The rock band OBLIVION DUST released their new album DIRT on July 20! It has been four years since their last album release 9 Gates For Bipolar so fans were greatly enthusiastic since the release announcement in May.

OBLIVION DUST is a band that has gained popularity through their unique incorporation of grungy rock and electronic sounds, along with vocalist KEN’s all-English lyrics. DIRT is an album that shows every spectrum of the band, ranging from disco sounds to surf rock.

Death Surf

The album opens with “Death Surf,” a song that excited fans of both OBLIVION DUST and VAMPS during VAMPS LIVE 2016 ZEPP FUKUOKA THE FINAL PARTY. Combined with RIKIJI’s low bass and K.A.Z’s distorted guitar, the darkness of the lyrics shows what betrayal can do to a man. Like the title, K.A.Z incorporates a guitar riff similar to that of The Ventures, which contrasts with KEN’s vocals filled with vengeance.


The intro of this song brings out the “electronic” side of the band, expressing the direction in which the band is aiming for within this album. I especially love the continuum from the soaring chorus to the hardcore instrumental solo.


The core of this song is nothing you’d expect when only hearing the first few seconds. If this album were to be featured in a movie, “Evidence” is the perfect soundtrack for a car chase scene. K.A.Z’s guitar solo is almost the exact opposite of his usual sound, but I have to say, the 80’s taste solo is quite catchy.

Under My Skin

This song is brought out by KEN’s melody line that reminds listeners that OBLIVION DUST is indeed a Japanese band. Listeners of 90’s J-Rock will certainly enjoy the chorus, which takes us back in time to the biggest days of Japanese rock.


While “Under My Skin” brought out the Japanese side of the band, this tune shows hints of the English rock scene. The aggressiveness of this song resembles the band’s past rebellious songs such as “YOU.” I couldn’t believe my ears when I heard KEN shouting “I hate rock n’ roll,” but such unruliness is what creates OBLIVION DUST’s character.


Like the title, “Caprice” brings a sudden change in the album’s mood, with a much more light and catchy sound. This is my absolute favorite out of this album, if not by the band’s entire discography. Similar to “Sail Away” from 9 Gates For Bipolar and “Daisy” from OBLIVION DUST, “Caprice” is a great introductory song to the band. Perhaps it’s the nostalgic feeling that makes the song so easy to listen to.

In Motion

The final song “In Motion” expresses the band’s most signature sound, with RIKIJI’s driving bass and K.A.Z’s acoustic riff. This sound was what made me initially interested in the band, so it is nice to hear this uniqueness on their 20th anniversary album.

Overall, there is no doubt that each song of the new album DIRT will bring great exhilaration to the crowd during live performances. DIRT carefully, yet seemingly carelessly, integrates all aspects of the band’s music and combines K.A.Z’s grungy guitar and RIKIJI’s deep, hard bass with KEN’s wide-ranged vocals.

OBLIVION DUST is currently on their Dirty Heat Tour 2016. If you happen to be in Japan during the tour, I recommend definitely checking them out! I can guarantee that their live performance of these songs will provide you with a new view of Japanese rock.

Dirty Heat Tour 2016

2016.08.03 Fukuoka BEAT STATION
2016.08.05 Osaka UMEDA QUATTRO
2016.08.06 Nagoya SPADE BOX
2016.08.09 Sendai darwin open
2016.08.11 Shibuya TSUTAYA O-EAST

CDJapan Purchase: Dirt
iTunes Purchase: Dirt
Official Site: OBLIVION DUST

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