Nagoya trio Crunch wisely lead off their first brush with major-label life with their finest moment to date. “Blue” isn’t new — it originally appeared on last year’s short-but-sweet Blue Blue Blue, serving in the lead-off spot and delivering one of the year’s most emotionally wrenching numbers out of Japan, building slow and growing in intensity…before ending in uncertainty, a masterstroke grounding the number in reality. It’s their best, and as solid a choice Crunch (or Space Shower) could make ahead of their debut album Tenkiame, out in November.
And they found a way to beef it up more. This version of “Blue” takes advantage of a presumably better recording situation (it sounds better, in the sense of more details become clear in this version) to ramp up the intensity lurking beneath the rather skeletal portions of this song. More wordless singing is added between verses, and the guitar sounds downright sinister, popping up right before the song boils over, giving extra force to the words and then carrying them out to the wispier ending. Yet through these changes, the impact of “Blue” stays in tact. Listen above.