Since I latched myself onto the BAND-MAID bandwagon back in 2016, they’ve failed to disappoint with a release yet, which is something I know because that’s what I’ve been writing in the title of every release I’ve covered since. Well, not to sound like a broken record, but “Bubble” continues their run of quality, likely going down closer to the top of the heap even with things being less intense.
“Bubble” is more measured than some of their other efforts, which is a risk since that image/sound duality has been part of their charm/gimmick. However, it results in an impressive sound here, as the room to breathe a bit really allows the guitarists to take center stage and shine. While they do great work throughout, the post-chorus riff combination in particular is utterly addicting.
While this may not be as hectic, it doesn’t mean the energy necessarily slags off. The verses keep the listener engaged thanks to the varied and intriguing instrumentation and build, which additionally allows vocalist Atsumi Saiki to shine with something a bit more nuanced. The chorus ramps things up back to more familiar head-banging territory, and includes well-placed “whoa-oh-ohhh-ohs” throughout.
BAND-MAID’s gradual ascension up the charts has been a joy to watch (thankfully Japan doesn’t hate rock, not salty not salty) because it’s well deserved thanks to their run of quality. Songs like “Bubble” have helped add to that, and it also shows they are anything but a one-trick pony, showcasing the ways they can mix things up a bit and still excel.