Album Title: Something Wicked Comes Here Against You
Release Date: 10/31/2012
Note: This album was first released with the original members of the band, but last year they re-recorded all the songs with the present lineup and added in a few specialties.
I first fell in love with Liphlich when I somehow randomly happened upon their video for "Ms. Luminous." I think I must have listened to it at least 48 times in a row, and it was love.
After that, with the release of Lost Icon's Price (which for some reason doesn't show up on their website discography), I was completely sold. Liphlich was slowly making their way to number one on my list of "Visual Kei bands I must see live." (Unfortunately this didn't happen before I had to leave Japan - reason number 80,000 to go back).
"Something Wicked Comes Here This Way" is everything I could have/would have expected from a Liphlich full album, and even more. Listening to his album is somewhat akin to spending the night traipsing through a dark carnival. The first track リフリッチがやってくる (Liphlich ga yattekuru), starts off slow and creepy, as if you're entering into the night circus and wondering just what you're doing there, wondering if you'll stay. It's got a somewhat jazzy feel, vocals filled with hesitation, and it leaves you feeling just the right amount of wonder, just the right amount of expectation.
With the second track, 猫目の伯爵ウエンディに恋する、Nekome no hakushaku wendy ni koi suru, you're in. The strong vocals, the nimble piano, unsure guitar, thumping bass - it all blends together in such a way that you can't help but feel as if you're being observed by all of the oddities of the night circus. I imagine standing in the middle of the tents, black clouds in the sky, as as everyone comes out and looks you over. By the end of this song, you'll know Liphlich has a story to tel with this album, and you'll be dying to know what it is.
グルグル自慰行為, Guruguru Jiikoui, a song about masturbation, will have your head spinning in circles. The sureness of the guitar, the non-stop crashing of the cymbals, the unforgettable chorus - you've just experienced your first spectacle at the night circus, and you can't quite figure out if it was horribly terrifying or wonderfully satisfying - all you know is: YOU WANT MORE! And you get more with 僕らの使い捨て音楽, Bokura no Tsukaisute Ongaku. With a title which means "Our Disposable Music," this song is anything but disposable. It's a little bit of a break after the intensity we experienced in the first three songs. But a break for Liphlich isn't like a break for other bands. You'll be dancing in circles, trying to decide where to go next, wondering if it even matters. This song has a sinister feel, leaving the listener feeling trapped, wondering if this night circus is eternal.
And then Recall comes along and makes you feel better about anything. It is soothing and soothingly beautiful, beginning with a piano solo that wraps itself around you and makes you feel like everything is and always will be okay. In this song, Kuga shows that his vocals have range, and Liphlich shows that they aren't just any carnavalesque, gothic visual kei band (not that there are really all that many of those). They have talent, they have range, they are Japanese they are more than what they seem.
Lest we forget that they are also DARK and GOTHIC, Recall seamlessly leads into 淫火, Inbi, which, for me, is by far the creepiest song on the album. Not my favorite song on the album, but it certainly did a good job of reminding me where I was - in the middle of the dark circus that is this album.
With 嫌いじゃないが好きではない、Kirai ja nai ga suki de he nai, they make a smooth transition back into visual rock, and you return to the carnival. And then, with a bell, メリーが嫌う午後の鐘, Merry ga kirau gogo no kane. This is by far my favorite song on the album. It's dark, it's poppy, it's beautiful, it's creepy, and it's got everything that makes Liphlich wonderful. At the circus, everyone is dancing and laughing, as if something wonderful happened, but you, you can't decide whether or not it's appropriate to join in, and they, they can't decide if they want you to.
Are the members of the Dark Circus disappointed? Are they scared? Sudden and slow, マディソン郡の橋の上で, Madison Gun no hashi no ue de, comes in with an unexpected bang. Maybe they just want to show you that even creepiness has its down moments. This song is all about the vocals, and you should probably sit down for it. Because it's about to rain. And the rain and thunder will continue for the entire track of 航海の時, Koukai no toki. At least musically.
淡いドロップ色の髪, Awai Doroppuiro no kami, starts off with a slow, beautiful (and, of course, creepy - it wouldn't be Liphlich if it weren't creepy) violin. This is one of the two songs they added to the album. While I do love the song, if I'm honest, I don't feel like it really adds anything or takes away anything from the album. It could have been released as a non-album single. In any case, I love it! The last song on this version is ＢＡＢＥＬ. It's a little bit of a departure from the other songs, and, as such, it seems like the perfect closing song to this album. It kind of pushes you out with a tough shove, leaving you spinning in circles with the to die for chorus and wondering if what just happened was a dream or reality.
I LOVED this album, and I think you will, too!
Have you seen the Cirque du Soleil movie? Seriously, the entire time I was watching the movie, I felt like I was in the Liphlich album. I almost think they should have just had this album as background music.
Liphlich - totally LOVE! And you can bet I'll be getting a copy of Manic Pixie the second it comes out in March!