Song Review: The Rampage – Tsunage Kizuna

The Rampage - Tsunage KizunaWhen it comes to niche corners of the global music market, I tend to go through phases. Right now, I’m in the middle of another phase involving Exile Tribe. Nothing in particular set this off, but each time I revisit the discographies of these groups, I’m reminded how amazing they often are. The Exile “universe” so closely mirrors my own taste and formative musical influences. Like most of the pop world, they’re currently exploring 80’s synth references, but it feels authentic because that era has always been a huge pillar of their sound. So far, Fantastics have best utilized this style. But, agency seniors The Rampage are not far behind.

In case you missed it earlier this year, The Rampage’s synth-heavy cover of Van Halen’s 80’s classic Jump remains one of 2022’s most essential tracks. It’s such a rush. New single Tsunage Kizuna (ツナゲキズナ) picks up the baton, adding synthwave influence to the group’s bombastic sound. It’s a recipe that all-but guarantees success, and the guys don’t waste a second launching into their big electronic riff. From here, the verse moves at a clip, practically galloping forward. Kizuna’s verses are my favorite part of the song – especially the way the vocalists grab hold of the melody and perform it with such relish.

The chorus has ingratiated itself since the song was first released a few weeks ago, but I think it could be slightly more anthemic to match the energy of the production. Even so, I like how the melody punches hard at the outset before winding down. If nothing else, these Exile groups know how to keep the energy going and build to satisfying peaks. Tsunage Kizuna is another triumph and a welcome addition to The Rampage’s diverse discography.

Hooks 8
 Production 9
 Longevity 9
 Bias 9
 RATING 8.75

Grade: B+


8 thoughts on “Song Review: The Rampage – Tsunage Kizuna

  1. And today, crickets. I suppose everyone is all keyboard warriored out on yesterday’s G-idle.

    Today, here, solid pop song. It colors within the lines, but does it nicely and cleanly. It has that persistent insistence of late 2nd gen which is refreshing to hear.

    I still have a beef with the “Jump” cover not including a guitar solo.

    On a related note, this morning behind the usual announcements NPR Morning Edition radio was playing the instrumental from EXO “Lucky One”.

    Liked by 3 people

    • That’s a very random choice for NPR!

      And yeah… the Nxde comments section has turned into a battlefield I refuse to participate in (beyond a snarky little zinger here and there because I can’t help myself!)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. unrelated but i just found out about a kpop group with the best name ever, c.litz (its exactly how its pronounced), had their comeback EP postponed to december, sad, because now ben shapiro wont be able to find it 😦

    whats next? a group called “pen island?”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m always so confused by Exile groups, they’ll have 16 members but only 3-4 members will sing. Will who cares, cuz these guys can really sing and it’s a good song performed to the t’s.
    It’s nice to hear something very 80’s that doesn’t totally harp on the A-ha “take me on” melodies and riff.

    Love the bridges here, things got pretty epic.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yep, they divide their groups into “vocalists” and “performers.” Each group has 2-3 vocalists and The Rampage happens to have 13 (!) performers — making them more of a troupe than a group!

      To make matters more confusing, some members are a part of multiple groups. It’s a bit like NCT before NCT was a thing. Or in my opinions, it’s what NCT could/should be.

      Liked by 2 people

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