Kokumaromilk – The Princess Wears Grey/Girl Whore

December 9, 2014 in Reviews by Sebastian Kluth

Kokumaromilk2 />こくまろみるく / Kokumaromilk少女娼婦 / The Princess Wears Grey (Girl Whore) (2008)

Reviewed by Sebastian Kluth

Dear students, weren’t you all craving the sophomore record and another review for Kokumaromilk? These are your possible answers: a.) Yeah, thanks to bands like these, I don’t even feel the need to do drugs! b.) No way, coconut milk is not metal at all. c.) I’m not drunk enough to read through this review@ d.) Pipipipipi!!! I would have chosen the last answer, myself. Anyway, here it is, and only one year after the self-titled full length release, Kokumaromilk is back with a second output of roughly forty minutes of new material. Metal Archives tell us that the band’s sophomore release can be translated as “The Princess Wears Grey”, but my internet translator indicates “Girl Whore”. The first one sounds more beautiful but the second seems to be more accurate. Anyway, please choose your camp and prepare for a big surprise.

In fact, Kokumaromilk sounds much more ambitious, atmospheric, and mature on its sophomore effort. In particular, the song writing made a big step forward. Childish melodies and catchy choruses have been reduced, and the band offers more epic and sophisticated tracks with an authentic gothic and Visual Kei feeling. The average running time of a song on this release is about seven minutes, as compared to approximately four on the predecessor. Therefore, this release makes me think of projects like Sound Horizon rather than Babymetal, as was the case on the first record. The duo still adds a few surprising elements here and there of course, such as Japanese folk elements and vocal samples in the challenging opener and title song “Girl Whore”, jazz and big band elements in the charming “Innocent Love Talk”, and classical music in the elegant “Haikaburi Princess”. In comparison to the band’s first effort, its sophomore release is much easier to digest and less hectic. The different ideas take time to develop intriguing atmospheres, and aren’t just randomly thrown together.

While most experiments on the sophomore effort work very well and sound surprisingly serious, there are still a few exceptions. The longest track, right in the middle of the album, is a rough one. Basically, it’s a sound collage with air raid sirens, battlefield, and military march sounds, as well as a very bleak atmosphere, and it drags on with minimal instrumentation and many odd spoken word passages for almost ten minutes. The track has an intriguing concept, but musically it is completely forgettable. If you don’t understand any Japanese, it is even more painful to listen through this song.

Apart from this questionable track, all other songs have at least gripping passages or are completely successful examples of improved progressive song writing. Kokumaromilk’s second output is intellectually appealing, musically colorful, and always entertaining. While the first strike had its moments, the sophomore output can be considered a success, and is very warmly recommended to fans of Japanese rock, metal and, Visual Kei bands. I’m hoping for a new full length from this duo after their 2010 EP!

3.75 // 5