At the end of January, Panorama Kyokou Xenon (more commonly known as XENON) held a two-part conceptual oneman tour for the release of their November single JUDECCA with the first show in Tokyo at Ikebukuro EDGE titled BLACK HAPPY END and one at Osaka Ash OSAKA titled WHITE BAD END. Despite an overall concept of bringing shock and happiness to the eardrums, XENON’s most recent single offers listeners a somewhat calmer version of the Kansai-based band.
“JUDECCA” opens with a heavy yet catchy guitar line and underlying drumbeat that merges with a smooth bass line. This bass thrum continues throughout the entire song and blends with the harmonic digital backing track before the vocals are added in. Even with its occasional, shrill background growls, this title track is a pleasantly balanced composition, featuring a soft bass solo followed by a keening guitar solo before the vocals return to bring on the finish.
“QLOVER” further explores XENON’s combination of digital manipulations alongside traditional rock elements; picking up the pace while keeping a relatively gentle image. The opening is completely digital with the vocals given a more obvious auto-tuned effect until the guitars kick in. The varying vocals carry the song with intervals rasped lyrics between verses of melodic singing.
The finishing comes with “Mira.” The heaviest song of the three, “Mira” opens with heavier electronic effects, including some scratching elements and a more pronounced drum line that transitions into another exchange of digitized screeching growls and steady vocals. While not distinctly different from the previous track in overall presentation, “Mira” smoothly concludes the single and leaves the listener curious for more.
Overall, JUDECCA provides an interesting sample of XENON’s more experimental style as they enjoy playing with musical elements and seek to create impact by combining a wider variety; particularly digital manipulations and distortions alongside melodic harmonies and heavy rock. JUDECCA is a recommended listen primarily for the solid vocal performance and interesting, clean mix of techniques.
3 track CD