On October 19, 2016 the for some rather unusual and FOXPILL CULT brought out a full album with a name that rather stood out: HOMO DEMENS MAN. The album contains the titletrack of the mini-album that came out earlier that year, ROMANATION, but other than that the album contains all new songs.
Before the album’s release the band already released two music videos to give a sneak peak of what could be expected. These are the first two tracks of the album, ファンタスティックプラネット (Fantastic Planet) and 失われた範列 (Ushinawareta Hanretsu), which show that the curious band can deliver cheerful and hype creating tracks.
1.ファンタスティックプラネット (Fantastic Planet)
2.失われた範列 (Ushinawareta Hanretsu)
3.ホモ・デメンスM (Homo Demens M)
6.The Man Machine
7.作る人 (Homo Faber)
8.盗作のルーデンス (Tousaku No Ludens)
9.信じない (I don’t believe)
11.What’s Happening Brother
12.記号図書館 (Kigou Toshokan)
The line up has not changed between the mini-album ROMANATION and this album, with Takaaki Nishimura (vocals, guitar), Pueru (melodica, vocals, percussion), Shinpeo Mörishige (synth, keyboard, guitar) and Boo(DxUxS) (support drums, percussion). On the CD cover you can see the band with mentioning of who is who with a nickname above it. In order of the previous that is Homo Demens (Mad Man), Homo Ludens (Playing Man), Homo religios (speaks for itself) and Homo Faber (Worker Man). The various names have been given to man in the past, and are fitting for the members with these names, and gives clarity about the title of the album immediately.
The band, which labels itself as Post New Wave, throw everything into the ring to remain innovating -think about the addition of opera voices by Mari Komoda and Wami Naniwae in various tracks- while maintaining the vibe that is FOXPILL CULT: a bit crazy, refreshingly unusual and cheerful here and there. But the label is placed on the band very well by frontman Takaaki with his diversity of vocals, great vibrato peaks and raw vocals which bring the tracks to a higher level. The band doesn’t seem to shy away fromanything and likes to play with the extravagant and humor. It is an acquired taste to be able to enjoy this, but if you are familiar with their older material you know what kind of originality you can expect. Nearly every single track on HOMO DEMENS MAN are great to dance to and easy to hum along to.
All tracks on HOMO DEMENS MAN have something that makes them stand out individually. ファンタスティックプラネット (Fantastic Planet) knows how to start the album. The Man Machine is a groovy song that is basically instrumental, except the sentences audible in the background: “We are the robot, you are not robot”. The track is a great interruption between all the craziness that FOXPILL CULT has to offer. The craziness continues on the following track, which is mostly instrumental and at the end vocalist Takaaki starts screaming while a heavy guitar sound comes your way. This is continued in My Nirvana, which almost makes you think that the band wanted to check off the genre “metal” on their to-do list.
Just like with the mini-album ROMANATION the band knows how to end with a song that is a complete 180 difference compared to the rest of the album: a ballad with some heavy music coming in at the end. Mostof the song makes for the perfect time to hold your lighter into the air and wave your arms. It’s almost like the band is practicing a completely different genre, but despite how visual the members are with their looks, I don’t think they want to be labeled visual kei any time soon. That probably has to do with the fact that FOXPILL CULT does whatever they want from day 1, and won’t let the various musical genres stop them.
The band knows what “experimenting” is really well and has delivered an elusive and eccentric album with HOMO DEMENS MAN. FOXPILL CULT doesn’t bore, every song is different and that returns int he music videos that they have released to promote the album, but also in the booklet included with the release. If you’re not familiar with the band yet, then the music produced by FOXPILL CULT is something you should definitely try. Make sure to watch the music videos they have released, too!