Mrs. GREEN APPLE – Variety

3 out of 5

Label: EMI

Produced by: (will insert kanji here when i can…)

We’re still in rather generic territory here with Mrs. GREEN APPLE, with volume and speed also still their best bet for sticking out.  The group has chops, that’s clear, and so Variety’s somewhat flat mix doesn’t do some of their better riffing justice – closer 道徳と皿 (Doutoku to Sara) is a good example of this, with some good keys and drumming that doesn’t make much impact – and they’ve got a powerhouse vocalist in Motoki Omori, especially when he’s singing a mile a minute as on opener Start.  But rather often on Variety, MGA is pared down to power pop riffing a la Jimmy Eat World, and then, on ゼンマイ (Zenmai), we’re frightfully close to emo-y Death Cab territory… neither group being my cup of tea.  Which doesn’t mean the group always has to go all out, as VIP and 道徳と皿 both show off a good sense of riffage mixed in to some average verse-chorus-verse stuff, and L.P, though a lighter, slower affair, builds up to something pretty powerful and avoids feeling too tender.

The singles on variety still keep me hanging on.  There’s definitely promise from a group of performers each so individually skilled and with a good sense of how to be noisy, I just hope as I drift through their preceding albums, they prove capable of iterating on it instead of just going for an easier, already polished sound.