Sithu Aye – Senpai EP「先輩EP」

Through a significant amount of releases, Sithu Aye accustomed us to quality material: great music, especially for guitar solo lovers, high quality production, and the thematics of space and astronomy. The latter is obviously absent from the Senpai EP, but the music is still on par with most of his releases, although being quite different.

So,「先輩EP」is a fun, light-hearted EP about a Japanese anime girl waking up late for school, being stalked by a “kouhai“, and dreaming in class about battling evil frets (all that is in the video below). Sithu puts his heavier elements on the shelf and brings in influences from Japanese pop and electro music. Synths are a big part of the first song, “Oh Shit, I’m Late For School! (やだ、遅刻しちゃう!)” Already on song two, most of that is gone and we’re left with something that sounds like it came straight out of his “26” EP: upbeat and driving, but without the low guitars. Finally, the last song starts with a cheesy piano part that is then taken by the guitars, with solos and stuff, and ends with more cheesy piano and synth strings.

Throughout the album, the soloing is great and the music is pretty fun to listen to, if you can overlook the vast expanses of cheese there is in it. It was seemingly a fun little experiment from Sithu, and I’m perfectly fine with it. There is one thing that bothers me, however, and it’s the mix: it’s way too loud! It’s clipping all over the place, and that’s mostly due to the beefy kick.

A portion of the waveform of "Oh Shit, I'm Late For School! (やだ、遅刻しちゃう!)" Red bars show the clipping.

A portion of the waveform of “Oh Shit, I’m Late For School! (やだ、遅刻しちゃう!)” Red bars show the clipping.

This makes me feel like someone is banging on my ears with their hands in beat with the music. Needless to say, it’s quite annoying. I’m aware that most music will be clipping somewhere, if not all over the place, but the particular way it’s done here makes it more bothersome. I’m not the only one having noted the issue or commented on it, but Sithu refused to reply to the issue on every place I’ve seen it mentioned. Was it an artistic choice or did he simply overlook that fact during production? I don’t know. Nevertheless, if you can live with it, you’ll most likely enjoy the EP.

To conclude in brief, Senpai EP「先輩EP」is a fun, happy metal release that focuses strongly on guitar solo. It’s not bad at all, but far from being great either. In other words, it is for the artwork, not the music, that this EP will be remembered for.