AN CAFE – Hikagyaku ZiprocK: the Review

AN CAFE: Hikagyaku ZiprocK

Hikagyaku ZiprocK is An Cafe’s first full length album in over four years. A lot has changed in the ‘Jrock’ landscape in those years, but this album shows that AN CAFE hasn’t changed a bit. If you liked them before, you’ll love the new songs. Similarly, if they irritated you before, we highly doubt any of the new offerings will win you over (but do listen to ‘O No Saki Ga Ienai’ just for the ‘lulz’.)

The album is  a mixture of styles. They have their ‘Harajuku’ high-tempo disco stuff with tracks ‘ROMAN’ and ‘Love Me Tender’ (our favourite on the whole album – and one of the European version’s three bonus tracks), Jpop-meets-Jrock with ‘Utsukushi Hito’, ‘Bee Myself Bee Yourself’, there’s some goofy chiptune fun with ‘Gendai Soldier Now’ and even a fair few ballads included too. Perhaps the most surprising element, at least for us, was the heavier approach on a few tracks. Just check out the video at the bottom of this review – that’s a little more ‘grr’ than we’re used to! And we’re liking it! Even if they do balance it out with a scary / cute girl-Miku.

Summary: Existing fans will love it. As for us, we’ve never been the biggest An Cafe fans (sorry Cafekko), and although ZiprocK certainly has its moments, it also has plenty more irritations. But that’s just us. 6/10

Hikagyaku ZiprocK is due for release in Europe from Friday 13 December (and 6 January 2014 in the UK, according to Amazon) and boasts three bonus tracks and an extra booklet with translated lyrics. Don’t forget the boys are also on tour in 2014. Click here for all the dates.

01. Juryoku Scandalous
02. ROMAN ~Let’s make precious love~
03. Hachimitsu+Lemon=?
04. Utsukushi Hito
05. Gendai Soldier Now.
06. O No Saki Ga Ienai
07. Shomi Kigen 2010.01.04
09. Inazuma no Senritsu
10. Bee Myself Bee Yourself ~Jibun Rashiku Kimi Rashiku Umareta Story wa Hajimattenda
11. Kiminomachi ~5 person sing along ver.~
12. Itsumo no Kiss de / MaT [European Bonus Track]
13. Love Me♡Tender / Paku x2 Pakuchi [European Bonus track]
14. Merry Making ~Anti-aging ver~ [European Bonus Track]

Order from Amazon: Special European Edition, Japanese Limited Edition.

LM.C: DOUBLE DRAGON Single Out Now Across Europe

Draconic duo maya and Aiji, otherwise known as LM.C, see the year out by dropping their brand new single across Europe. Out now digitally through Gan Shin Records, DOUBLE DRAGON packs two hi-energy party anthems; it’s title track, and a new version of their classic ‘Rock the LM.C‘.

DOUBLE DRAGON is the ‘new century electronic rock’ act’s first new single since those of 2012’s album STRONG POP, and continues the pair’s style of bright and happy pop-rock music. DOUBLE DRAGON is a guitar riff-lead track that we’d place somewhere between OH MY JULIET meets their previous single Ah Hah!, combing a guitar-riff heavy melody with a catchy chorus. ‘Rock the LM.C’ on the other hand, sees a digital re-imagining of the song originally found on 2008’s Super Glitter Loud Box. It’s fresh enough to sound new, but not too drastically different that it’ll offend fans of the original.


01. DOUBLE DRAGON (4:06)
02. Rock the LM.C (4:34)

European Release Date: 18 December 2012.

Available from iTunes and Amazon MP3 across Europe.

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