Song Review: Yellow Studs - 汚い虹(Dirty Rainbow)

Have you ever worried that you’re simply allowing your life to walk by in front of you? That you could’ve reached out at any moment and plunged your hand into the stream and seized your moment? That you are bound, chained and parlyzed by your own fear? On Yellow Studs’ 汚い虹’ (hereafter: ‘Dirty Rainbow’) singer and pianist Taichi Nomura stares down the barrel of his own gun.

Nomura’s trials and tribulations are exemplified by ‘Dirty Rainbow’s constant transmutations. At once Rei Takano’s drums shuffle and drag while Takayuki and Ryohei’s guitars skip and flick over a pensive piano. Taichi’s voice is almost sonorously deep but it is light and silky enough that it feels almost welcoming. Then suddenly the guys erupt with force allowing Yellow Studs to show their penchant for inserting rock into critical moments of their compositions.

It would be very easy for Yellow Studs to have pushed ‘Dirty Rainbow’ into that area of over-dramatic and over-saturated that so many of their more famous chart-topping, anime-introing contemporaries are so good at. Rather, they manage to balance the instrumentation superbly well and completely avoid any pretense or trashiness. The guitars cut through the mix without overstaying their welcome. The drums blast but they do not over power everything around them. In this instance it is the simplicity and fortitude of bassist Daisuke Ueda’s bass line that anchors the song in the moments where his band mates take to the skies.

Is ‘Dirty Rainbow’ a Jazz song trying to be a Rock song or a Rock song trying to be a Jazz song? That might be a question worth asking for any of Yellow Studs songs. Maybe it’s just a wonderfully paired down Math Rock song. Whatever it is, it’s certainly good fun that’s worth your time and has every potential of helping the deeper listeners through a harder time of their own.