ReviewsLustQueen - LustQueen EP (StarRise)

LustQueen – LustQueen EP (StarRise)

Up and coming vocal talent Yuina quickly showcased her abilities within the anime scene in the role of Wien Margarete in the second season of Love Live Superstar!! (and has since become a member of Liella), but it wasn’t her first gig. As a member of a jrock group called Drop Doll, she first infiltrated the music scene, and this is more like the territory that LustQueen aims towards on their self-titled EP. A five song release that acts as a vehicle for Yuina to flex her vocals, which she takes full advantage of.

Opening cut “Changing Future” hits with a very anime OP feel to it, though it’s not a bad thing. On the contrary, the upbeat synths, hook-y guitar riffs, and Yuina’s vocals create a swirling mix of hard rock and pop that provide some instrumental depth and are augmented by a solid production that allows all parts of the music to be heard. In this manner, it becomes less of a “Yuina show,” even if she easily demonstrates her potent and elegant vocal prowess as the uptempo track easily worms its way into your brain. “Ready, Steady, Go” perpetuates some similar feelings as it playfully weaves memorable guitar leads and melodies in a more hard rock/metal direction without losing the pop-friendly elements. The chorus will truly embed itself in your head upon first listen.

“Moonlight” also flirts on the heavier side of the EP, but some elegant keys contrast nicely with the guitar melodies and rumbling bass, and gives Yuina her best moments on the EP to really belt out the chorus with it’s faster tempo. Of the five songs, there’s the most rock attitude, drum flourishes, and still room for some almost danceable moments. “カゲロウメモリー” [“Mayfly Memory”] marks a big tone shift, being more of a traditional ballad. With some big electronic synths, piano, and Yuina’s voice front and center, it’s the track that really lets listeners hear how powerful (and gentle) her vocals can sound. It’s a beautiful track and Yuina hits it out of the park with her performance. Things are back to high-energy to finish things up with “My Answer,” which features some groovy bass lines in its quieter moments, and plenty of soaring melodic riffing to cap things off on a high note.

LustQueen does all it can to give Yuina the space she deserves as a solo outlet, but does so in such a way that the music is just as fascinating as her vocals. Thus giving her an even powerful launching point to demonstrate her incredible vocal strengths. Yuina is truly one of the strongest vocal talents in the current Japanese scene, and one can only hope this is the beginning of her rise to the top. Being surrounded by a swell of talent around her, LustQueen’s (and Yuina’s) potential seems to make it seem like the sky is the limit.

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