I have been waiting for this one for a long time. MUCC are a band of consistent experimentation and this lastest release Kyutai is no exception. Tighter and harsher than last year's Shion, it bristles with energy from start to finish. After the eerie instrumental title track, the album launches into the riff heavy "Houkou" which is metal-light but thoroughly enjoyable, if completely over-shadowed by the next track: "Ageha". This is still a beast of a track and remains a standout not just on this album but in their discography thus far. There is an ever-so-slight lull until "Oz", a bouncy dance-rock number that gets the blood going like a sequel to "Fuzz" from Shion.
"Sankiba" is a slow respite from the rock and pleasant enough in its ethereal melody. Its a pause to catch breath before the album's other juggernaut single: "Sora to ito". Awesome from start to finish, the song features Tatsurou singing with an autotuner, lending an inhuman quality to his vocals. There is a simplistic monster riff and some amazing roaring from Tatsurou before a kickass solo brings the song full circle. Kick. Ass.
"hanabi" is the closing track. It starts off with a piano and sounds quite balladesque until 2:38 when it becomes an upbeat dance-rocker, then it transforms again into a Kagrra style neo-japanesque song with jangly notes and strings. Its unusual and typical from a band so capable of rocking the boat and changing styles.
Overall, a resounding success from MUCC. One of their best.
For the iPod playlist: "Ageha", "Oz", "Sora to ito", "hanabi".
Verdict: **** (4/5)