Jackman is one of my all-time favorite visual kei bands, and when they disbanded, it broke my heart. Adding to that shitty feeling, Azu announced that he had no desire to form another band. To that end, he’s gone back on his word — and the genre is all the better for it. ZON is the band that rose from the ashes of Jackman, with Azu (now AZU#) returning as vocalist, 834 returning as drummer, and Mike (now Mii) returning as guitarist. Compared to Jackman (and Dhalis before that), their visual style has been toned down. A lot. In the MV for their first single, Heads Up!, it wasn’t even clear if they wanted to be categorized as visual kei, as opposed to simply J-Rock. We’re seeing some of the genre’s color shine through now though, and more importantly: the team is still rocking.
I think Azu# is one of the most unique voices in the industry. It’s immediately recognizable as his; and even though he seemingly lacks the ability to descend into the deeper lows that some other vocalists can hit, his ability to communicate mood with his voice, is as good as anyone’s. He does like to sing in English a lot of the time, which is interesting because what he says isn’t always the same as the English on the screen. It’s also unintelligible a lot of the time — but we still love you, Azu!
To add to the vocals, the energized drum beats of 834, and things really start getting interesting, and almost all of the songs they’ve released so far have had really good tempo. As for the guitars, Takumi is good to be sure, but the fact that Mii contributes to the band as a song composer really shows. He’s always had the ability to knock out incredible riffs, heavy or soft, fast or slow.
SUPER LiAR doesn’t have the most exciting video around, but it shows off ZON’s musical ability well. It’s also awesome to see Azu# with red hair, because it’s a sign that his old style hasn’t been completely discarded. Now if Mii can put his lip rings back in, I’ll be a content and happy fanboi. I wouldn’t complain if he showed off his stomach more either, but I digress. Until those things happen, we’ll just have to enjoy the music for what it is. As for specific tracks, I’d recommend… well, pretty much everything. Aside from Super LiAR and Heads Up!, I think Umbrella and G.G.G. are both really good. And if I had to single one out, I guess monkey clap is somewhat less appealing than the rest of the band’s offerings.
Looking forward, a teaser was released for their newest single and MV, Re:Night. When the full video drops, I’ll definitely be covering that. They also have yet to announce a complete studio album, so II’ll be on the lookout for that.