After releasing the mini-album 22ND CENTURY GIRL as risu in 2009, and BRIGHT-EYED AND BUSHY-TAILED as r_i_s_u in 2012, is the singer and guitarist RIS (リス) back with the mini-album OVERKILL.
1. BE MY DOG
2. NOT TOO BAD
5. LET IT DIE
6. LOVE CLUB
To record the album RIS, she has asked the help of quite a few famous names from the Japanese music world: Ken Miyo (now active as the bass player in Atsushi Sakurai’s side project THE MORTAL), Motokatsu Miyagami (drummer, ex-The Mad Capsule Markets), Tabasa Hayashi (bassist, ex-SCARLET/Asai Kenichi), and Chriss Mosdell (Yellow Magic Orchestra). Quite interesting names, and it does indicate that the music world is quite small. The title track got a music video thanks to crowdfunding.
The music RIS makes can be named as new wave, electro, punk, glam rock, with some rock’n’roll. Most striking is her use of her voice. She seems to play with her voice in all tracks, without adding electronic effects like a vocoder, which can have a certain appeal. In the ballad NOT TOO BAD, RIS seems to use her real voice – without frills – which sounds soft and sweet. This shows that she is a Jack-of-all-trades in terms of singing.
With the voice of RIS combined with the melody, RIS knows to come up with catchy songs that are guaranteed to become an earworm. This will probably also be due to the repetition of the lyrics because that makes it that you will remember it.
Many musicians made tracks for the PlayStation 4 game LET IT DIE, including RIS. She decided to put it on her mini-album. Perhaps this was to boost the title of the mini-album, but the number doesn’t really fit with the rest of the tracks. Despite that, LET IT DIE is a catchy track and easy to sing, given it is in English. The same goes for LOVE CLUB. For both tracks, the lyrics are written by Chris Mosdell.
Some tracks were already known thanks to the performances of RIS, such as LOVE CLUB, NOT TOO BAD and LET IT DIE. For some this release can be seen as a compilation CD.
The mini-album is just 25 minutes long, which makes it a fast listening. It gives a good representation of where RIS stands musically speaking; less electro, more rock and sexy vibes. The sound of RIS compared to her previous releases shows that it is more mature, and that may be one-on-one with the growth of RIS itself. RIS has a lot of potentials and knows very well how to promote herself. It will be interesting to see which steps she will take further this year.