The dust has hardly settled on my “Top J-Pop songs of 2022” list and we’ve already got a contender for next year’s countdown! Violence arrives courtesy of rock group Queen Bee, who released their first work over a decade ago. I fully intend to explore their back catalog because – if it’s anything like this song – there are bound to be tons of hidden gems.
I will always be drawn to rock bands who play as if they’re targeting the dance floor. Violence is not a dance song per se, but it unfolds with the intensity of a great DJ set. The guitars propel forward in the same way a four-on-the-floor thump might fuel an EDM banger. But, there’s a dynamic texture to this instrumental. It’s wonderfully gritty yet incredibly potent, and when the full brunt of the production hits during the chorus it’s as if the seas have parted and you’re speeding forward on pure momentum.
Vocalist Avu-chan makes a beguiling tour guide through this sonic maelstrom. Their voice twists and turns in line with the melody. The verses feel almost stream-of-consciousness – very wordy and breathless in execution. In response to this, much of the chorus hinges on a single word: the song’s title, “Violence.” This contrast is key, especially given the intensity of the instrumental. That move from tense energy — with lyrics practically tripping over their own verbosity — to direct declaration makes for wonderful catharsis.