Hard rock juggernauts of BAND-MAID come back swinging in digital single Shambles, their first new track in six months. Whereas the previous tune Memorable offered a sentimental retrospective on US TOUR 2022, Shambles readies fans for the next phase of world domination, with its release coinciding with the maidens’ appearance at Lollapalooza 2023 in Chicago. Shambles is available as the clock strikes 24:00 on August 3 in Japan.
The fiery music videos shows BAND-MAID getting down in a derelict warehouse, surrounded by sections of mangled chainlink fence. As bassist MISA digs into her interlude and lead guitarist KANAMI shreds out her solo, a deluge of flames lick at their skin.
Shambles not only celebrates the momentous milestone of being the only Japanese act to play at the most iconic music fest in America since X Japan 13 years ago. The song will also serve as the next ending theme for the brawler anime Kengan Ashura, based on the gritty Shogakukan Ura Sunday serial manga about gladiators dueling on behalf of corporate moguls and entrepreneurs.
The exclusive cover art features an alternate version of rhythm guitarist and vocalist MIKU in the style of Kengan Ashura. Rocking her signature twintails, dress, and “Flappy Pigeon” Zemaitis guitar, the self-proclaimed half-pigeon remains unmistakably avian, despite her newly shredded calves.
As usual, MIKU pens the lyrics with the rest of the band composing the music. Drawing parallels between bloodsport and taking the stage, Shambles represents a raw, three-minute manifestation of BAND-MAID’s own ambitions. As such, every element from the dissonant drop-tuned intro riff to the spiring chorus to the flurry of drummer AKANE’s bass kicks elevates the quintet’s creative arsenal. The mid-tempo pacing (think I can’t live without you from the album WORLD DOMINATION) also seemingly reflects the deliberate mind games of a cage fighter eyeing the opponent across the ring.
With a throaty bellow, lead vocalist SAIKI tells a tale of a warrior rising through the ranks and taking names:
Get real! Wake up!!
Get beyond Shura
Watch your unfolding fate
Till the lantern’s light fades away
I wanna believe, onward with you
Smile, hand raised high—to the borderlands
Your new wings arching to the future
On the imagery and symbolism of this tie-up, MIKU shares her thoughts:
The lyrics of Shambles express the passionate feelings of Kengan Ashura‘s “fists colliding with each other in a chaotic battle”.
This was my first time in charge of a theme song for a fighting production like this, so I was very happy and excited to hear the idea.
BAND-MAID’s 10th ANNIVERSARY TOUR resumes in North America with a second act that follows Lollapalooza and concludes in Mexico City on August 18. Will Shambles make its live debut this month? Tickets are going fast, so make sure to snag one while you can!
Check back with JROCK NEWS for more exclusive BAND-MAID content. And be sure to catch Season 2 of Kengan Ashura, streaming on Netflix September 21!