- Count ZERO
- Runners High
- Count ZERO (Instrumental)
- Runners High (Instrumental)
The first track from the split single, Count ZERO, is performed by T.M.Revolution. It opens with mid-tempo strings, which got me hoping for a deviation from his usual pop/rock/dance. Well, my hopes were soon dashed, but Count ZERO is a big step up from his last two singles. The beats are fierce, the synths are heavy, and the guitars, though mixed quietly, give an extra power boost in the chorus. While the arrangement isn’t too special for T.M.R, it’s good enough, and anyway, Takanori’s vocals are what hold the song together. His relentless energy is a joy to listen to, especially the mighty extended notes, chock-full of vibrato. The only improvement I can think of is there could have been a slower, stringsy chorus (like the intro) directly after the bridge. No big deal though. On the whole, Count ZERO is a very respectable addition to T.M.Revolution’s discography.
Girl band SCANDAL performs the second track, Runners High. I’ve never been a fan of SCANDAL, and Runners High isn’t doing anything to win me over. I wouldn’t say this song is bad – the delivery is (mostly) fine, and there are some catchy lines, but it just doesn’t work with me. There are a couple of issues I have. The lead vocalist is okay, but sounds a little hoarse, and doesn’t have much power on the upper notes. Well, at least they didn’t use the high, squeaky idol-sounding girl. I also think the mixing of the guitars is too soft, which makes the track feel empty and un-rocking. However, I think these are general complaints I have against SCANDAL, so maybe if you’re already a fan you’ll be fine with Runners High. Maybe.
So all up, this single wasn’t too bad! T.M.Revolution’s offering was more to my tastes, but the SCANDAL one was decent. I would’ve preferred a double serving of T.M.R but eh, I’ll take what I can get. Solid release.
Rating: 3.5 stars