When you think about music and Japan, you’ll probably either think of pop bands like AKB0048 or the complete opposite: visual kei-bands like The Gazette (more on those two in different posts!). Visual kei is a separate music genre and style that I will not explain in this post, but many bands have been attracted to it, like SID.
SID consists of the four guys you see in the picture above: Shinji (guitar, backing vocals, blonde hair), Mao (vocals, light-brown hair), Yuuya (drums, black hair) and Aki (bass, backing vocals, dark brown hair). They’ve been together since 2004 and are generally classified as a visual kei rockband. However I don’t like to label them so easily, because their songs vary widely in style.
Just to give you an idea of how populair these guys are: they sold out the Nippon Budokan (can fit 14000 people) within 2 minutes!
Why you should listen to SID
Yeah, why should you? Well, one reason is because each song is so different. They are not afraid to try a heavy rock song (Enamel) after creating a popsong that starts off with a violin (Chapter 1). Another reason why you should at least listen to a few of their songs is because of their constant change of pace. It’s not simply a slow start where they build momentum to go crazy in the chorus (most of the popsongs do stuff like that, bo-ring). The guys from SID like to throw in completely different rythms when they change from one couplet to the next.
Listen to SID
Okay, I can talk all I want, but it’s better to listen to a song to know what I mean. Below is their song Chapter 1, which was their first song to reach the Oricon top 10.
Ok, this was a song that reached the top 10 in Japan, and you might have guessed why. Here they do that ‘slow quiet start-build-build-build-go slightly crazy in the chorus’-thing I just talked about. However, the violin makes the song interesting to listen to, so I will not label this as a typical popsong ;-). Below is a video of SID playing their song Enamel, and I think it will give you a good idea of what I mean with their constant change of pace.
This song starts with heavy guitar, but when the vocals come in they suddenly switch over to an acoustic one. It gives room to listen to the vocals and the bass that drops in after a while before they switch over to the heavy guitar again, suddenly changing the pace. After that it’s a constant change between heavy and light rock in different tempo’s. They leave enough room for all the instruments and the guitar riff is really nice. Accompanied by Mao’s voice it’s a song that keeps you interested all the way through.
SID and anime
If you’re a fan of anime you might know them already, since their songs are also used for openings and endings a lot. Their song Uso (Lie) is used in FMA Brotherhood (Full Metal Alchemist if you don’t know) and Monochrome no Kiss and Enamel are used in Kuroshitsuji (Black Butler). Ranbu no Melody is used in one of the ‘Big Three’- anime series Bleach.
What I also like about them is that they sound great live (not all rockbands do so…). Their instruments sound good and you can hear Mao’s voice clearly above the music. They’re definitely worth a watch if you like a band that’s not afraid to try different styles and genres. The video above is their song Uso with English subs if you’re not that familiar with Japanese.
Their looks are, just like their music, constantly changing. In Chapter 1 you see them in white suits and in Enamel they all wear clothing that fits a rockband. And then their hair, that changes colour in every video (please guys, don’t go from blond to dark-brown at once, it’s confusing for poor me). And Mao has ‘a special eye’ which is definitely part of his style. I don’t know why he uses different colored lenses so often, but it’s fun to look at and gives some of the songs a little extra.
Where to buy their music?
If you liked their songs and want to buy their music, here are a few links for you. The album Hikari has (besides the song Hikari of course) also Monochrome no Kiss and Uso on it. If you like to have an overview of their best songs, the album 10th Anniversary Bestfeatures besides the songs mentioned above also songs like Natsugoi, Alibi and Milk. For ENAMEL(ltd.) and RANBU NO MELODY(regular ed.) you can buy their singles, which also have about 5 songs on them.
What is your opinion on them? Do you like it that they try different things or should they stick to one style?