Release Date: June 5, 2013
1. Kiss or Bite
2. Gladiolus -Yume Nara Ii no ni-
3. Kiss or Bite (off vocal ver.)
4. Gladiolus -Yume Nara Ii no ni- (off vocal ver.)
2. Wasurenagusa -Yume wo Mite Ita-
3. SAVE (off vocal ver.)
4. Wasurenagusa -Yume wo Mite Ita- (off vocal ver.)
What’s the perfect month to release a zombie-themed single? June, apparently! But of course! What else would come to your mind in the first month of summer but mindless zombies gorging on the intestines of helpless humans?
All right to be fair, summer for Japan is what October is to America. It’s the season that dives into the paranormal, the ghost stories and urban legends that are celebrated and spread through Japan. So in perspective, yes, June is the perfect month for MEG to release a zombie-themed single! Or should I say singles considering Kiss or Bite and SAVE were dual releases?
Of the two singles, Kiss or Bite definitely has more prevalent zombie themes; technically the “artist” of that single is even credited as MEG Zombies! I’ll admit, I was a both intrigued and baffled at just where exactly MEG was going with this single, but I think the zombie theme was executed very nicely in both the covers and the PV. While the PV for Kiss or Bite is very short, it is nonetheless very entertaining to watch, with fruits and vegetable substituting for human organs.
As for the song itself, I enjoyed Kiss or Bite. I haven’t listened to a lot of MEG’s post-Nakata material, but I’m glad that she’s still going strong in the electropop direction! Kiss or Bite is a rather dark electropop song that opens with an excerpt from what I assume is an old horror movie. The transition between said opening and the rest of the song is a tad jarring at first, but after the verses come in, you get used to it. Kiss or Bite is scattered with a range of sounds from synths to guitars to even screams. This song is a nice blend of electropop and creepy, which I enjoy listening to a lot.
Gladiolus -Yume Nara Ii no ni-, the B-side, is a little bit iffier for me. There’s something about the way this song is structured vocally that strikes me as a little… odd. I almost want to say the song doesn’t flow very well; it did take me several listens to really get into this song. Yet even now, it’s not a B-side that I’m hugely fond of. It does kind of carry that same eeriness Kiss or Bite handled so well, even if doesn’t pull it off quite as effortlessly as its fellow A-side. Something interesting to note about this song though is if you listen closely (tip: put on some earphones), you can actually hear verses mixed into Gladiolus -Yume Nara Ii no ni- from the B-side for SAVE!
Speaking of the other single released on June 5th, how does SAVE hold up in comparison to Kiss or Bite? Pretty well! Whilst SAVE isn’t quite as heavy on the zombie theme as Kiss or Bite is, I enjoyed this single! The PV for SAVE actually does feature MEG fighting monsters so it does kind of carry that paranormal theme. In a way. If you squint. And the end of the PV for SAVE does tie back into the zombie theme with MEG herself getting bitten by a monster and transformed into a zombie!
SAVE opens with a very 8-bit type of instrumental, but the rest of the song actually incorporates a lot more guitar. It actually kind of strikes me as more of an alternative song than an electropop song, but that’s just how I see it. What I really like about SAVE are the vocals; MEG is still Autotuned but the editing is very crisp, and the transitions from verses to chorus are very smooth. I have to admit, I think I like SAVE just a teensy bit better than Kiss or Bite. SAVE packs a nice punch and I can definitely see it being a heavy rotation song on my iPod.
The B-side I mentioned earlier is Wasurenagasa -Yume wo Mite Ita- and like the B-side for Kiss or Bite, my first reaction to this song was mixed. What I’ve noticed with MEG’s music is that there are some songs that I need to listen to several times before I start to like it. I actually think I like the instrumental for this song better than the actual song, simply because I love the orchestral sounds incorporated into it. Also, the vocals are… weak. After a few listens, MEG’s voice doesn’t sound quite as grating to me, but I still recommend the instrumental of Wasurenagas -Yume wo Mite Ita-.
Collectively, both Kiss or Bite and SAVE were pretty strong singles, especially as the first ones after the Wear I Am era. I think both A-sides to both singles were stronger than the B-sides though and left more of an impression with me. Like I said, I haven’t paid much mind to MEG’s post-Nakata material but these two singles make me think I should! I really enjoyed the theme for Kiss or Bite + SAVE and the music themselves. There’s nothing more exciting to add some darkness to the sweltering month of June than some good ol’ fashioned zombies, right?
Also, a website called Meg the World was opened up to promote both singles. It can be found here. The site features an 8-bit game RPG that is virtually impossible to understand if you can’t read a lick of Japanese. Still, play if you dare and try not to die!