If you have been following my blog for some time, you may be familiar with this trio! Having covered their contribution to the anime, Sarazanmai, the three-member pop-rock group, the peggies, are back with their first release in 2020. Known as Anemone EP, this release contains five new songs for your listening pleasure. While none of the songs have any anime tie-ins, the title track is the theme song for the live-action movie “Justice of the Alps Stand”.
Does this next release from the group have any of the strength from their last release, Stand By Me, or is this anemone just a home-flop for the fish in the sea of releases in 2020?
Kicking off the mini is the title track, “Anemone“. More on the mellow side of their discography, “Anemone” is a mid-tempo pop-rock track that has the makings of a film theme song to it. With violins and heavy guitar, this is very much in line with a typical melodramatic rock song. Despite this, it still feels like a great track. It’s a perfect song to showcase the vocalist’s vocal prowess, and I do feel chills as I proceed with the song. It has your usual electric guitar breakdown instrumental, but every piece of the song meshes well. I don’t find myself too in tune with the song just yet, as I don’t think I’ll find myself going to this song too often, but it’s still a great sad-rock song. Perhaps I’ll call this anemone home soon… ⬛
Among the songs on the mini, “Ao Sugiru Sora” (and “weekend”, which I’ll touch on following this) is one of the best. This song is itself very ‘peggies’, taking on a loud, fast, and heavy rock sound, with belted vocals from their lead vocalist. Sounding like it could fit very well as a tie-in track to an anime, the track keeps its momentum going, not falling in sound for one second throughout. It has a similar power to “Stand By Me”, but here, the mood is very light-hearted. It possesses a sound that is familiar to Western pop-punk tracks of the early 2000s but has tinges of early J-rock influences like ASIAN KUNG-FU GENERATION. It’s a catchy track, and one that I find myself reaching to even in the bluest of skies. ⬛
Following from that first part of above, “weekend” is also one of the best songs on the mini. In this song, there’s groove involved, almost like it took a page right out of pop-funk-rock quartet Frederic. It’s got a very low funk sound, and it doesn’t quite have the heavy-loud rock sound that a few of their songs have. However, its toned-down feel really gives meaning to ‘less-is-more’ as it maintains a steady groove and inserts several catchy ah’s here and there. It’s not totally catchy upon first listen, but once you get more into it, you get right into its groove. It has the perfect walk feel for a weekend night out on the town; a definite recommend. ⬛
The fourth track, titled “Lonely“, is also very ‘peggies’ in sound, and borrows many of its rock elements from J-pop-rock groups of the early 2000s. Here, it’s not very catchy, and it does feel a tad bit disjointed. The guitar elements are nice, but it feels like a filler track, and the build-up to the chorus does not feel rewarding. It’s a very safe track, at best. I find myself listening to this if I’m mindlessly listening to the album, but I don’t think I would go out of my way to seek out this track if I’m feeling ‘the peggies’ at any given time. I will give it props for its brief instrumental break, but sadly, this song is going to be lonely as I skip it for others. ⬛
The final track on the mini-album is an acoustic version of a previously-released song by the peggies known as “Ikiteru”. Titled “Ikiteru -Hikigatari-“, the song is only driven by the vocalist Yuuho’s unique vocals and a guitar. Interestingly, the original feels a lot more on the quiet side than this track, and perhaps it is because of Yuuho’s powerful vocals increasingly getting louder as the song goes before she must go back silently to let the guitar play. It’s a nice version of its original, though I don’t find myself feeling any real sort of way for the song. It feels like just another acoustic version of something, which I have no real interest in. However, I will give it to Yuuho for her amazing vocals. This was a great showcase of her vocals, and I feel more alive hearing how powerful voice goes. Great job. ⬛
A very safe effort from the trio. There were only really two stand-out tracks from the EP, and maybe I was anticipating a lot more due to my love for their previous effort, Stand By Me. That being said, my feelings on staying with the peggies haven’t wavered. Anemone EP, as a whole, perhaps isn’t my go-to option when I’m feeling in the mood for the peggies, but at least there are other options I can choose from.
I will recommend those two tracks, though, and you can bet your last dollar that I will be plugging those into a top-rated playlist and loop them on repeat. Not an amazing anemone by any means, but one I will be going to for those two alone.
MUST-LISTEN: 青すぎる空, weekend