New SCANDAL: “スキャンダルなんかブッ飛ばせ”

Man, I really hate to be THAT guy…the one stereotypical dude/ette who always says something similar to what I’m about to write and immediately puts off everyone around them because of it…but I think getting a mainstream push has sorta ruined SCANDAL. Prepare rotten garbage and shouts of “pretentious dick!” now, but the group’s latest single does absolutely nothing for me and, way worse, comes off as incredibly lazy. The band’s basic formula hasn’t changed much from last year’s BEST SCANDAL collection to this single…the formula being “write a pretty uncomplicated pop song that has guitars”…but “スキャンダルなんかブッ飛ばせ” sounds incredibly tossed off, lacking any element that really jumps out and burrows itself into your head. There’s no sense of urgency here (like on “SAKURA goodbye”) or even stabs at something clever (“Space Ranger”). Heck, earlier 2010 single “Story” at least sounded insanely upbeat and had a damn good chorus…I can’t say the same for “スキャンダルなんかブッ飛ばせ,” which just seems content to stick to the exact same sound for its entire go. Which really shouldn’t be a problem for SCANDAL who I expect to pretty much do the same thing over and over again…hell, there best song “Koi Moyou” rides the same groove for even longer than this new song and I could listen to that for an hour straight. This just…feels there.

Maybe this recording isn’t all that strong, and I’ve admittedly not gotten around to listening to the group’s second album Temptation Box yet though I’ve just acquired it. I shouldn’t write them off yet…but “スキャンダルなんかブッ飛ばせ” seems to mark the point where SCANDAL officially go from being a band to four people mugging for the camera. Image has always played a big part with them, any band that dresses as high school students and have anime alter-egos would. Yet even with all those distractions, SCANDAL wrote catchy pop and that will rise to the top nearly every time. This year, though, the quality of music has been slowly declining as the band members slip into slightly more revealing outfits in an effort to cash in on AKB48-mania and become the central focus of SCANDAL, not the songs. Even the anime thing, though slightly weird, at least hinted at passion, a “hey, lets be as artistic as we can” attitude that helped bring about some catchy tunes. Now the promotional art focuses solely on them looking like a page from a catalog. Complete product.

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