From Keep It Real to Taking Off: ONE OK ROCK Singles

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Hey guys! I'm back~
Last week on twitter, I did a poll there asking what kind of post you guys would want me write on my blog first, and majority of you voted for ONE OK ROCK related kind of post (link of the post here). So as promised, here it is...

Today I'll be blogging about the ONE OK ROCK Singles.
What is a single?
When you say 'Single', it's very similar to EPs where it usually contains more or less five (5) tracks in a CD. It's not counted as an album, but most of the time the singles are released a few months before a band's major album debut, just to give the fans a little taste of what the band's next album will be like.
photo by Gus Black

In this post I will just go over the band's 14 singles from 2006 up to the present (2016). I don't intend to go much into details since you can check everything on the web. As for my sources, I used wikipedia and to help me sort out the release dates of the singles and for some other details. And the rest? We'll it's all going to be me and my point of view.

Let's start off with the year 2006...

2006 was the start-off year for ONE OK ROCK. They released 2 of their EPs named 'ONE OK ROCK', which was released in July 26, and 'Keep It Real', released in December 16. 
The band's first EP includes the tracks "Moshimo Taiyou ga Nakunatte Toshitara", "Nichijou Evolution", "You've Broken My Heart", and "Rose Blood". If you have listened to this EP you'd probably notice how the band is still struggling to find their original sound, and it's more of a product Their songs here kinda remind me of the OPM band Siakol, especially with "You've Broken My heart". LOL I know some of you might be mad at me for this but hey! It's just my opinion. Their first EP may not be that good for some, but as a fan I'm proud of it. It just goes to show that at that time, they are capable of something. And, it's not bad for a start.

The other EP released was 'Keep It Real'. Songs include are "Keep It real", "Tsurai + Ichi = Shiawase" (辛い+一=幸せ), "P.P.S.H" (Please Please Stay Here), and "And I Know".  From what I've noticed at this band's early years, it seems like most of their songs are in duets with Taka singing and Toru rapping, and there are times where Toru sings as well, just like in P.P.S.H. 
I kinda missed the vibe of them having a duet. It's so original for me. So if you're still starting to listen to ONE OK ROCK, of you just became a new fan of them, you HAVE to listen to the tracks of these first two EPs. Well, just sayin'.

We head now to 2007...

In the year 2007, ONE OK ROCK released 3 singles before they had their first major album 'Zeitakubyou'. The singles were 'Naihi Shinsho' (April 25, 2007), 'Yume Yume' (July 7, 2007), and 'Et Cetera' (October 24, 2007). The tracks in 'Naihi Shinsho' included "Naihi Shinsho" (内秘心書) and "Kako wa Kyōkasho ni Mirai wa Shukudai" (過去は教科書に未来は宿題). 'Yume Yume' has
"Yume Yume" and "Karasu" (カラス). And finally 'Et Cetera' with "Et Cetera" and "Koukai Yaku ni Tatazu" (後悔役に立たず).
*the bold texts are part of the Zeitakubyou album
*click here for the "Yume Yume" PV

Now these singles shaped up the band's distinct sound we know today: It's J-rock with a western inspiration behind it. We can still feel that they're still trying to explore their genre, but there's just something in all these tracks that every time we hear it out of nowhere, we can easily guess "Oh! That's totally ONE OK ROCK!" from the beginning of each song. Is it because of the rap? The riffs? or must be Tomoya's powerful beat? Hmm...

Okay so the next single was supposed to be released last May 6, 2009,  however it didn't happen at that time due to Alex leaving the band. 'Around The World Shounen' single would've include the songs "Around The World Shounen", "Hitorigoto Lonlina", and "Koi no Aibou Kokoro no Cupid" Live at Zepp Tokyo 2009.

Despite of continuing as a four-member band, on February 02, 2010, ONE OK ROCK released their 4th official single 'Kanzen Kankaku Dreamer'. The song, along with the same title of the single, was known to be a trademark song for the band in Japan and they became a lot popular. Other tracks include "Hitorigoto Lonlina" and "Ring Wanderung".

Prior to the success of their album 'Niche Syndrome' and their first ever show in Budokan, in the year 2011, ONE OK ROCK released two singles. The first one was released in February 16. 'Answer is Near' includes the tracks "Answer is Near", "Silent World", "Answer is Clear" (acoustic version of Answer is Near), and a cover of as Stevie Wonder hit "To Feel The Fire".
Their sixth single, 'Re:make/NO SCARED', was released in July 20 which includes the two songs from the title and "Rock, Scissors and Paper".
At the very same year, they also released their fifth album 'Zankyou Reference'. And based on my observation this was the time where the band started to garner a lot of attention to international fans, and their story of success goes on...

2012 is 'The Beginning' of it all. ONE OK ROCK became a worldwide hit when they did Rurouni Kenshin's OST "The Beginning". Along with its release in August 22, the songs "Notes 'n' Words" and "Ketsuraku Automation" were included as well. 
As the band's success continues, it took them a long time to release their 6th album. On January 9, 2013, they finally released their 8th single 'Deeper Deeper/Nothing Helps'. Songs included are the 2 songs in the title and the emotional track entitled "Kasabuta" (カサブタ).

release date: July 30, 2014

At 2014, The movie Rurouni Kenshin had its sequel and ONE OK ROCK was chosen again to be a part of the movie's OST. The PV for "Mighty Long Fall" was then released a month before the single did. Tracks also included in this single were "Decision" (FOOL COOL ROCK theme song), and "Pieces Of Me". Am I the only one who notices that as time passes by, the song titles in their singles and albums are in English?

The following year was indeed busy for ONE OK ROCK. In 2015 they started to reach out more to the US fans. They even signed up with Warner Bros. in order for them to release the '35XXXV Deluxe Edition' which all tracks are in English.

And now we move on to the present - 2016.
It was a dope year for ONE OK ROCK. They did a lot of tours in Asia, Europe, and the US. They even played on the stages of Rock Am Ring, Pinkpop Fest, and Download Festival. Their fanbase keeps on growing, not only in Japan and its neighbouring countries, but also in the west. Since the band was very busy promoting their international breakthrough album '35XXXV', they have released two (2) digital singles so far..and it's already half of November.

First was "Always Coming Back" (release date: March 11, 2016). Now this track was exclusively released in iTunes Japan, and was used for docomo's commercial. I have to be honest to you guys, but this is actually one of my personal favorites. Ever since this song was released, I'm dying to hear it LIVE!.. Well I hope that happens soon :)
The second single is "Taking Off" (release date: September 16, 2016). They have this both on English and Japanese versions, and I assume this song will be included in their next album. For me, "Taking Off" is quite different. It's like the band really wanted to explore more on what they can do with their music. It's obviously waaaaaaaaay different from their previous songs and I don't see anything bad with that. But from what I've observed, the only trademark left from their familiar sound that we most fans know here is the beat of Tomoya's drums, and that's why we fans can still say "OMG! That's so ONE OK ROCK!"

*BTW I didn't include "Hard To Love" in this post since it was not released as an official single, and the band only performed it live during their tour with 5SOS in the US*

So what do you think about their singles guys? 
Do you have any faves from their previous EPs? 
What do like about their sound?
Please let me know through the comments below. Thank you very much ;)

photo by Cazrow Aoki

...and that's it! I hope you had fun reading though it's a bit long >.<
'till next post! - k*

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