Building themselves into one of the country’s more successful indie acts, Saitama trio Ling tosite sigure graduated to the majors for 2009’s “just A moment.” Since then, they’ve sold over 60,000 units of the record, toured in Britain (their first international gigs) and drew 7,000 fans to the Saitama Super Arena in April for a hometown headlining concert. Although far from a household name, they acknowledge their growing popularity with their fourth full-length’s title, “still a Sigure virgin?”
Lead single “I was music” begins with restrained whispers from guitarist TK atop of 345’s bass, before teasing with a short-lived blast of fast-paced power-pop. Alternating between heavily textured melodic buildups and loud, tense breakdowns, the track erupts with shrieks from TK and Pierre Nakano’s hammering drums into a fantastic blistering finale.
Like “just A moment,” the album sees the act expanding the posthardcore sounds that dominated their early releases. “shandy” starts as an experimental pop song filled with dizzying distorted noises and then morphs into a dramatic rocker. “this is is this?” is the disc’s most dynamic composition. After a tense, emotional lead-in, a beautiful piano solo transitions the track into more traditional Ling tosite sigure fare. Shrill yelps from TK contrast fantastically with soft backup vocals from 345, and the awesome 1980s metal-inspired guitar shredding that follows further ups the intensity level.
The fiery “Can you kill a secret?” quickly redeems the bland, acoustic “eF,” while the sharp-edged throwback “replica” will appease longtime supporters and should pop some new listeners’ sigure cherries too.