More jazz-fusion greatness from the Kukeiha Club!
Reader review by Abrahm
The Kukeiha Club has proven again and again that they know how to arrange game music. "Kukeiha Club" is the band's self-titled release from 1990. But don't let that release date fool you; this soundtrack is one of their best.
Most of the songs on Kukeiha Club are jazz-fusion style arrangements of music from Konami's Gradius and Dracula games. Old-school gamers will recognize "Return to Departure" as an arranged version of the Stage 1 music of Gradius (the U.S. NES version). "Shuffle in the Dark" is a jazzy arrangement of "Bloody Tears" from "Castlevania II: Simon's Quest", complete with plenty of guitar and keyboard solos.
In addition to the upbeat jazz fusion, there are a few relaxing songs. The acoustic guitar, light rhythm, and pleasing harmonies of "Good Night Pony" come together to create a soothing atmosphere. "Quiero Voar" also takes it easy on the rhythm, and adds a harmonica and some backing Japanese vocals. The percussion-and-bass-free "Twinkling Star" is the most relaxing song on the disc (and sounds very much like a lullaby of sorts).
While listening to Kukeiha Club, it's difficult to avoid making comparisons between it and Salamander Pro-Fusion, one of the band's later efforts. Both albums are done in the Kukeiha Club's familiar guitar-laden, jazz-fusion style. But this album is a bit easier to listen to, mainly because the compositions are a bit loose. Also, the songs on this album don't sound as serious as they do on Salamander Pro-Fusion.
Kukeiha Club is definitely one of the band's best albums, and one of the best arranged albums to date. While it is one of the band's earlier albums, the style of it proves that, even in 1990, they knew how to arrange game music the right way.