|Album Title:||How to go|
|Artist:||School Food Punishment|
|Release Type:||OP/ED Single|
|Release Date:||December 7, 2011|
|1. How to go||School Food Punishment||3:46|
|2. Kaeru||School Food Punishment||4:33|
|3. Kimi ni, Mune Kyun. -Uwaki na Vacances-||School Food Punishment||5:16|
|4. How to go -anime edit-||School Food Punishment||1:29|
Review: Un-Go is the third Noitamina series to showcase as one of its theme songs a work by School Food Punishment, a band that continues to go from strength to strength. School Food Punishment has made their name so far by mixing pop-rock with electronica to produce catchy and well-executed tunes that are eclectic and energetic. “How to Go” is more of the same, and while I wouldn’t quite put it in the same tier as “RPG” or “futuristic imagination”, it’s still a solid and worthy entry in the band’s growing list of hits.
“How to Go” opens with an explosive mix of guitar, jazzy piano and a synthesized motif which carries through pretty much the entire song. Lead singer Uchimura Yumi is fairly subdued through most of the first verse, but this allows the little musical variations and embellishments to shine through, giving the arrangement a balanced feel. It’s when the pre-chorus strikes that the tension rises, with a rhythmic, staccato synth melody that makes for a distinctive moment within the song. The chorus is a bit more even, but manages to avoid being predictable, showcasing Uchimura’s excellent vocal ability. The only part of this song I didn’t enjoy much was an instrumental bridge in the middle of the song, which was a bit awkward in its arrangement, going for a high-pitched synth solo that comes off as jarring and scratchy. Fortunately, the rest of the song is great, and never runs out of energy.
“Kaeru” takes a slightly different approach, maintaining a sense of energy but without the raw intensity of “How to Go”, as it goes for a sense of sophistication instead. It’s a pop song, but it’s smart, particularly in the way it allows its very melodic synth line to carry the song. After the subdued first verse, the intensity of the song starts to build at the pre-chorus, with Uchimura singing melodically and hitting notes across a large range. The chorus is the highlight of the song; it’s incredibly infectious and Uchimura’s execution is very good. The song is kept interesting through the use of small effects and flourishes, both vocal and instrumental, that help support the main melody.
Unfortunately the second B-side, “Kimi ni, Mune Kyun. -Uwaki na Vacation-“, isn’t so impressive. School Food Punishment chooses to slow down the pace considerably, but it comes off as uncharacteristically laconic. Among the samples used in this song is what I can only describe as a croak like sound, which would be more in place in a generic R&B song but just feels tacky here. The verses in particular feel directionless and while the chorus is listenable (ignoring the croaking), it’s a forgettable, almost lamentable song considering School Food Punishment’s otherwise high standards.