In the visual kei scene it’s sometimes hard to find the few bands that suit your tastes. The different styles in visual kei, with bands close to pop-rock (An Cafe) and heavy metal (The GazettE) doesn’t make it any easier. You might have to search a little until you find something you’re looking for. In my case I stumbled on D=OUT while listening to MoNoLith.
Credit: D=OUT MUSIC-NIPPON promo
D=OUT was formed in 2006 and consists of five members: Kouki (vocals, blond hair), Hikaru (guitar, dark blonde/brown hair), Ibuki (guitar, black hair), Reika (bass, reddish hair) and Minase (drums, long hair). As I said they belong in the visual kei-genre, but most of their songs are in the direction of pop-rock.
Drummer Minase sadly left the band in 2014, stating he had to take over the family business.
Why listen to D=OUT?
D=OUT is also one of the bands that like to switch from light, almost serene songs to the darker side of visual kei, with Sei ni Shigamitsuku and Doping as good examples. Maybe it is partly because they have changed labels, but every year they seem to think of something new. Definitely interesting to see what they come up with every time, although you might not like every song they think of. Still, if you just pick out the songs that you do like, they can easily make it to your shortlist.
Listen to D=OUT
Below are a few examples of songs D=OUT released, ranging from fast to slow-paced and from rock to pop. These are of course personal favorites, so if you want to see more of them you should definitely check their Youtube (and buy their CD’s of course 😉 ).
One of the reasons why I liked this song above others is because of the first few seconds, when the instruments jump in one by one. And then right before Kouki starts singing, a little guitar solo. The video gives you energy just looking at them, and their movements correspond with the different rythms of their instruments. Also nice in this song is the fact that the bass gets to the forefront a few times.
Zange no hanamichi
Why I choose this song? Guitars, guitars! The start of the song with the guitars… just awesome! I’m a big fan of rock music, so this was really nice to listen to (the cherry on the cake-thing you know). The bassline in this song is great and gets enough room to be heard. I mean, usually the bass is literally supporting the others, but in this song both bass and guitars get attention. Of course I can’t forget the drums here, that form and awesome combi with the bass at 2.25. And when the guitars kick in again… it gives off an incredibly energetic feeling.
Sei ni Shigamitsuku
Okay, I know this is very different than what I’ve picked out thusfar, but I had to show you at least one of their other styles. The rythm is very slow in this song, and the instruments from the band members have clearly taken a step back, giving room to Kouki’s voice. Letting only the piano and violin accompany him for the first part of the song gives the sing some sort of soothing feeling, like you can easily doze away listening to it. Then at 2/3 of the song the guitar-solo kicks in, but still keeping the go-with-the-flow feeling so it just feels good. A nice extra are the few sentences Kouki sings without instruments accompanying him, giving the song a delicate touch.
Sooo…. what do they sound like live? I have searched for a video of their lives, but couldn’t find one of good quality (usually made with phones and the sound is therefore terrible). So the only thing I can say here is that you’ll have to check them out yourself to hear what they sound like. Above you can watch the video of Last Hooray, which is sort of live with the fans and all, although it’s probably also tuned to sound perfect for the album.
D=OUT also changes their style a lot, going from black and chains to completely white. I particularily liked the style they used in Sei ni Shigamitsuku. The white clothing draped around Reika, Kouki and Minase looks great: something from a fantasy, but still comfy. Hikaru and Ibuki take a more mature approach in the video, wearing clothing that fits a rockband but also a neat party. The close connection between the clothing they wear in some of their PV’s and what you would wear in real life makes this band so fun to watch: you feel somehow a little closer to them. The extra detail you’ll have to pay attention to in their style Kouki’s jackets. I can’t think of anyone else who can pull off a fur vest like he does!
Where to buy their music?
If you liked their songs and want to buy their music, here are a few links. The album High Collar has (besides the song High collar baby of course) also Pokerface and Playgirl on it. Their album Carnival Ukiyo has the catchy Sunrise on it, as well as Hanasaki Beauty and of course Carnival Ukiyo. Kabuki Disco (CD+DVD) is also worth mentioning, purely because of the song Kabuki Disco and Hikou Shoujo.