Porno Graffitti

Trigger

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    6
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Porno Graffitti began their career as an '80s retro rock band, but by the time of Trigger, they polished their act and matured enough to appear as one of the most professional and interesting chart-topping J-rock bands -- though the two characteristics don't always overlap in their case. The '80s vibe is still there, but it's nowhere as explicit as before, being mixed with a healthy doze of bouncy, almost disco-styled rhythms that are not very novel as well, but work just fine. If Porno Graffitti are still ripping off Extreme, at least they turn it into dance-rock. The band also risks breaking the J-rock mold and trying something new every now and then -- "Hitomi no Oku Wo Nozokasete" has a fiddle and a waltz time, and "Hikari no Ya," with its Hammond organ, sounds almost like a lost Deep Purple classic. The combo of mildly daring arrangements and clever songwriting makes Trigger a nice listen with a dash of refreshing versatility and some hooks to flaunt -- not very big hooks, but still. As commercial J-rock goes, this is definitely above average, but it also feels like Trigger does not realize the band's full potential, because Porno Graffitti tend to use their improved professional skills as an easy way out in case of writer's block, throwing unremarkable string washes and blandly sweet melodies around whenever they cannot come up with anything better on the first take. If the band had shed all the filler, it would be left with no more than an EP of quality pop/rock, but in a scene that is so fond of mini-albums, this would perhaps be a better choice than watering down the good stuff.

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