Terrifyingly compelling. Eep eep.
It’s a little bit embarrassing to admit that I have absolutely no idea what to make of Bellheart.
Yes, I know that to say it “borrows liberally” from Blur’s “Song 2” is an insult to the notions of “borrow” and “liberal.” Everybody knows it. Just enjoy the damn song.
First, that name. “Bellring 少女ハート” is the official in-Japanese name, including the English rendering. Fine. But the rest, as written in kana, is where it gets tricky. The last three kana ハート are “haato,” which is how Japanese pronounces the English word “heart,” and because it’s a foreign word to begin with, it’s easily placed back into that language because “hey, we were just spelling it in Japanese for you” is apparently an okay thing to do. 少女, then, is “shoujo,” which is “girl/s” in English, but nobody seems to be able to agree on which language to use at that point because on the one hand it’s clearly a Japanese-only word, and on the other everything else about this name is basically English so why don’t you just relax yourself?
BELLHEART (so much easier!) got their start in 2012 (pre-crow, in fact), and of course have been through a membership wringer basically ever since; not to put too fine a point on it, but there are now more former members of Bellheart than current members. (Sayonara, Anna and Moechi!)
Along the way, they’ve released two albums (one impending) and a whole mess of EPs, which is very cool, and were even in their own theatrically released film on their way to becoming absolute mainstays of the alt-idol scene.
Now why would that be? Would it be their trippy 60s-era pre-punk alt rock sound? Or maybe it’s because the members dress in all-black schoolgirl outfits with feathery crow wings and use disturbingly avian movements in their dance? And that they have EPEP EP (say it quickly, and oh look at the cover art) and Killer Killer back-to-back in their discography? COULD BE ANYTHING.
It’s called a “murder” of crows because that’s what Bellheart will do to you in your sleep.
“Wait,” you say around a mouthful of Fritos, “if they aren’t metal or punk or anything, why are they on this site?”
Frankly, they terrify me. The sensory space that they occupy is comfortably discomforting and absolutely compelling. I can’t not look at them. Also, songs like this are just straight rockers that deserve to be honored:
It’s fun to play membership Bingo with groups like Bellheart.
That being said, there are way more reasons to like Bellring than to dislike them. If they’re the Zombies of the idol underground, that’s a very good reason to support them with your money in addition to your heart.
What they sound like
The soundtrack to a Quentin Tarantino film. Any Quentin Tarantino film.
You’ll like them if
Do you like old-school Britpop? Do you have mod nostalgia? Do you still get mad about the transformation from Jefferson Airplane to Jefferson Starship? Are you into crows and wonder what it would be like for there to be a band of crows that played shoegaze-y covers of mod songs? Then this is the group for you.
Entries on the Ultimate Homicidol Playlist
The above tracks, plus:
Honestly, if they had more halfway decent music videos, I’d put a ton of Bellheart on the list, but entire stage sets and not-that-great isos of individual songs aren’t going to increase your interest. Just go listen to “Bedhead” and “The Edge of Goodbye” and their stuff on Soundcloud and be glad for it.
Oh, hell, why not just enjoy the show?
Killer Killer (EP)
Undo the Union (album)
13 Weeks Later (EP)