My thoughts on “S.O.S”, the latest digital single from miscast.
Release Date: April 20th 2020
The Idol scene can be a pretty strange thing sometimes…well, a lot of the time actually. A group can go from not releasing any new music for a year or more and then all of a sudden new songs start popping up all over the place. The reasons for this are probably very normal and boring I’m sure, but it’s always kinda funny to see a group that has had a limited but well thought out selection of songs suddenly add a bunch of new ones to their repertoire.
miscast got 2020 off to a quick start with the release of their “23:00PM” digital single (review here) which I enjoyed quite a bit. I did say at the time not to expect much else out of the group for a bit but then along came another digital release in the form of “Midnight Through the Night” (review here). This saw the group combine elements of Eurobeat with their typical shouty Hardcore style to great effect. Surely then after that (and the small matter of a global pandemic) we shouldn’t be expecting to hear more out of them for a long time, right?
Not so it seems! As the group are back with yet another digital single in “S.O.S”. I’m getting a similar sort of vibe from this release’s cover as I did from their “Midnight Through the Night” offering, so perhaps more Eurobeat/EDM mashed up with Hardcore is what’s going to be on offer here too. If that is the case then it’s a somewhat surprising change of musical direction from this particular group but if it leads to a favorable result then who are any of us to argue I suppose. Of course this is Idol so it could all be one big bait and switch too, which means we should probably start this review so we can find out for sure.
No bait and switching here if the track’s opening instrumental is anything to go by, opening with an undulating synthesizer that is paired with the more familiar Rock style instrumental that most will know miscast for. I was rather caught off-guard by the male vocal that came in after a short while however, not what I was expecting to hear from my female Japanese Idol group but it seems to be kind of becoming a thing lately? Yeah I dunno, it sounds fine but it’s not something you’re used to hearing I guess. It eventually makes way for the miscast members to do their, fairly heavily vocoded, thing though and as far as this style goes they put in a really enjoyable performance. Some nice artificially enhanced melodies and vocal hooks in the song’s verses and a fairly strong chorus but not exactly one you’re going to be writing home about I would imagine. I also feel like they could have pushed the instrumental a bit more as it’s a little flimsy feeling to me, and even if you don’t agree with that I’m sure we can all conclude that more bass wouldn’t have hurt things. The guitar solo in the bridge was pretty cool though, I’ll give them that. A fun one but there are definitely many better examples of this sort of thing from other groups in similar genres for it’s worth.
“S.O.S” is a pretty decent rendition of that Digital Hardcore sort of style that has been made popular by groups like PassCode, Fear, and Loathing in Las Vegas, etc. I don’t think the song fully gets to where it could have gone personally, but it’s still really enjoyable for what it is and the fact miscast aren’t exactly known for this style means I’m more than willing to cut them a little slack here. Worth a spot on your party playlists if you’re looking for more songs in this style.
Okay, we’re definitely not going to hear anything more from miscast for a bit now…right? Well, watch this space I guess! That’s part of the fun of this hobby, for me at least. Either way I’m interested to see if this EDM/synth angle continues into future miscast releases or if it’s just something they’re dabbling with for a bit before moving on to something else. There’s a lot of directions they can take things in here and many of them have the potential to make for some really entertaining results.