “Wakaremichi” (別れ道; Crossroads) – 5:22
  • “Best Friends” – 4:20

Hankou Seimeibun

Will 2003 never see the end of the EP?  They have enough to make a whole album by now!  This one actually had lyrics and folded out like to show pictures of the band…like a dirty magazine for fan girls!

  • Dis” – 4:17
  • “Red MoteL” – 4:09
  • “The Murder’s TV” – 4:30
  • “Kore de Yokattan Desu…” (「これで良かったんです・・・」) – 5:22
  • “Hankou Seimeibun” (犯行声明文; Letter of Responsibility) – 0:43

Madara

Finally!  A another EP in 2004!  It has…six songs… which is like one more than most of the earlier EPs.  Moving up!

  • “Mad Marble Hell Vision” – 3:24
  • “Shiikureta Haru, Kawarenu Haru” (飼育れた春、変われぬ春) – 4:19
  • “Ruder” – 3:14
  • No.[666]” – 3:24
  • “Sumire” (菫; Violet) – 4:19
  • “Anata no Tame no Kono Inochi.” (貴女ノ為ノ此ノ命。) – 5:33

Disorder

And now…a studio album!  Hot damn!  Deputed in 2004, their first official album reached number three!

  • “Disorder – Intro” – 0:47
  • The Social Riot Machine$” – 3:36
  • “Carry?” – 4:29
  • “Zakurogata no Yūutsu” (ザクロ型の憂鬱; Pomegranate Styled Despression) – 3:56
  • “Maximum Impulse” – 5:39
  • “Hana Kotoba” (花言葉; The Language of Flowers) – 4:45
  • “Tōkyō Shinjū” (東京心中; Tokyo Lovers Suicide) – 5:47
  • “SxDxR” – 3:22
  • “Anti Pop” – 3:13
  • “Shichigatsu Yōka” (7月8日; July 8th) – 4:38
  • “Saraba” (さらば; Farewell) – 6:14
  • “Disorder – Heaven” – 1:20

Gama

What’s this?  Another EP!  After a year from the release of their first studio album, the band released this EP in 2005.

  • “Anagra -SE-” – 1:09
  • Cockroach” – 3:57
  • “Last Bouquet” – 6:37
  • “Katherine in the Trunk” – 4:43
  • “Sugar Pain” – 4:25

Nil

Yes!  Another studio album!  The second 2006 album was the first to be released outside of Japan.

  • “The End” – 2:11
  • “Nausea & Shudder” – 6:07
  • “Bath Room” – 5:06
  • “Maggots” – 2:48
  • “Namaatatakai Ame to Zaratsuita Jounetsu” (生暖かい雨とざらついた情熱; Lukewarm Rain and Rough Passion) – 3:04
  • “D.L.N” – 6:11
  • “Shadow VI II I” – 4:16
  • “Baretta” (バレッタ) – 5:44
  • “Cassis” – 6:44
  • “Silly God Disco” – 3:57
  • “Discharge” – 3:26
  • Taion” (体温; Body Temperature) – 6:17

Dainihon Itangeishateki Noumiso Gyaku Kaiten Zekkyou Ongenshuu

And because they had been around for more than three years as a legit band…they made a greatest hits compilation album also in 2006!

  • “Beautiful 5 [Shit]ers” – 3:24
  • “32 Koukei no Kenjuu” (32口径の拳銃; 32 Caliber Handgun) – 5:41
  • “Shiawase na Hibi” (幸せな日々; Happy Days) – 4:39
  • “Haru ni Chirikeri, Mi wa Kareru de Gozaimasu” (春ニ散リケリ、身ハ枯レルデゴザイマス) – 5:29
  • “Oni no Men” (鬼の面; The Demon’s Face) – 5:02
  • “Ray” – 5:49
  • “Wife” (ワイフ) – 5:22
  • “Ito” (絲; Thread) – 6:41
  • “Linda: Candydive Pinky Heaven” – 4:17
  • “Black Spangle Gang” (ブラックスパンコール ギャング) – 4:06
  • “Wakaremichi” (別れ道; Crossroads) – 5:22
  • “Best Friends” – 4:20

Stacked Rubbish

An album of contradictions and various musical qualities.  This 2007 album features one of their greatest hits The Filth in the Beauty.

  • “Art Drawn By Vomit” – 1:49
  • “Agony” – 4:15
  • “Hyena” – 4:16
  • “Burial Applicant” – 4:27
  • “Ganges ni Akai Bara” (ガンジスに紅い薔薇; The Ganges Red Roses) – 4:08
  • “Regret” – 4:30
  • “Calm Envy” – 6:05
  • “Swallowtail on the Death Valley” – 4:06
  • “Mob 136 Bars” – 2:39
  • “Gentle Lie” – 3:53
  • Filth in the Beauty” – 4:11
  • “Circle of Swindler” – 2:58
  • “Chizuru” (千鶴; A Thousand Cranes) – 5:47
  • “People Error” – 2:58

DIM

Released in 2009, this album is a build up to their next compilation CD!

  • “Hakuri” (剥離; Detachment) – 1:43
  • The Invisible Wall” – 4:35
  • “A Moth Under the Skin” – 2:57
  • “Leech” – 4:15
  • “Nakigahara” (泣ヶ原; Crying Fields) – 7:19
  • “Erika” (エ リ カ) – 0:53
  • “Headache Man” – 3:54
  • “Guren” (紅蓮; Crimson Lotus) – 5:40
  • “Shikyuu” (「子宮」; Womb) – 0:43
  • “13Stairs[-]1” – 5:02
  • “Distress and Coma” – 5:20
  • “Kanshoku” (「感触」; Feeling) – 0:52
  • “Shiroki Yuutsu” (白き優鬱; White Depression) – 4:29
  • “In the Middle of Chaos” – 3:02
  • “Mourou” (「朦朧」; Dim) – 0:23
  • “Ogre” – 3:14
  • “Dim Scene” – 5:12

Traces Best of 2005-2009

I think they made this album because they were lucky they still preformed with intense popularity and fan bases in several countries.  Once they reached America, they were solidified!

  • “Reila” – 7:49
  • “Cassis” – 6:44
  • “Shadow VI II I” – 4:16
  • “Regret” – 4:30
  • “Filth in the Beauty” – 4:11
  • “Hyena” – 4:16
  • “Burial Applicant” – 4:27
  • “Guren [紅蓮]” – 5:40
  • “Leech” – 4:15
  • “Distress and Coma” – 5:20
  • “The Invisible Wall” – 4:35
  • “Before I Decay” – 3:44

And now…what I would consider to be one of their best albums yet (and it happens to be their latest) I give you..

Toxic

This album was released in 2011 and has since played a lovely diddly on my heartstrings.  Even the strange carney video they did could not deter me away from this incredible album!

  • “Infuse Into” – 1:23
  • “Venomous Spider’s Web” – 3:50
  • “Sludgy Cult” – 3:14
  • “Red” – 3:24
  • The Suicide Circus” – 4:07
  • “Shiver” – 4:11
  • “My Devil on the Bed” – 3:23
  • “Untitled” – 4:21
  • “Pledge” – 6:05
  • “Ruthless Deed” – 3:37
  • “Psychopath” – 3:04
  • Vortex” – 4:05
  • “Tomorrow Never Dies” – 4:08
  • “Omega” – 1:37

As it is the band has recently release their new albume Division in August of 2012!

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