My thoughts on “TOUCH ME / LOVE”, the latest single from BiS.
Release Date: May 26th 2021
1. TOUCH ME
3. TOUCH ME (Instrumental)
4. LOVE (Instrumental)
In a lot of ways I kinda envy any of you guys out there who can sort of just take a group’s glory days and have it excuse any sort of dip in quality, output, enjoyment, or whatever. I have a really hard time doing that and it’s probably why I’ve ended up in the situation that I have with WACK where I want so much to really be into all of the groups again and loving the music but the spark just hasn’t been there fully for a while now and it’s starting to feel a bit like what I imagine Stockholm syndrome must be like.
Anyway, BiS are back with a new single and I’m back with more than likely too high expectations. There doesn’t seem to be any tie-up for this release though, so that’s possibly a promising sign that we might have something interesting on our hands. The group hasn’t been super out there since the release of their “KiLLiNG IDOLS” EP back in February (review here) and I guess part of that is probably due to COVID and maybe I just haven’t been paying a ton of attention either. In any case, I don’t sense a huge amount of momentum coming into this one but maybe that’s just me.
The single comprises of two tracks, “TOUCH ME” and “LOVE” so there’s a bit of a theme there perhaps. It also looks like this is another Watanabe and Kenta co-production which isn’t unexpected but it does somewhat give a preconceived idea of what the songs might sound like. Hopefully I’m wrong but I’m already a bit worried that while this is certainly going to be a decent release, it’s also going to be more of the same and nothing that we haven’t really heard before previously. Man am I a pessimist right? I suppose there’s only way to know for sure if my concerns are valid or not and that’s to hit play here and take a listen.
“TOUCH ME” opens with a very soft and gentle sounding instrumental which is accompanying a pretty natural sounding vocal delivery and just creating a very bright and positive mood on the whole I think. Fairly quickly though the track transforms into this sort of mid-tempo Rock-ish Ballad type of thing, in a similar style to a lot of other WACK output in this area over the past several years. You’ve got the fuzzy guitars, the pretty simple and low tension drumbeat and the typical WACK Ballad vocal style which makes for a decent enough end result but just feels so played out at this point. To be fair, the piano that they work into the instrumental is a bit different and offers up some interesting melodies along the way so there’s little bits of this track to latch onto if you’re someone like me who has heard way too much of this stuff at least. The choruses feel pretty weak though so that’s a shame, as you can usually count on WACK in that department but here they’re just sort of lost in the shuffle a bit. Not enough variety and tempo changes is what I would chalk it up to but this track just doesn’t ever feel like it gets out of second gear. It’s fine for what it is, but BiS have done so much better previously and it’s hard not to draw comparisons unfortunately.
Thankfully “LOVE” is much more exciting prospect, with its very high energy and dynamic Punk Rock style instrumental really setting the scene for the track pretty much right from the beginning here. Great rhythm to the guitars, plenty of bite to the lead riffs and a decent amount of distortion to dirty things up a bit. The drums sorta disappear a bit though which I found very odd, it’s like there’s very little bass for some reason and it gives the entire song this very tinny sound which could have been what they were going for but it just feels a bit off to me. It’s not a huge deal breaker or anything but it’s just one of those things that I feel the need to point out as I definitely noticed it so I doubt that I’m going to be the only one. Vocally the BiS girls give us pretty much everything you could want from a track like this, that being some very authentic emotional input and a natural roughness to the tone in which they’re delivering many of their lines. It’s a Punk song so you shouldn’t be overproducing it and they haven’t here and that’s great. The choruses are decently catchy too which is nice, though they do slip back into that very safe cadence during these parts which again was hard not to notice. Easily my favorite track of the two featured here, it’s not perfect but then it probably doesn’t have to be does it?
Yeah, this single turned out pretty much how I expected it to I suppose. A lot of fairly safe/lazy songwriting with a flash or two of brilliance to keep stringing me along with the promise of there maybe being something more if I just wait around long enough. Skip “TOUCH ME” if you’ve had your fill of WACK ballads at this point but you’ll probably have a good time with “LOVE” at least, those are my recommendations anyway.
I really do hope that BiS and WACK in general can find a bit more of that fire and drive that they seemed to have back in their heydays. It’s far from required given the position that everyone comfortably finds themselves in these days but it’d be nice to see as a longtime fan of both the agency and its various projects. I’m probably asking for too much I know, but I’ll keep coming back every time one of these groups puts out something new and in a lot of ways I’m probably a part of the problem because of that I suppose.