Speaking of Halloween… let’s do an artist spotlight, also!
When you think of Halloween and J-pop, you might think of a few artists. Does Tommy heavenly6 cross your mind? She should! Having released many Halloween-related releases as of recent, Tommy (or Kawase Tomoko) started out with an Avril Lavigne aesthetic, but upon prepping for her second album, Tommy tackled on a new style: Halloween aesthetic. The very first of these singles (and eventually album) is ‘I’m Gonna SCREAM+’.
With this single, she set up the standard of being an artist devoted to Halloween and all the spooky things around it, but is this single worthy of a scream or is it just a slight mumble? The doors to the dark side have opened… you may enter…
Ah, “I’m Gonna SCREAM+“. Tommy always has the best titles, and this one definitely fits the mood of the song. Beginning with a riff that has all kinds of darkness vibes to it, we’re thrust into high gear with as close to heavy metal as possible before Tommy breathily introduces herself along a punk rock riff that builds itself into scream territory in its chorus. The vocals here go from 0 to 60 pretty quick, with Tommy delivering her unique vocal tinge to its loudest. The formula follows but we’re given an interlude that goes even harder in sound. I do wish the song went ham and Tommy actually did give out more belts, but this jam still has enough edge to make you want to scream. ⬛
Not sure why a majority of Tommy’s videos aren’t officially uploaded to YouTube this day but this will do.
With its heavy introductory bass riff, “GOING 2 MY WAY!” already tells you what you need to expect. ‘GOING 2 MY WAY!’ is a song that has all the makings of a dark but fun punk rock jam, and it feels almost Avril Lavigne in sound. The overall tone is huge on the electric guitar with flitters of its bass throughout, and its chorus has an anthem-like feel that feels almost ‘Black Parade’. The formula follows throughout the majority of the song, with differences being small instrumental interludes that showcase the electricity of the guitars. It isn’t particularly my favorite song by Tommy, but its edge and nostalgic feel keep it from being a downer, and I might be on my way to enjoying this song better with a few more listens. ⬛
The final track on the single is “+gothic Pink+ (Melancholic Guitar Version)“, which has more of an acoustic vibe for one of her previously released tracks ‘+gothic Pink+’. I’m not a particularly big fan of the original track, but there’s something just really haunting about this version, as it incorporates xylophone twinkles that are reminiscent of Halloween sounds, and Tommy’s delivery is hard-hitting without it sounding strained. Since the majority of the song is fueled by the guitar melody, the song has an air of eeriness to it that I really like. Definitely a song to play for the Halloween season, it may be pink but this one has gothic all over it. ⬛
A fun hard-rock single with a surprisingly great version of a song I was never fond of, ‘I’m Gonna SCREAM+’ might have gotten a less-than-stellar rating but is still worth a check. The title track is always a fun banger and while I wish it had more to its title, it still has that heavy edge that you’d expect from a song that says it’ll scream. The B-side is also worth a listen, as it feels very nostalgic and anthemic, and the final song really improves on the original.
Are you gonna scream for a single like this? For me, it’ll probably be a yes: screaming along with Tommy.
MUST-LISTEN: I’m Gonna SCREAM+, GOING 2 MY WAY!, +gothic Pink+ (Melancholic Guitar Version)