ScandalJP-01SCANDAL is an all-female pop/rock band from Osaka, Japan. SCANDAL was formed in 2006 by four high school girls: HARUNA (vocals/guitar), MAMI (guitar/vocals), TOMOMI (bass/vocals), and RINA (drums/vocals). Obviously, this SCANDAL is not Patti Smyth’s Scandal, the American rock band from the ’80s.ScandalJP-06 HARUNA sings lead, mostly, with her strong, deep (for a Japanese girl) voice, and TOMOMI, with her child-like voice, often compliments HARUNA with co-lead vocals, while TOMOMI, MAMI and RINA provide backing vocals. SCANDAL is, basically, a J-pop idol group comprised of girls who can actually play instruments and write their own songs. But, the girls’ songs are pop/rock (like their biggest influence ZONE), not dance/pop (like AKB48 and countless others). However, like those idol groups, SCANDAL‘s trademark is their school uniforms which have changed, often, over the years, from cute to sexy [watch the video for “Shunkan Sentimental”] to space age. But, lately, the girls have been veering away from the uniforms, as well they should. They’re older, and their music is, and always was, better than just their look. SCANDAL‘s wonderful fifth full album, STANDARD, was released on October 2, 2013, and it prompted me, at last, to do this post.

ScandalJP-03ScandalJP-05-A1SCANDAL‘s first three singles (“Space Ranger”, “Koi Moyou” and “Kagerou”) were released on an indie label in 2008, followed by their first mini-album, YAH! YAH! YAH! HELLO SCANDAL ~Maido! SCANDAL Desu! Yah Yah Yah!~. My first taste of this band was “Koi Moyou”, whose infectious melody and perfect harmonies hooked me instantly. Soon, they were signed to EPIC Records Japan, and released their major debut single “DOLL”, followed, in 2009, by “SAKURA Goodbye”, “Shoujo S”, “Yume miru Tsubasa”, and, eventually, their first full album, BEST★SCANDAL, which collected all the A-sides plus 6 more tracks. The singles are good, but, I think that SCANDAL‘s album tracks and B-sides are often as good or even better. “Koi no Kajitsu”, from the mini-album, is an awesome track, as are “SCANDAL BABY” and “Kimi to Yoru to Namida”, from the album. And, “BEAUTeen!!” and “S.L. Magic” are excellent B-sides. BEST★SCANDAL showed that these young girls were talented beyond their teenage years.

Watch the videos for “DOLL” and “SAKURA Goodbye” here:

ScandalJP-02ScandalJP-05-A2SCANDAL‘s second album, TEMPTATION BOX (2010), was preceded by three cool singles: “Shunkan Sentimental” (which was used as the fourth ending theme for the anime Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood), “Taiyou to Kimi ga Egaku STORY” and the heartfelt ballad “Namida no Regret”. The video for “Shunkan Sentimental”, by the way, is my favorite SCANDAL video [because I love the school uniforms!]. “secret base ~Kimi ga Kureta Mono~”, a ZONE cover, was also released as a digital single, and, later appeared on their mini-album R-GIRL’s ROCK! (2010), which featured covers of songs by female artists that inspired the band. “GIRLism”, “Houkago 1H” and “Aitai” are excellent album tracks, while “Yume Miru Koro wo Sugite mo” (a HILLBILLY BOPS cover) is a great B-side. Finally, the excellent last track “Sayonara My Friend” and the B-sides “Midnight Television” and “KOSHI-TANTAN” were used in the anime film Loups=Garous, in which the four girls also appeared as animated versions of themselves.

Watch the videos for “Shunkan Sentimental” [awesome!] and “Taiyou to Kimi ga Egaku STORY” here:

ScandalJP-10ScandalJP-05-A3SCANDAL‘s third album, BABY ACTION (2011), was my favorite Japanese release of 2011. The girls’ sound hadn’t changed as much as their look, but, the rock in their pop was becoming much louder. “SCANDAL Nanka Buttobase”, “Pride”, “Haruka”, and “LOVE SURVIVE” were the singles, and, all are good, but, on this album, others are definitely much better. Like the groovin’ opening track “GLAMOROUS YOU”, or the Jackson 5-esque “Very Special”, or the infectious “Sono Toki, Sekai wa Kimi Darake no Lane”. But, “BURN” and “one piece”, both power ballads, were two of SCANDAL‘s best tracks to date! And, as far as B-sides go, this album’s singles had a lot of great ones. Like “Emotion”, “Satisfaction”, “Hikare”, the Fefe Dobson-ish “Kimi ni Shittochuu”, and, the harder rocking “Want You” (which is driven by a ZZ Top-esque guitar riff). If you’re new to SCANDAL, start with BABY ACTION, and, you won’t be disappointed.

Watch the video for “Haruka” here:

ScandalJP-11AScandalJP-05-A4SCANDAL‘s fourth album, Queens are trumps ~Kirifuda wa Queen~ (2012), opens with the riff-heavy title track which recalls bluesy ’70s classic rock, but, then it’s business as usual. “HARUKAZE” (which was used as the the opening theme for the anime BLEACH), “Taiyou Scandalous” and “Pin Heel Surfer” were the good singles, while “Koe”, “Bright”, “Welcome home”, and “Rising Star” were the even better album tracks. The B-sides of “HARUKAZE” were covers of songs by J-rock bands Aqua Timez (“ALONES”) and ORANGE RANGE (“* ~Asterisk~”), while the B-sides of “Taiyou Scandalous” were by SCANDAL‘s special units, Dobondobondo (MAMI x TOMOMI) and Almond Crush (HARUNA x RINA). In 2012, SCANDAL also released their first A-side collection, SCANDAL SHOW, which included a cool (but brief) new track, “SCANDAL no Theme”.

Watch the videos for “HARUKAZE” and “SCANDAL no Theme” here:

ScandalJP-13BScandalJP-04ScandalJP-05-A5SCANDAL‘s latest album, STANDARD (2013), is, at the very least, as good as BABY ACTION. The album was preceded by three of the band’s best singles: “Awanai Tsumori no, Genki de ne”, “Kagen no Tsuki” and “OVER DRIVE”. But, still, some album tracks are even better. In fact, “Weather report” and “8-gatsu” are two more of SCANDAL’s best tracks ever. Other excellent album tracks are “Metronome”, “Uchiage Hanabi” and the punky “Namida yo Hikare”, while “24 Jikan Plus no Yoake Mae” is an awesome B-side. In 2013, SCANDAL also released their first B-side collection, ENCORE SHOW, which included the first recording of “Playboy”, a song the band used to play live in their indie days.

Watch a brief video clip for “OVER DRIVE” here:

ScandalJP-16SCANDAL Discography
2008.03.03 – “Space Ranger” (indie) [Single]
2008.04.04 – “Koi Moyou” (indie) [Single]
2008.05.05 – “Kagerou” (indie) [Single]
2008.08.08 – YAH! YAH! YAH! HELLO SCANDAL ~Maido! SCANDAL Desu! Yah Yah Yah!~ (indie) [Mini-Album]
2008.10.22 – “DOLL” [Single]
2009.03.04 – “SAKURA Goodbye” [Single]
2009.06.17 – “Shoujo S” [Single]
2009.10.14 – “Yumemiru Tsubasa” [Single]
2009.10.21 – BEST★SCANDAL [Album]
2010.02.03 – “Shunkan Sentimental” [Single]
2010.04.21 – “secret base ~Kimi ga Kureta Mono~” [Digital Single]
2010.06.02 – “Taiyou to Kimi ga Egaku STORY” [Single]
2010.07.28 – “Namida no Regret” [Single]
2010.08.11 – TEMPTATION BOX [Album]
2010.10.06 – “SCANDAL Nanka Buttobase” [Single]
2010.11.17 – R-GIRL’s ROCK! [Covers Mini-Album)
2011.02.09 – “Pride” [Single]
2011.04.20 – “Haruka” [Single]
2011.07.27 – “LOVE SURVIVE” [Single]
2011.08.10 – BABY ACTION [Album]
2012.02.22 – “HARUKAZE” [Single]
2012.03.07 – SCANDAL SHOW [Best Album]
2012.07.11 – “Taiyou Scandalous” [Single]
2012.09.12 – “Pin Heel Surfer” [Single]
2012.09.26 – Queens are trumps -Kirifuda wa Queen- [Album]
2013.02.06 – ENCORE SHOW [B-Sides Best Album]
2013.05.22 – “Awanai Tsumori no, Genki de ne” [Single]
2013.08.14 – “Kagen no Tsuki” [Single]
2013.09.18 – “OVER DRIVE” [Single]
2013.10.02 – STANDARD [Album]

For way more information on SCANDAL go here.

One response to “SCANDAL [JP]

  1. Pingback: girugamesh | My Heart Explodes·

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