Mix Speaker's,Inc. - Hello Ghost House

review - 02.24.2015 19:01

Discover Mix Speaker's,Inc.'s first mini-album with new singer NIKA.

Some months ago, fans of visual kei band Mix Speaker's,Inc. learned to their dismay that YUKI, one of the group's two frontmen, had decided to leave. The shock of the announcement raised a big question in the minds of fans: could Mix Speaker's, Inc. go on, having lost such an essential part of their musical family?

In September, fans got their answer when Mix Speaker's,Inc. revealed the identity of a new sixth member: NIKA. Fans were eager to find out what he was capable of, and whether his arrival might lead to significant changes to the band's universe. This suspense ends now. Hello Ghost House, the first CD to feature the sextet's new lineup, will be released on April 22nd. Here's what awaits you.

The mini-album opens with a typically Mix Speaker's,Inc. introduction: it makes go slowly, and with some trepidation into this new world populated by ghosts. The melody makes it easy to imagine a dark figure stalking through a moonlit night, encountering dingy old building that's seemingly haunted. The door squeaks open, then the musical whirlwind that is HELLO BAD COMMUNICATION strikes.

The addition of trumpets and burlesque sound effects immediately reassure the listener that Mix Speaker's,Inc. has lost none of its originality. As the first notes drift away, the dreaded moment arrives: the voice of NIKA is heard for the first time. Deeper than YUKI, it's also lighter than MIKI, and with the onset of the refrain, something clicks: the new duo sound great together!

This promising first impression is affirmed by Ghost gate. The chorus reflects the perfect harmony of two singers, so dear to the fans. This pleasant surprise might trouble some: will it be easy to draw a line under the unexpected departure of YUKI after all? Breezing by at a fast pace, the song puts to rest any worries fans might have had; Mix Speaker's,Inc. and its unique musical universe are still here, unchanged.

Hello Ghost House doesn't end there, however, holding a surprise in reserve that might deal fans another shock: the sextet have recorded a cover of their famous song Pandora. Renamed Pandora-retake-, this piece always impresses. The listener suddenly feels the urge to jump up and headbang violently, just like the singers do live. The singers' verbal sparring and AYA's guitar solo will have you twirling as SEEK's growls fill you with joyous rage.

The last new song from the album is a quieter affair, and allows the listener to appreciate the duo in a different light. Last hours lulls us on the last hours of this restless night and reminds us that darkness does not last. Gradually, the night clears and we imagine that our five ghosts have finally found peace with the exorcist of NIKA.

The suspense was unbearable but the outcome is a marvel, for Hello Ghost House is indeed a success, from beginning to end. Many may wonder how the loss of YUKI has been overcome so easily, but Mix Speaker's,Inc. have been reborn from the ashes, and proven to fans that it will take more than a change of lineup to stop them. The question of how the new vocal duo will fare on stage still remains, for MIKI has said the loss of YUKI felt like losing a part of himself. So we can only hope NIKA can fill this gap. At any rate, on the evidence of Hello Ghost House, the newcomer shouldn't have much trouble winning the fans' hearts.
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