For those not familiar with 十四代目トイレの花子さん (14th Generation Toilet Hanako-san), this will hopefully serve as a taster of what to expect from the latest album 大量虐殺 (Tairyou Gyakusatsu).
01. 経 前 症候群 (Gekkeizenshoukougun)
02. Rusty Ring
03. ス ト ロ イ ハ グ (Destroy Hug)
04. 大量 虐殺
05. レ ベ ー タ ー (Elevator)
06. 四 四 秒 (44 Byou)
07. 潔癖 症 ノ 唄 (Keppeki-shou no uta)
08. Rose Of Killer
09. ヘ ド バ ン 体操 (Hedoban taisou)
10. 父 の 自慰 行為 (Chichi no jii koi )
11. ア ダ ピ ク ミ ン ノ 唄 (Adapikuminno Uta)
12. 暁 (Akatsuki)
13. 花 様 の 有 難 い オ ハ ナ 死 (Hana-sama no arigatai ohana shi)
Not much is known about the performer known as Hanako-san, but not much is needed to appreciate this album. If you wish to learn more about Hanako-san, you can find a summary of the performance along with a short biography on the Indies, Idol and Infamous report on AVO Magazine.
The album opens with foreboding, the industrialized gothic sound of an electric guitar, before a series of heavy drum beats project the listener into 月 経 前 症候群. Hanako-san enters with a rapid wave of Death Metal-esque vocals that have become popular for, which carry through to the end, including a heavy electric guitar solo that is the listeners up for the album.
The second track Rusty Ring, kicks off with a catchy, heavy riff that serves the melody of the track, before Hanako-san explodes onto the track with some of the finest vocal work, stretching out her vocal cords, it almost feels personal, as though she’s trying to exorcise some inner demons. At times she causes distortion on the microphone – this song is best listened to loud.
The third track, デストロイハグ, is catchy, a fast beat, with a lo-fi section that mixes well with Hanako-san’s softer segments, before flying in to a high-energy chorus, that feel’s as though it was meant to be a shared experience in live performances, it’s easy to see crowd participation during this track.
The fourth track, 虐殺 虐殺, opens with a rapid, fast-paced drum beat, accompanied by a rattle-like guitar slap. Hanako’s vocals feel less certain for this track, but is still a great track, seeping with energy that will make you want to rock your head to the guitar drop.
ー レ ベ ー タ ー starts with a sound that would have fit in the early/mid Grunge period. Similar to a Nirvana and with a cautious tone, this song feels more melodic in nature, as it appears to be one of the only songs where Hanako opts to sing, as opposed to screaming.
In contrast to the previous track, 四四秒 kicks straight into Death Metal territory, delivering a bizarre series of delayed scream tracks, as though each vocal layer is climbing on top of the other.
潔癖症ノ唄 opens up to a bass sound that reverberates, as Hanako tries to match the screaming vocals to the beat of the drums. This song serves to promote Hanako’s vocal talent, as she is able to change the tone and vocal structure to match the sound, even forcing the vocals into the allocated space.
In a beautiful organ piece, which gives the listener a sense of dread, we are introduced to ROSE OF KILLER, one of Hanako’s most popular songs. Hosting a powerful guitar solo, Hanako’s scream evolves into a low howl towards the end of the track.
The snare drum that pounds throughout ヘ ド バ ン 体操, sets up a high-octane atmosphere, hosting a death Metal guitar solo and a carefully constructed beat.
Another piano segment in 行為 の 自慰 行為, leading into that familiar Hanako-san sound we’ve come to know, Death Metal, mixed with a Thrash Metal sound.
アダピクミンノ唄 opens with a sound very reminiscent of early 80s Punk, this song also features what appears to be a husky sounding little more hoarse.
The final musical track of the album, has, has a delayed beginning, opting instead of another orchestral intro, as opposed to the previous tracks, this does not appear to use an organ, but an electric guitar – producing a sound, very similar to Metallica or Guns ‘n’ Roses, before firing into a rapid, almost-melancholic guitar that opens the track. Hanako’s vocals are strained, but it adds to the chorus, as though forcing her emotions to hit the notes. One of the more standout tracks on the album.
For listeners of Hanako-san’s previous albums, there will be a nice throwback with the final track. In this final track, however, Hanako speaks English, thanking her international fans for listening to the album in what is both heartfelt and endearing – before ending with the all-important and highly amusing ‘Go to hell’.
Overall, Tairyou Gyakusatsu is a highly enjoyable album, containing an energy and sound that only Hanako-san can produce, with her strong, explosive vocals and the hard Industrial/Punk/Death/Thrash metal sound or her band.
It’s difficult to see this album having a great effect on anybody who doesn’t already appreciate and enjoy Hanako-san’s music, although the album works great as a compilation, there are only a few standalone tracks that could stand up individually to an outside audience.
A personal recommendation would be Rusty Ring, the second track of the album, which rhythmically is highly energetic and showcases Hanako-san’s powerful voice, as she delivers a strong, raw scream – a sound and song that will remain with you and has definite replayability.
That all said, if you’re interested in listening to a Japanese heavy death metal band, fronted by an insanely talented woman with a unique voice, who showcases an impressive amount of dedication to the image and likes to embody the physical appearance and aura or a female spirit who haunts and kills people in school toilets – then I can’t recommend a better album, this is the album for you.
Hanako-san merchandise is now available on Idol Underworld, so be sure to check it out!
All Hail Hanako-san.