Togenashi Togeari – Togeari (Universal Music)

Wednesday, 1st May 2024
Rating: 9.5/10

Admittedly, not the most metallic looking cover art in the world but then again the music isn’t the most metallic either. Nonetheless, Togenashi Togeari (トゲナシトゲアリ) have been a band on this scribe’s radar for their ability to put some impressive instrumental flair on their music. This is a group designed for Toei Animation’s currently airing anime Girls Band Cry. Given the scenarios for other types of acts within this particular sphere of music, what’s most astonishing is the level of complexity and nuance to the songs presented by this group. Togeari is not exactly new music from the act, but a collection of all of the 5 previously released singles preceding the anime, as they began putting out music back in the spring of 2023 and essentially releasing one song per month.

One of the first, most notable things you can notice in listening to the songs is how polished the production is, in that you can hear all of the individual instruments and what they are doing. That’s important because in a song like “Ideal Paradox,” there’s quite a bit of almost proggy guitarwork going on, as the rapid onset of intertwined keyboards and ear-grabbing guitar melodies all but dances around your ears. You can go through the track and give it a real deep-dive and focus on any of the instrumentation, or Rina’s incredibly expressive vocals, and then go back through and focus on another piece. Featured in one of our Selected Singles column, the rumbling basswork of “Answer to Extreme” really does deserve a lot of accolades. It’s playful and bouncing all over the place, and it’s only at the soaring, powerful chorus that one’s attention isn’t drawn away from the impressive basswork. The way it weasles around the equally playful guitar melodies and drumming is one of the finest examples of how much detail is put into a single track, not to mention how much fun the song is to listen to. The album’s most recent track,  “Underneath” has an almost punk-ish intensity to it, with driving uptempo riffs and pounding drums powering the tempo forward with Rina’s vocals, as always, capturing a bit of the spotlight with her ability to inflect and provide a certain amount of charisma and urgency. On the other end, the most gentle of the cuts, “Piercing the Dawn of Time,” has a nice slow build-up to it and really does a great job of emphasizing the melodies, both instrumentally and Rina’s vocal prowess.

Many like-minded acts, going in for the merch angle of an anime, just don’t have the same attention to detail and wildly impressive musicianship that Togenashi Togeari utilize. The vocals usually take over center stage in these sort of acts, and while Rina possesses an absolutely impressive voice (“Hurtful & Painful” may be the strongest example as she hits such a wide range of notes), it’s not relied upon as the group’s sole focus. Giving the rest of the band time to shine ensures that there’s something for everyone, and from an objective point of view, there’s enough going on musically that it could easily attract a heavier crowd than some of the music presents just for those keen to dive into some of the little details in each track. It’s been a while since something sounded so playful and energetic to these ears, and the way each track captures it is nothing short of magical at times.

Effectively timed at the onset of the anime to catch more eyes of those who will casually gravitate towards the group as they have already released four additional songs through the currently airing episodes (all at this same, pristine level), Togeari is an excellent introduction to a group that’s sure to make some waves in the Japanese music scene as the year continues to progress. Togenashi Togeari is an exciting group that with an entity like Toei behind them, could easily capture something really special. Music with heartfelt lyrics, incredible vocals, and an all-around powerhouse of playful and intricate instrumentation behind them, there’s a lot to love if you are looking for something fresh in the hard rock scene. And for those wondering, the group isn’t all studio magic either, as they’ve been playing shows already and fan footage seems to suggest they are hitting it out of the park. Watch as they continue to catch more buzz as word of mouth spreads.

Togenashi Togeari official website
Togenashi Togeari on Instagram
Togenashi Togeari on X

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