It appears SETI actually found something out there…
Now, this is something different. We were contacted by Galactaron recently, after I did a SOTW about old 80s/90s-era Japanese synth pop. Galactaron thought we’d like them, as they are an electric-esque band, and sent us their album. We here at LuRa like their stuff, so we’ll happily attempt to spread their name out there.
Galactaron – in story – are a band from outer space drawn to Earth by the radio waves, and such, sent out from Earth. There, they meet a Chinese-American girl called Emily, who shows them the world. They also make music together. Not a metaphor.
Anyway, I decided to review their first album – the one they sent us – as I’m qualified enough to be a music reviewer. A-level in Music. Yeah, didn’t know that about me, huh? We shall rate each song in ‘R’s (It’s my initial!), with the maximum being five. So, let’s get on with it:
Galactaron by Galactaron
#1 – Welcome To Terra Firma [RRR]: Not exactly a song, per se. But it is a nice, short introduction to exactly what this album contains. I suppose it has a nice story continuity, in that Galactaron have been intrigued by Earth and have finally touched down. Still, a nice average introduction into…
#2 – First Contact [RRRR]: This song has a music video, all self-animated. This was sent to us in the email from Galactaron to get us interested. It damn well worked too.
Now, this song is practically made for the music video, as it has a conversation in the middle where Galactaron meet Emily. Granted, Singer, the singer of Galactaron, keeps each of his words in tune and in time. I like that. The song itself has a very nice balance of traditional rock instruments coupled with the synthesizer that you will all come to love and adore by listening to Galactaron. Overall, this song is one of the cornerstones of this album, and leads nicely into the rest of it.
#3 – Attention! [RRRRR]: Can I just take this time to say something? Both Burnah and I love this song (yes, Burnah still exists). It is the most mainstream of all the songs on this album, and makes a catchy and peppy melody coupled with the synthesized vocals of both Emily and Singer. I think this song will appeal to everyone, no matter if you like electronic music or not. I have a feeling Lucretia loves this song also. It’s actually surprising that I can’t say a lot about this song, even though it’s so damn good. Just listen to it, trust me. You won’t be disappointed.
#4 – The Synthesizer [RRR]: How aptly named. This song starts with a fairly long solo on the synthesizer. Whilst it shows a variety of sounds and voices, it kind of gets tedious until 1:04 hits, where it gets a good drum beat and a bassline. Singer also chimes in here and there, repeating four lines about how Synthesizer is mysterious. Also, it’s here I figured out Singer sings in randomly changing languages, which is a brilliant added twist on the whole vocal idea. However, the slow-moving introduction is lackluster in comparison to the previous two songs. I really do want to love it though, but it just seems like a linking song between Attention! and…
#5 – Hide The Stones With Flowers [RRRR]: This is a beautiful song. It really is. In an album that contains electronic songs heavy with synthesizers, this song is a rare break from that. It has Emily singing clean with the synth hiding in the background over a very nice bassline, that kind of melds into the song. Again, it’s very strange how I can’t think of anything to say for the songs I like more, but I suppose the music in itself explains enough.
#6 – Akachan Eyes [RR]: Now look, I’m not saying this is a bad song, it’s just… unimpressive compared to the rest of the album. It’s a calming track, but so are other songs on this album. It has a repetitive synth melody as the focal point, with barely audible lyrics coming from Singer. I’m sure if it wasn’t surrounded by much better songs, I’d think more highly of it, but… not to my liking in this lineup.
#7 – The Drums [RRRR]: Now here we go. We’ve already had a song focus on Synthesizer, and now we have one focusing on Drums. This starts out with a drum line, and just sort of continues from there, with a nice vocal from Singer on the top, ranging from monotone to melodies. It gets slightly repetitive as it goes on, but changes things up around the 2:15 where a breakdown occurs. This saves the song from being another repetitive piece, which isn’t always a bad thing, but after Akachan Eyes this is a very good thing. This outshines it by miles because of that fact.
#8 – With Just One Moon [RRRRR]: Another fairly slow song, but there’s something about this that makes it different. There’s almost a heartfelt pain from Singer as he sings, despite it being electronic and thus devoid of emotion. The chorus has emphasis on every other word, which just happens to be “kill”. This occurs in conjunction with a simple yet distressing synth line and a brilliant chord progression that really makes me envy the person who wrote this song. Another cornerstone of the album, hands down.
#9 – Emily’s Remorse (Landmine Operation) [RRRR]: Another Emily song, hence the title, meaning it uses clean vocals to contrast with the synth. However, synth vocals are utilised in the second verse. The titular remorse can almost be felt in her singing, which gives the song more depth. Her vocal melody gets a countermelody later on, which works beautifully.
#10 – Culture Shock [RRRR]: When I first heard this song, I immediately thought “Video Game Boss Theme”. This gave me a hit of nostalgia that made me instantly fall in love with the synth melody. This is a surprisingly rare instrumental for an electronic band, and it has a solid chord progression to show off its instrumental-ness. A good, solid song.
#11 – Quiet Day [RRR]: Another calm song, but has a good synth melody in the background to make it stand out from the others. Singer’s vocals are haunting in this song, giving it a very melancholic sound, if possible. The song ends on a tolling bell, making it very unique compared to every other track on this album. However, compared to the other calmer tracks, it doesn’t stand out as well, which is why it’s only rated 3/5. I really wanted to rate it higher though.
#12 – Coming To Terms [RRRR]: As far as I see, this is a basic closing song to an album, incorporating elements from all previous tracks and mixing things up slightly at the same time. Both Singer and Emily sing in synthesized vocals, and a myriad of synth voices can be heard, along with multiple unique synth solos at parts. Again, there is a solid chord progression under the multiple levels of synth, showing that the guitar and bass aren’t doing nothing. A nice way to end it.
Overall [RRRR]: A good variety of pieces, all incorporating different aspects of the idea of an electronic band. A nice mix of synth, bass and guitar means different moods can be attained, and that’s just what happens as the album goes on. There are some underwhelming moments, but that’s because synthesizers can only do so much. The main positive about this album is the back and forth between Singer’s and Emily’s vocals. Both have good voices for the music, and Emily sings both clean and synthesized, making the range of timbres much wider. This helps attain whatever mood each song is going for. It all adds up to something you all should listen to. You’ve read through 1300 words, you might as well give them a try, right?