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Head Phones President - Stand in the World in the World

Head Phones President – CD Review
Stand in the World

Head Phones President



CD Info
Radtone Music
13 Tracks
English Lyrics

The metal/rock band, Head Phones President, released their third full album, Stand in the World, in June 2012. Consisting of four members, the band unleashed a variety of metal, along with hard rock, and a very effective ballad in this album. In addition, there is a very good use of style changes within the songs. The changes enhance the overall sound of the album. The vocals are clear, soaring, and exhibit a wide range of emotions.

Head Phones President originally formed in 1999, and at that time, they were known as Deep Last Blue, with vocalist Anza Ohyama, and the brothers Hiroaki “Hiro” Saito and “Mar” Saito on guitars. Rounding out the group at that time was Kawady on bass and Okaji on drums. In 2001, they changed their name to Head Phones President and Kawady was replaced by Take. Take was then replaced by Ryuichiro Narumi on the bass in 2002. The present lineup was solidified in 2009 when support member Batch on drums since 2005 was made an official member.

This album follows the release of two previous full albums, various singles and EPs. In addition, they’ve made three DVDs. The band also released a fourth album this year and played at the Metalfemalevoicesfest in Belgium in October. Their music is known for being very driven, as their videos and live performances show. Head Phones President has developed a traditional metal niche, which is a change from their heavy rock beginnings, but they also show a willingness to experiment with different styles.

Stand in the World opens with the song with the same title as the album. The song opens with a traditional driving guitar and drum beat. Over that is another guitar playing a counter melody. Anza’s voice comes strong over a guitar ostinato. Her voice is strong and stands out nicely against the instrumental parts. In between the verses, the drum part is more pronounced. The tone of the song changes a little over half way when the vocals turn more to a screamo effect with short guitar riffs before changing again to a lighter reverb voice over just an arpeggiated guitar. The opening sound returns for the last part of the song. “Stand in the World” also is the only song which has a video. The video can be accessed here. Some interesting lyrics are:

and I know
i’m ready to say
it scares me but I’m saying saying now
I never say goodbye

why escape?
why stray?
walk below light
and stand in the world

There are three songs that have a definite Metal sound to them. “My Name is” opens with a metallic voice speaking before the heavy guitar and drums enter and maintain that sound throughout the song. Every once and awhile there is a nice short bass riff that is nicely performed and Hiro has a nice guitar solo toward the end of the song. The vocals take on a mechanical performance style at different times to complement the song title. Another metal song is “Just A Human,” which opens with a very driven guitar and drum beat reminiscent of some of the heavier European Metal Bands. Toward the end of the song, the vocal parts seem to be in competition with the instrumental part. “Rise and Shine” also opens with the guitar and drums. The vocals on this song are repetitive as well as screaming at times. The bass also has a prominent part halfway through the song. At times the vocals and instruments complement each other trading off the melody. The guitar goes back and forth at the end of the song with a short solo riff and the heavy guitar power chord. Before the final verse, the instruments and voice build musically to a big climax before releasing to the end. Lyrics for “Rise And Shine” include:

have it your way
go find your way
I’m always here
waiting for you

The super short song “Melt” nicely portrays the title. A heavy Rock sound is prominent in a few songs on the album as well. “Scrying” opens with a reverberated guitar riff repeated and joined by a traditional rock beat on the drums. The vocals are sustained, clear and complement the instrumental part. After the vocals whisper a phrase, there is a neat bass solo that I can appreciate, knowing that the bass often is only for show, and not given the recognition that it deserves. Also interesting is the title in that it refers to “looking inside a crystal ball that things can be seen.” Another song that has a Rock sound is “Dive” which features a distorted guitar under Anza whispering, and then is joined by the bass and drums. When she starts singing, the guitar changes to the traditional guitar power chords similar to what you hear in rock anthems. The song progress to a harder rock beat with a lot of distorted guitar. Halfway through, the beat has a lilt to it and the guitar solo is much too short. “Enter The Sky” opens differently, featuring the bass and drum with a traditional rock beat. The guitar joins along with the vocals. Halfway through the song, the vocals and instruments take a softer tone, with a more synthesized sound to the guitar. The vocals become varied, with the words being held longer with each repetition.

The other song that I want to mention on the album is “Where Are You.” This song is harder to classify primarily because it changes throughout. After opening with the bass playing a repeated counter melodic line, it repeats the line while the voice joins in. This continues while the drums play a subdued part, mainly on the snare and cymbals, and the guitar is very light. This song is similar to a ballad with the vocals being very soft. There is a synthesized sound halfway through which leads into the change in the style. The vocals have a harder edge to them and the instruments change to a rock-like sound. Hiro does have a nice guitar solo during this time, and toward the end of the song, there is a choir chanting with Anza, a repeated phrase. The song ends nicely with her singing the title of the song.

My favorite song in the album is a song that completely goes against most of the music in this album, even though it fits nicely into its theme. That song is “Lost Place.” This song is a true ballad with haunting lyrics and threadbare accompaniment. Anza’s vocals are at their rawest both musically and emotionally throughout this song. Sometimes taking a “stand” is so isolating and painful, and whether the band intended this to be the point of the song, it is what I take it to be. Featuring only a simply piano accompaniment, it shows that sometimes the greatest impact can be made with less. Opening with a simple piano chord ostinato, the vocals are soft and sweet sounding belying the lyrics. Anza has a way of drawing out the words and using the outer range of her voice very effectively. The haunting lyrics include:

eastern sky falls down
and no one can’t live there
western sea disappears

a lost place

in weal or woe
and landscape is gone


and scrape
we’re alive with cries
no more
with lies
no more
we are here with crimes

with smile
no more

Stand in the World is a diverse album with a variety of Metal and Rock presented in unique fashion. The instrumentalists are good and the vocals are clear and distinct. Even though Head Phones President has released a newer album, this one shows their evolution into a more metal sound. Their inclusion in the Metalfemalevoicesfest this year was no mistake. Further information concerning the band can be found at the following links: