Ages ago, back when I was planning out how I wanted to do this idiotic project, I wrote out a series of topics that I thought were worth discussing. It’s worth noting that said editorial outline ultimately turned into nothing because I had grossly underestimated the size and complexity of just this little corner of the Idolverse, and I wasn’t ever going to have time to make a lot of those pieces happen. Noting that, however, I can still say that I had wanted to do a pre-most-WACK-things post on the general career arc of one Watanabe Junnosuke, questioning whether it was skill or luck that had gotten him through (at the time) OG BiS, OG BiSH and OG Pla2POP.
So! GANG PARADE made “BREAKING THE ROAD” official today:
Look, explain to me the long arc of POP PARADE. Pla2me, the original, was very good; POP, for the most part, was a confusing mishmash of inconsistent styles and quality and some kind of weird self-serious idol thing; the most original version of GANG PARADE was just more of the same, only with a little bit of a musical groove to settle into. Then, stir in Maika, fold in the SiS refugees and …
I follow WACK things pretty closely by my standards because I’m a WACK mark, but I don’t know enough about what was going on at GANG PARADE HQ over the course of 2017 that got them to emerge from a long run of basically being the red-headed stepchildren of the whole scene to somehow emerge as consistently and (fight me) incontroversially best thing from the company, and — in terms of ratio of slack-jawed admiration and Denzel money-claps per release — maybe the whole friggin’ thing.
Honestly, tell me: Who’s making better music right now? Who’s got their look and style more well-defined and on point? We all have our favorites, but I’ll be damned if I don’t want to just Sinead O’Connor all over the GANG PARADE experience at this point.
“BREAKING THE ROAD” isn’t the best thing they’ve ever done, which is the crazy part. It might be the overall most perfect thing, though. The B-side? Great work. The A-side? WACK groups specialize in punk takes on idol, and this is right in the top small fraction of those*. The MV? It’s so full of well-encapsulated personality moments and captures what GANG PARADE is about so incredibly well**, which, frankly, can be said about just about every MV they’ve done over the past year or so.
To bring it home, do you know what another one of those early topics that I wanted to write about was? Whether Kamiya Saki is basically a walking curse. I believe that I’ve referred to her as idol’s Pat Smear in the past — which is as loaded a comparison as anybody could make — but suffice it to say that, while I don’t think the SWAP PARADE is going to be the death knell of either GP or BiS, I do think that it’s completely unnecessary, as GANG PARADE has never been better than their string of post-WACK Fes releases, and Aya fits almost too well while she’s there. I hope Watanabe knows what he’s doing.
*If you start to think about it, and how this stacks up to BiS/H stuff, and even some of the wilder past-GP releases, you’ll just make your head hurt
**You kids with your fancy video equipment, get to work on screen caps, posthaste!