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SCANDAL: “Yumemiru Tsubasa”

Bands wearing schoolgirl uniforms rarely get a second glance from me, so when I saw uniform-clad SCANDAL on the TV show Music Fair this weekend I didn’t pay much attention. While working, though, I realized the song coming out of the television was surprisingly catchy. I looked up and…surprise, SCANDAL.

SCANDAL bill themselves as a rock band, but this Osaka four-piece is only “rock” in the sense they have guitars. They produce pure J-Pop, and all the Marshall stacks in the world won’t hide that fact. The catch…they put out very good J-Pop. Take the band’s latest single (below) “Yumemiru Tsubasa.” Originally a song by ’80s Japanese group Hillbilly Bops (I know nothing else about them), SCANDAL’s version skips forward thanks to some Avril-worthy guitars. The guitar-work isn’t the star of “Yumemiru Tsubasa,” though…that honor goes to the vocals, especially the happy-go-lucky earworm of a chorus. This is a bouncy J-Pop song that, save for the cheesy intro, avoids any goofy electronic sounds that would drown out the best parts of this tune. Midway through, a little lift of bells creep into the song and it’s an absolutely jarring moment…these flourishes popping up throughout the song would have killed it. SCANDAL know how to build a clear, good pop joint.

“Yumemiru Tsubasa’s” a nice little J-Pop single that doesn’t go overboard with itself, and SCANDAL have a smattering of other nice tunes available on their MySpace. Now, if they could do something about their wardrobe.

The sorta goofy video for “Yumemiru Tsubasa.”