Review

Song Review: Miyavi – Bang!

Since its release last month, I’ve held up News’ Story as 2020’s best J-pop album so far, but Miyavi’s new Holy Nights might just give it a run for its money. Album track Heaven Is A Place On Earth is worth the price of admission alone, with a final spine-tingling minute-and-a-half that may just be the year’s most stirring musical moment. Prior to the release of Holy Nights, Miyavi teased its three opening songs one by one, starting with Bang. I’m so happy that the song now has a full music video so that I can rave about it today.

I’ve been a long-time fan of Miyavi and his awesome, inhuman talents as a guitarist. But this new work – his first since joining Japan’s LDH agency – represents a creative resurgence that was only hinted at during 2019’s No Sleep Till Tokyo. Bang is a perfect encapsulation of the intensity that characterizes Holy Nights’ first half. He’s set his sights firmly on “rock anthem,” funneled through the nimble propulsion of a great dance track. Bang opens with its chorus – all layered, fist-in-the-air vocals with minimal instrumental backing. This makes the frenzied guitar all that more impactful when it hits soon after.

Miyavi is synonymous with this slap guitar style of playing, and it lends his work greater rhythmic appeal than you’d find in most rock. For those of us predisposed to loving this approach, the results are nothing short of inspiring. It helps that Bang carries absolutely no musical fat. Its verses are taut and engaging. Its pre-chorus is gargantuan in sound, clobbering you over the head with unyielding snare drum. And the chorus, once joined by its full instrumentation, is a big sonic exclamation point, closing with a delightful bit of percussive playfulness. As the song itself references often, this is the aural equivalent of a Big Bang, puncturing a hole through the less-is-more genre trends currently holding the global music market hostage.

 Hooks 9
 Production 10
 Longevity 9
 Bias 10
 RATING 9.5

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5 thoughts on “Song Review: Miyavi – Bang!

  1. First and foremost thank you for introducing me to this song.
    I was like oh nick gave such a high rating let’s listen to it.
    Saying I wasn’t ready would be an understatement. My goodness I am writing this after listening to the song many times.. like I don’t know the song just fills me with so much energy.
    This is the best track that can be included in the best superhero movie.
    Much love.

    Like

    • Suddenly, I’ve realized that “can be included in the best superhero movie” pretty much describes my musical taste in a nutshell! Haha

      Seriously, though, if you like this song make sure to check out the album. It’s full of great tracks like this.

      Like

      • I have and am thoroughly impressed by this artist, I also checked out his older songs and loved majority of them(I was also surprised when I saw how old some of his songs were).. his skills are top notch.

        Like

  2. Back in the day, which is to say last month, I had a motherly ritual of taking my kids for their weekly music lessons to a music store that was the instrument equivalent of a High Fidelity record shop.

    The denizens paid no mind at all to sonny boy testing out every single amp, and all the drum kits. Or to darling daughter trying out every single sound on the synthesizers. After the weekly row about “who goes first”, I would sit in the back corner and listen to their horn lessons, catch up on emails, and only pipe up when darling daughter was fascinated with a particular piercing sound effect that would echo across the store and go straight through me.

    The employees meanwhile would be listening to this kind of guitar at an impressive volume, and using the highest end models in the shop figure out how to play it that way themselves. I don’t think it was this guy, this Miyavi, but some other guitar player who also had a kicking drummer who liked to double kick a duo of bass drums.

    This song is impressive as well, and sounds like it could be a soundtrack for any number of super hero anime movie video game soundtracks.

    Like

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