Buck Tick: The Sound of Growing Up
Buck Tick first hit the scene in 1983, 6 years before this blogger was even born. What could I possibly have to say about this group? Plenty. If you watch a lot of anime, this may even be a name you already know, but you don’t need to watch anime to appreciate the versatility and passion that goes into every banger. More importantly, they are still active almost 40 years and still going strong. My goal here is to introduce you to a great band that you might have overlooked in all those late night binge sessions.
From Nightwalker and Trinity Blood to xxxHolic, you might recognize the songs: Gessekai is a personal favorite, first released in 1998 but fitting right in with 2000’s Nightwalker, and Dress, from 1993 fit right in with Trinity Blood in 2005, if you saw Shiko or GeGeGe no Kitarō, you know their work.
Most impressively is that they are considered a founder of the Viz Kei movement (that’s visual kei if you’re unaware, and they are the longest lasting in the medium.) So they’re good, but have they done anything recent? Yes! 2020 brought Abracadabra, which brings me to the next point: mostly all of their albums have reached the top ten charts. How many artists or bands do you know that have that kind of record? Fewer still who have been active for so long.
So what are some good songs to get you started? Well, you really can’t go wrong with the bangers from the anime selections, Dress is a great song, Gessekai is an easy to vibe to song that I couldn’t recommend enough and Kagerou is another one that absolutely slaps. What for the non-anime fan? Romance is a single from 2005 that both sounds and looks great if music videos are your thing. Glamorous steps out of the traditional sound and opts for something else entirely, and Miu from 2000’s album 97BT99 and also from 2005, 夢魔-The Nightmare is a darker and edgier vibe than the rest but not less fantastic.
It should also be mentioned that the band has consisted of the same members since 1985, being Atsushi Sakurai, Hisashi Imai, Hidehiko Hoshino, Yutaka Higuchi and Toll Yagami. At least from an American perspective, that’s incredibly difficult to imagine, having seen many good bands lose members to retirement or death and disagreements. That unchanging lineup in my humble opinion spells stability and consistency. Trivia time: Buck Tick is a variant of the bakuchiku which means firecracker. Another fun fact is that when the group first formed, none of them knew how to play any instruments, so before they performed, they learned. Now this writer comes from a very musical family, my grandfather was in a band and played 13 instruments and my uncles as well are very musically inclined, and as someone with very little innate musical skill, I can say learning even what little I can do took a long time to learn. That said it’s incredibly impressive that an entire group said “I’ve got no idea what I’m doing” and just figured it out. Not just that but managed to dominate the charts for nearly forty years after that.
Now, these blog posts are meant to be fairly short, so here is where I end my gushing, but in my mind, if I can introduce even one person to the experience that is Buck Tick then this was a great success.
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