Well nice to meet you all, my name’s Meghan, today’s guest blogger. But that’s not all that important today since I’ll be introducing a new band to you all today.
Now a lot of you maybe thinking ‘what is this rock band doing on this blog?’ And some of you may be thinking ‘oh I see’. Lets clear the reasons up very quickly.
Last year Tanaka Koki was fired from Johnny’s due to a breach of his contract. I wont go into details since that isn’t the aim of this post, but after his one year restriction he is back with a new band in a new genre.
INKT would be what I personally would describe as a One Ok Rock – Abingdon Boys School hybrid. The songs display a good mix, some guitar/bass heavy, others featuring lots of keyboard. Koki also added some rapping in areas, giving the band a rather unique sound.
INKT consists of 5 members:
Now we all know Koki as the ex-KAT-TUN member, but do you all know the rest?
mACKAz and SASSY used to be apart of the band High and Mighty Color, a rock band with a female vocalist. They disbanded a little while ago.
Kei and kissy were both freelance musicians, and had played together in KAT-TUN’s band during the Chain concerts in 2012.
In October, INKT was announced opening their website, opening a blog and starting their own fanclub. A teaser was released for their first song, Trigger which marked the announcement of their first album, released on November 8th.
Mini song reviews:
Trigger (Lyrics: Koki Music: Kissy)
Trigger is what I refer to as the most ‘one ok rock’-like song on the album. Its got a good balance between all the instruments and really sets it clear from the start, this is a rock band. The key point in this song I think will be the lyrics. They are all about pushing forwards and the frustration of standing still.
Fight for freedom (Lyrics: Koki Music: Kissy)
This one starts with what I can only describe as an anime opening sound. The song quickly loses this and becomes an interesting blend of keyboard, guitar and rap. The lyrics show a very battle-ready kind of attitude, showing that the band is ready to take on anything that may come their way. The lyrics talk a lot about fighting for freedom (like the title implies) and how they are ready to leave the past behind and to take on a new future.
A Whole New World (Lyrics: Koki Music: Kei)
This is definitely what I would call a more drum and guitar based song. The tune is more upbeat than fight for freedom. It has smooth transactions. From the title alone I got the image of Aladdin stuck in my head. Which in a way is what the lyrics are aiming for. There is a lot of talking about how everything is trapped in a boring world, and that we should break free into a new world where we can make our own place. The most catchy line is definitely ‘I’ll bring you to a whole new world’. It suits the image of the band. A rock band making their own place, taking fans from KAT-TUN and high and mighty colour and leading them to a new sound.
Past & Future (Lyrics: Koki Music: Kei)
This one starts with guitars in a way that I think is similar to Asian Kung fu generation. Its got a very mellow and smooth sound that makes for easily listening. Its lighter than the other songs musically, but seems to have a heavier lyric focus with phrases like “We won’t fight our way any more, We’ve got to start to run brand new way.” and “We will keep going with our life, till our hearts stop beating”.
This song I think features some great bass lines though, which you wouldn’t typically notice in other rock bands, unless you listen for it.
Shangri-La (Lyrics: Koki Music: mACKAz)
This is great upbeat song with a feeling of moving forwards. The composition reminds me of some of Asian Kung fu generation’s more heavier songs. But it holds it own unique style with the vocals leading the tune rather than the guitar or keyboard. Also its one of the fewer songs with a gentler hook rather than a heavy rock based one like trigger. The song’s lyrics are a lot about forgetting all their troubles and about just letting go and having fun.
Survivor (Lyrics: Koki Music: Kissy)
This one is easily my favourite and from what I’ve seen of fan responses, is perhaps a fan favourite too. Its very vocal heavy, with what almost seems to be telling a story with phrases like ‘Tell me why? Tell me what to do’ and ‘Survivor, I’m a messenger’. The keyboard and guitars does a fantastic job in this song, backing up the image of the vocals perfectly.
FTW (Lyrics: Koki Music: SASSY)
A lot of people I know were really anticipating this one after the itunes previews were released. Its the only one with a rap start. Its a fast song with the guitar really leading the tune. Koki really worked hard with the lyrics of this one, and is clearly enjoying being able to swear in his songs now. The lyrics make me question a lot of things though as there are a lot of lines like “the manipulated gossip of the mass media, fuck that” and “Can’t say what I wanna say.” It makes me wonder what Koki is really trying to say in this song.
45′ (Lyrics: Koki Music: mACKAz)
This one seems almost like a mix of different genres. It takes elements of pop and electro and mixes it into a more rock style. The most interesting part I think is the chorus and the almost out of place piano after it. The lyrics talk a lot about keeping your mouth shut if you don’t know anything. Its very interesting, and is well interlaced with the other instruments and with rap to make it captivating. This song does make me realise that Koki has been working on his vocals and is really trying to make a good range of sounds for INKT.
Hide and Seek (Lyrics: Koki Music: Kei)
On this album, this one is probably the closest you would get to a slower song (accept Zutto, I’ll talk about that song at the end). You can hear the keyboard introducing a good lighter counter tune to the strong guitar in this song. I think its a good blend of the two to make a more emotional song with supportive lyrics talking about being together and carrying on together. Life, and maybe love too, is a bit like a game of hide and seek is what the song seems to be trying to convey. “I never leave you. Trust me.
It’s alright now. Don’t be afraid” It also is like a promise to the fan’s, they aren’t going to leave us.
Iron Heart (Lyrics: Koki Music: mACKAz)
I felt like this was a strong song to finish on. Its almost got a finale feeling to it with it long introduction, long instrumental and long outro. The lyrics seem to be leading this song. The lyrics itself is a little darker, talking about once being a robot with no feelings, but then being changed by love. This is a great thing, but then the song goes on to say that his love has now gone away, and he doesn’t know what to do with these feelings and that he can’t turn back any more. He has to continue forwards. Its a beautiful song when you listen to it, and the lyrics sound almost like a hopeless promise that you know will one day be fulfilled. I think this may be INKT’s musical promise of more.
Overall I think its a strong album. I think it shows elements of all the members strengths and really sets themselves in the rock genre.
I would really recommend Survivor, Shangri-La and FTW.
INKT do have two other songs, which were not released on the album, but are available for online download.
Zutto (Lyrics: Koki Music: Kissy)
Zutto is one of them that also had a music video released for it. This one is a ballad, and gives a good contrast to the heavier rock songs that have been featured on the album.
Zutto is heartbreaking I think. The ballad is beautiful with a nice gentle mix between guitar and keyboard. Koki’s voice matches it well, but the pain of the lyrics really seep out. The song is about lost love and about scolding oneself for still not forgetting about it, like he is still trapped in love.
Nobody Knows (Lyrics: Koki Music: Kissy)
This one sounds very upbeat and is a nice addition to their music. This one is almost like a smooth rock song with lots of guitar-keyboards in it. The lyrics talk about moving on after losing oneself and to step forward towards a new road. Its an uplifting song which is fun to listen to.
Im glad to see INKT starting out like this and I really look forward to what they are going to produce in the future.
Till next time x
I’m Meghan, a South African who has lived all over the place. Currently I live in Japan where I am a teacher, a writer, a traveller, a translator, a blogger and a dreamer. Meghan’s blog