Wednesday, 12 August 2009

C76 / Under the Scope: New melo9 maxi-single 「めろめろ☆さま~ちゅ~ん」

Although this is the first time melo9 are being proper mentioned on this blog, eagle-eyed readers will have noticed their presence in the "Link Banner" section for the past couple of months. Indeed, yours truly became aware of the up-and-coming denpa/moe circle when they released their first full-length album back at May 2009's M3 event. Although rough around the edges (delightfully so), 「めろめろ☆きゅ〜と」 was a great indication of things to come. Check out some samples at their debut album's homepage. Now feel free to accuse me of total laziness, but this post will double as this month's "Under the Scope" feature, given the introductory nature of the following paragraphs (and the fact that I haven't done shit for an actual standalone article).

Unlike their contemporaries Holic Service and IOSYS, melo9 don't depend on the latest ZUN game to compose their songs. So far they've cranked out tunes that are more in line with UNDER17's cutest creations, with heavy emphasis on the cute side of things. But the debut album also showcased their rougher side with "Phantom", a song that is more akin to a SHMUP soundtrack than an eroge opener. So videogame influences are also heavily palpable, and to this writer's greatest pleasure, the circle also openly describes itself as denpa.

So who's melo9 anyway? This biography page would be a great starting point, but let's cover the basics. Two singers (Rizu and Mero) alternate between songs, with Mero taking on a slightly more affable role than Rizu, but this isn't cast in stone. Sometimes they'll also appear together on the same track. With the exception of the first album's opening song 「恋してチュ」, they seem to want to break free from the "Hai Hai Chu Chu" standards (not that there's anything wrong with that) and move into their own sort of territory. They also don't seem to use any sort of voice "enhancing" tricks here, we're getting exactly what the girls can deliver, which makes for a more one-on-one experience.

That biography page points out a number of composers and collaborators, but the man in charge appears to be ひろて~. He seems to be a particularly shy fellow, so he would probably make for a pretty bare-bones interviewee. He does mention Mr. Children as one of his favourite bands, however that doesn't exactly show up through his compositions. Speaking of which, melo9 are open for business in terms of game & anime OP/ED, but haven't been commissioned with official requests yet. Hopefully their presence at C76 will open some new doors for them. In an ironic twist, their booth is located right next to Holic Service's, so perhaps we'll see some collaborations between the two groups in the near future?

Notice the mountain of unsold CDs. Self-deprecating humour is ALWAYS funny.
Which brings us to the actual news portion of this post. Their second release, a maxi-single this time, is set to come out on August 15th for the low low price of 300円 (it's a CD-R after all). Regardless, it contains 2 new songs, a remix from the first album, a "radio track" and uhmmm... 2 sheep-counting tracks from both singers?!? Hilarious. You can (and should) check out a 1:40-long crossfade sampler from the first three tracks to get a decent idea of what they're shooting for. Can't help but be reminded of UNDER17, although an actual electric guitar instead of pure synthpop would improve their sound tenfold. I can imagine them being pretty lonely at booth SA-24b, so make sure you drop by for a visit if you can!

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