We Over-Analyze Things: BABYMETAL | “Elevator Girl”

It was about time BABYMETAL paid homage to David Bowie. I mean, while Bowie crushed just about every pop genre on the planet except Heavy Metal, he was largely responsible for the early creation of Glam Rock.

  • Without Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust, we have no KISS.  
  • Without KISS to influence a young Yoshiki, we have no X Japan.
  • With no X Japan, we have no BABYMETAL.

So when BABYMETAL’s new single, “Elevator Girl”, opens by directly channeling the piano riff from Bowie’s early 80s classic, “Modern Love”, the circle of life seems, in some ways, complete. In truth, the direct influence on this single is probably less Bowie’s soul and groove-flavored New Wave, and more the J-Pop fusion of acid jazz, funk and techno that coalesced around the same time period into the broad City Pop genre. City Pop has seen a lot of attention lately with interest from Vaporwave aesthetes, YouTube channels streaming curated City Pop feeds 24-7, and it’s own brief “I didn’t know [insert name here] put out a City Pop album” meme.

City Pop is also heavily influencing a number of current groups in the alternative idol world including early album-of-the-year contenders Atarashii Gakkou No Leaders, GuGu-LuLu and the fledgling OWA Yoru.

(This is a lot of words so far just to talk about a three-minute song. What we are seeing here is an unfortunate side effect when a group as musically fascinating as BABYMETAL only releases three pieces of new material in a twelve-month span. In the absence of an “Elevator Girl” MV to talk about, let’s continue the over-analysis:) Continue reading

Minna no Kodomochan Launch Five Months of New Music with “wall”

Kodomochan, fresh off of their back-to-back Corenement championships, has released the first deliverable of their recently successful crowdfunding campaign. As promised, from now until September, Everyone’s Children will bless us with a new song each and every month.  

May’s entry is the minimalistically titled continuation on the group’s core theme: “wall”

“What potent blood hath modest May.” ― Ralph W. Emerson

The doom metal pacing is is a perfect set-up that drives right into a synth-pop transition to… more metal. It’s like Iron Maiden invited Flock of Seagulls over to jam (think “I Ran” meets “Run to the Hills”).  Like many Kodomochan songs, it contains a glorious aural revelation that is worth staying around for before devolving into a reckless and manic finish including one last metal drop. Continue reading

BABYMETAL Announce U.S. and U.K. Headline Shows, “Elevator Girl” Release Date

The Fox God has spoken!! In the past 24 hours we have received (official) word of major U.S. and U.K. shows plus the release of BABYMETAL’s first new music of 2019.

BABYMETAL will be playing their first headlining U.S. arena show at The Forum in Los Angeles this coming October. The kitsune faithful were given all of 24 hours to prepare their wallets for VIP pre-sale tickets which are available this morning at 10:00 am PDT.

If simply being present wasn’t enough of a draw for you, every online ticket purchase for the L.A. Forum appearance comes with a CD copy of BABYMETAL’s forthcoming 2019 album which still doesn’t have an exact release date. This method of driving album sales is probably something they picked up while touring with the Red Hot Chili Peppers and/or Metallica who often do they same thing. It seemed a bit tricksy to me until I remembered the twelve copies of BiSH’s PAiNT it BLACK I had to buy to get checki tickets (worth it!)

BABYMETAL have played the L.A. Forum once before over the summer of 2017 while opening for Korn and Stone Sour. While this October performance will mark their first time headlining an arena show in the United States, they have headlined an arena outside of Japan once before. That was, of course, 2016’s record-setting appearance at Wembley arena in the U.K. to launch their last album, Metal Resistance.

Speaking of the U.K., they will be getting their own show this June:

Tickets go on sale tomorrow.

BABYMETAL also officially announced the worldwide digital release of the single, “Elevator Girl” on May 10th

The song debuted almost exactly a year ago on the U.S. leg of their 2018 World Tour. It is an upbeat prog-rock meets groove metal tune (think Toto meets Five Finger Death Punch) with ample English in the lyrics for folks to sing along to. 

This will be the first new music from the group since the criminally underrated “Starlight” was released last October.

LADYBABY Love You, but Have to Destroy You

I promise that I will never look away again.

On Team Homicidols, we’ve been distracted a lot lately by art house groups and hi-concept math-punk units or idols that make you stare at your shoes and weep.  But now that we gazed so hard at ・・・・・・・・・ that they vanished back into the ether from whence they came, it might be best to sink back into basics for a little while. Like a nice, simple “you got chocolate in my peanut butter” blend of J-pop and Metal.

I wonder what LADYBABY has been up to?

DAAAAaaaaaammnnn…

Screaming, growling, rapping, clean choruses and djenty guitars: that’s some back-to-fundamentals kawaii nu-metal right there, and a perfect illustration of how Team LADYBABY have stayed relevant though all of the unit’s formations and turmoil.  They get the basics right and they do it incredibly well.  There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, especially when the output is this ferocious and enjoyable.

I have a feeling that this MV will earn stock-image status for any future profiles of alternative idol.  It’s practically iconic.

This new release has especially got to excite everyone heading to Monster of Dolls next month in Italy as this track is going to be an absolute banger live.

We Review Things: Screaming Sixties | “Zetsu”

Zetsu is an 18-track epic from two of the greatest warriors in chika idol.  Since forming in 2014, Montero and Kai of Zekkyosuru 60 Do, aka Screaming Sixties, have driven enough miles to circumnavigate the globe twice while performing approximately 300 gigs a year. And that isn’t hyperbole.

The next time you find yourself in Japan you can be certain that, somewhere, Screaming Sixties are performing a show and you need to get to whatever city they’re playing in because that’s why they made Shinkansen.

Before I get into the review itself, I want to make sure I don’t bury the lede: This is an essential album that you need to purchase immediately!

If you have any thoughts of picking up Zetsu (and you should), you need to open the website of your Japanese music retailer of choice and order it today. Most sites are starting to flag this CD as back-ordered and, if history repeats itself, once the first pressing of this CD is sold old, the only place you will be able to find it is at a Zekkyo60 live.  Also note: most retail sites won’t recognize “Screaming Sixties” as the group name so you will need to search on Zekkyosuru 60 Do or 絶叫する60度 . Continue reading

Yanakoto Sotto Mute Drop Three PVs to Devastate Your Mid-Week Productivity

The perfect modern idols have released three PVs in coordination with their announcement of a May, 1 DVD release. THE GATE Live at ZeppDiverCity  was filmed at their January 2019 one-man where Yanakoto Sotto Mute performed with the backing of a full live band.

The PVs include two songs from their recent Humoresque EP trilogy as well as and their signature hit, “Lily”, from the now-classic Bubble album.  Continue reading

Burst Girl Announce Plans to Kick Your Ass: New Members and Album Are on the Way

Everyone’s favorite throwback punk unit closed out their crowdfunded nationwide tour in Shibuya on Sunday night at the ironically and appropriately named live house, Chelsea Hotel (ofc. the Chelsea Hotel in New York City is where Nancy Spungen died of a knife wound in the room she shared with Sid Vicious). At the close of the show, Burst Girl dropped a couple of serious announcements.

Serious Announcement 1:

Burst Girl are looking for some new burst girls and boys. Seriously, they specifically mention that there is no gender requirement.  Desired qualifications do include being 16 to 26 years old, eating rice everyday, possessing the ability to add and subtract and desiring to sweat a lot.  Auditions are open until May 6th. Continue reading

Yanakoto Sotto Mute Release Stain MV and I Will Never Be Clean Enough To Deserve This

Dropping with the delicacy of a pure snowflake carrying all the weight of a blood red brick, Yanamute’s new MV for Stain lands hard and leaves a mark.

Uh, guys? I think Rena needs an ambulance.

Continue reading

BABYMETAL Announces Release of New Album TBD, 2019

BABYMETAL used Fox Day 2019 to launch a new era of ambiguity, announcing that they will finally release their long-awaited new album at some point this year.

In addition to the new album, BABYMETAL revealed some major upcoming shows.  Late June will mark SU-METAL and MOAMETAL’s return to Yokohama Arena for the Apocrypha of the Fox God’s first Hemingway reference:   BABYMETAL Awakens – The Sun Also Rises. Continue reading

The Very Best Shoes for Hard Idoling

There are four basic categories of hardol footwear, but which is right for you and your style of idoling? To burn those calories most effectively you need to sport the right gear, so today we’ll start our head-to-toe series covering idol workout essentials with the feet.  It’s gotta be the shoes! 

Let’s start with the preference of kawaii metal and hardcore units:

Boots

With a boot, you get a solid, flat base for stability and options for a wide toe drop, but pay attention to cushioning. Dr. Marten’s famous Airwalk soles have inspired songs and supported groups like BABYMETAL and NECRONOMIDOL during their marathon sets.

For a stylish look in the gym or on stage, try the Triumph 1460 with a silver buckle accent, but for no-nonsense performance, we recommend the more lightweight Talib Brando Chukka. If you need full-coverage ankle support you may have to go off-brand, but look for a flexible knee-high riding boot.

For a more lightweight and comfortable option, look to the preference of many post-punk or alt-rock units like BiSH and Yanakoto Sotto Mute Continue reading