|Anime Title:||ERASED AKA Boku dake ga Inai Machi|
|Artist:||Asian Kung-Fu Generation|
|Release Type:||OP/ED Single|
|Release Date:||March 16, 2016|
|01. Re:Re:||Asian Kung-Fu Generation||5:32|
|02. Time Traveller||Asian Kung-Fu Generation||2:54|
Review: If Asian Kung-Fu Generation (AKFG) is involved, you’re pretty much guaranteed a rocking good time. With songs like ‘Rewrite’ (Full Metal Alchemist), ‘Haruka Kanata’ (Naruto), ‘After Dark’ (Bleach) to name a few, these industry veterans of 20 years have proven time and again how well their style of rock works as anime openings.
And they’re back, with the song ‘Re:Re:’ for the mystery thriller Boku dake ga Inai Machi . What’s especially cool about this track is that it’s a cover of the same song used in their 2004 album ‘Sol-fa’ and it’s a brilliant, exciting track in its own right. The introduction builds so subtly, with pulsating bass and drums driving the opening while the guitars float around and provide little hints of what’s to come. The buildup feels organic and when the guitar riffs come in, their presence feels natural.
The riffs themselves provide the song’s main motifs, with a mechanical yet catchy clock-like melody that drives the rhythm ever forward. Vocalist Masafumi Goto has a great sound about him that’s both laidback, yet expressive. His passionate performance brings most of the spirit in the song and his harmonies during the chorus are exceptional.
This ever-moving rhythm quiets during the bridge while the solo guitar struts its stuff. But like an unstoppable tide, it collects itself, building to a climax where the band ends it with a loud, jangling finale. While the buildup is fantastic, the finale is a separate entity that doesn’t quite fit the organic/mechanical feel of the piece. It’s a shame as the ending takes a little away from this five minute joyride down a highway of fun and nostalgia.
The B-Side ‘Time-traveller’ is sadly nowhere near that level of brilliance at all. Rather than intricate melodies and motifs, it goes for a lazy surf-rock theme lacking in passion. Weak vocals and ideas bring it down even more and although there’s an interesting bridge that brings forth a harder sound, it’s too little too late as the song sits back into this tired, static mould. Definitely a lackluster song of little consequence.
Aside from that disaster, the title track is an amazing piece of music. I really love how this version of ‘Re:Re:’ pays homage to the original song from 2004. The introduction is what actually plays when AKFG performs ‘Re:Re’ live and it’s great to hear it in studio form. The 2004 version is one of my favourite songs by AKFG. It’s frantic, fresh, passionate and showcases AKFG’s energy perfectly. This version takes it a smidgen slower. A very, very tiny bit slower. And what I love about it is that it gives the song time to breathe so much more. While the vocals don’t possess the same raw energy as in the original version, the fantastic production values make them sound more supported and the guitar-work much smoother. The whole track seems like a definitive version – fuller, more mature and an entirely different beast that’s still retains the catchiness and passion of the original. There’s a lot that’s changed in twelve years, and I’m hearing very good things.