Plevail – Pancada (Vibla Music Records)

Friday, 8th December 2023
Rating: 9/10

Established in 2020 in Osaka, Plevail is a Japanese alt idol act composed of 4 vocalists as well as a backing band. Pancada marks the third full-length album from the group in three years (their first for Vibla Music Records), though it also works as a quick collection of many of their singles that have been released over the past year or so (reaching back into 2022) alongside a handful of new tracks. That said, it acts as a perfect introduction to the group for anyone who stumbles upon them and showcases a very strong collection of songs that offer a great deal of diversity and fun.

Opening with a short intro [“Beyond the Horizon”], last year’s “Horizon” opens things up on a melodic note to give you an impression of their sound. Upfront electronic beats, a graceful melodic chorus, and hook-y melodies are the core elements that make up the track as it slowly ear-worms its way into your head. But then follow-up new song “Wonder Lust” just feels like it takes all of those elements and cranks them to eleven. It’s rousing verses offer an great build-up to a beautiful chorus that blends together flashy guitar melodies, glowing synths, and the combined vocal efforts of Awoi Akase, Rin Suzunone, Luna Hizuki, and Ako Momota into a stunning ensemble. Things reach into heavier territory as “Revelation” comes through, upping the electronic and guitar quotients to a driving tempo as one of the album’s most frenetic tracks –  the combination of elements gives it a more futuristic feel compared to some of the others, and it all but explodes with energy. That energy transfers directly into “GekkaBijin” though it dives further into pulsating electronics with the guitarwork providing a baseline for it to riff off of as it twists and turns atop the shining vocal display.

“Blame G@me” puts the rock quotient back at the forefront, with aggressive riffing and frantic energy from beginning to end, albeit in a very catchy manner. Going track to track truly shows the differences the group puts into their sound, and it keeps the album fresh over the course of 14 tracks. Some other songs to highlight include the playful riffing and electronic entanglement of “vice versa,” the very aptly-titled “Dance Rock Night” that swings grooves as well as danceable beats as one of the album’s most fun and upbeat songs, and the elegant mid-tempo “kimitomirusekaie” which allows all four vocalists to really shine with a more melodic finish. That said, the album closes with a poignant instrumental “To the World I See With You,” which gives you some time to breath and ponder. It’s a beautiful piece that is almost reminiscent of something that could have come from the Blue Reflection game series soundtrack.

The collection of work on Pancada shows off Plevail at their finest. They can swing from melodic to intense and hit everything in between in ways that grab your ear in different ways. The idol act is augmented by an excellent group of surrounding players who can bring a pleasant amount of diversity in tow – offering the best of all worlds. If you are looking to dip your toes into an alt idol act that has plenty of rock/metal elements but can be playful with the electronics at the same time, Plevail should be on your short list of groups to check out.

Plevail official website
Plevail on X

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