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Music / Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

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Imagine watching a J-core artist and a hardcore punk rock artist in a sugar high sitting together in a bar, at a party, with the speed turned up, and combined with an odd use of color choice and shouting about human behavior. This doesn't scratch the surface of how to describe this particular J-Rock band.

Fear, and Loathing in Las Vegas (shortened frequently to FaLiLV for conveniences sake, even on their own website address) is, in fact, a peculiar J-Rock band. The music they tend to write can be described as electronicore/trancore, digital hardcore, or even at times Nintendocore on the surface, but this is combined with the fact their songs tend to include other influences as well in between for short periods, such as funk, jazz, death metal, J-Pop, symphonic, etcetera, AND combined with the fact that the majority of their discography is written in a very "through form" style that the band describes as "chaos", eschewing a more contemporary "verse-chorus" songwriting for songs that just tend to flow along in movements or sections.

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Though this would normally cause any other band to be delegated into permanent underground status, the band is doing very well for themselves, with their albums and singles all reaching fairly high on the Oricon charts, and them having 14 music videos released and counting, and having provided numerous songs for video games and anime, such as Hunter × Hunter ("Just Awake") and Parasyte ("Let Me Hear").

Their lyrics tend to vary in topic, though common trends tend to be personal emotions, dancing/partying/both at the same time, or more sociological topics. Their music videos tend to be exciting to watch, and are usually in the Performance Video style.

On 16 January 2019, the band official website announced the bassist Kei passed away due to acute heart failure in his own home on midnight of 12 January.

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The members of this band are:

  • So: Lead clean vocals/backing harsh vocals, programming (2009-present)
  • Minami: Lead harsh vocals, keyboards, occasional keytar, synths (2008-present)
  • Taiki: Rhythm guitar, backing vocals (2008-present)
  • Tomonori: Drums (2008-present)

Former members of this band are:

  • Ma$hu (stylized as MA$HU): Bass guitar (2008-2013)
  • Sxun: Lead guitar, backing vocals (2008-2018)
  • Kei: Bass guitar (2013-2019 ; his death)

They have a website that you can go to that provides merch, music, their videos straight from YouTube, and details for live shows, and is available in both Japanese and English. The merchandise stores are divided into their Japanese-only store here and the international store in English here.

Not to be confused with the book by Hunter S. Thompson. That's apparently an (unfortunate) issue. Just remember, if there's a comma after Fear, it's the band. If there isn't, it's the book.

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Discography

The band provides examples of:

  • Amazing Technicolor World: The band's album cover art seems to have this in mind. Especially All That We Have Now.
  • Animated Music Video: The video for "Just Awake" is one, done in a very Anime style.
  • Auto-Tune: Used without shame. However, recent evidence has shown that So was in a previous band before Fear, and Loathing, and the band has said that they spent a solid year looking for him, meaning that So probably doesn't need it, and that it's more a choice than anything.
  • Avant-Garde Metal: They could arguably be classified as this. On top of the Genre-Busting, Genre Roulette, and Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly they have going on with their songs, they also write the majority of their songs in a very through form style. You could make a couple of comparisons between them and Enter Shikari.
  • A Wild Rapper Appears!: As long as Minami has been in the band, they've had a scream and growl-style take on rapping show up every so often. Recently, though, So and Taiki have also, to different extents, gotten in on this as well.
  • Bishōnen: Despite his odd sense of style, So definitely qualifies. Minami does as well, as does Sxun.
  • Bookend: Used as a musical device of all things in a couple of songs.
    • Twilight is a good example. The intro to the song is a symphonic metal-ish section. The outro to the song is a shorter version of the intro.
    • Defeat and Beat does something similar; while it doesn't immediately start the song, there is a section used in the beginning of the song (the sort of heavy funk/groove section) that is also used at the end to close out the song.
  • Careful with That Axe: Minami's harsh vocal style in a nutshell and more. He has a very noticeable range in what he can scream and growl out, and has been compared to a black metal vocalist by more than one person. This is one of the reasons why he generally gets the most attention in the group.
  • Chiptune: Used fairly frequently in their musical style and career.
  • Ear Worm: Oh dear god. So much of this band's discography will be stuck in your head after you're done with it, to the point where it's become part of their style.
  • Epileptic Flashing Lights: Very much a thing. Happens frequently in their videos, and often enough in their live sets.
  • Excited Song Title!: Quite a few. Of note are "Burn the Disco Floor with Your 2-Step!!" and "Swing It!!"
  • Five-Man Band: Before Sxun left and Kei passed away.
  • Genre-Busting: Sure you can make a guess or two about what the band's genre or style is, but they aren't going to make it completely easy for you.
    • Genre Roulette: Especially not since their discography has songs like Nail the Shit Down, which starts off sounding like an Alternative Metal styled groove song, then shifts into a bizarre rap rock sound, then goes into a post-hardcore sound, then back into an Alternative Metal sound with a Sega-ish sound synth mixed in, then into oddly enough a Crunkcore style, then into a rapid fire, high tempo rapcore/rap metal sound, then straight into high roller jazz, then into a pop song, then into electronicore, and THEN ending with a bang. This is one fucking song in a discography full of this.
  • Gratuitous English: Surpringly averted. The majority of their songs have English lyrics.
    • Fluent In My Native Tongue: The pronunciation of their English lyrics, unfortunately, tends to fall under this. Granted, it's not near as bad as Kyo's pronunciation, but it still has caused confusion among their fanbase over what they're saying. This has resulted in their unreleased single, "Let Me Hear", once having two different ideas for what the lyrics are before the official lyrics were known. In addition, the writing of their English lyrics isn't much better.
    • Gratuitous Japanese: Surprisingly and arguably played completely straight. As previously said, they rarely use Japanese at all in their lyrics, usually using English instead.
  • I Can't Dance: So does some of the most bizarre "dancing" in their videos to their music. For instance, in the "Swing It!!" video, one of his moves is a variant of the chicken dance. Minami is a comparatively better dancer, but he's still just as spastic as So. Oddly enough, the band almost seems to revel in this.
  • Indecipherable Lyrics: As stated before, Minami and So don't have the best grasp of English, so it's hard to understand what they're saying a lot of the time. You can make out one or two words on occasion, but it's usually a wild guess what they're saying.
  • Long Title: Too many to actually count, but some of the notable examples are "How Old You Are Never Forget Your Dream", "Short but Seems Long, Time of Our Life", and "Burn the Disco Floor with Your 2-Step!!"
  • Motor Mouth: Minami, hands down. Try to listen to his screaming; even if his accent wasn't that thick, it would be still be very difficult to decipher everything he was saying the first time around.
  • Only Knownby Their Nickname: The entire band, including the minor lineup change after MA$HU left. The members are credited as: So, Minami, Taiki, Sxun, Kei (formerly MA$HU), and Tomonori. The members are also known, to the majority of the world, as: So, Minami, Taiki, Sxun, Kei (formerly MA$HU), and Tomonori. Granted there are fan rumors as to So and Minami's real full names, and there is the real possibility that most of them are going by their real given name (though that would still leave their last name a mystery), but all of that is merely speculation without any real, hard evidence to back it up.
  • Signature Style: The band's trademark sound is a blend of some kind of electronic music with some kind of rock/hardcore punk, various other influences thrown in, and a chaotic, energetic through form song composition style. Also, songs tend to be very catchy.
  • Soprano and Gravel: So is the Soprano half, while Minami serves as the Gravel half.
    • The backing vocals lately seem to have this as well: Sxun only does clean backing vocals, whereas Taiki's backing vocals consist of yelling and shouting.
  • Surprisingly Gentle Song: They've had a couple of these over the years. "Rain Inside Your Eyes," "How Old You Are Never Forget Your Dream," and "Short but Seems Long Time of Our Life" all certinaly qualify as examples.
  • The Garfunkel: Two of them (Kei and Tomonori), and MA$HU probably counted when he was in the band as well. While they're still important, between So's and Minami's big stage presences, Sxun's status as lead guitar, and Taiki deciding to join in on So and Minami's antics, plus adding in Sxun and Taiki getting more prominent vocal roles in the band, the bassist and drummer seem to get left in the dust.
  • Who Wears Short Shorts?: So wears short shorts!
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Amongst the ''many'' hair colors he has had, So literally was this in the video for "Rave Up Tonight" and in a promotional picture.
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