From the ashes of PIIIIIIIN, QUEENS (Twitter) have entered into the world. This is known! I had been on the fence about whether to feature them outright, given that, obvious advancing maturity aside, this was a unit that was going to be emphatic less on the rock and more on the cool. And they are! The sound and style are described as “dance rock,” which is totally fine and in fact connects directly to one of my very favorite idol things, but it can’t always be about the Maniac behind the site, you know?
The simplest of things, man
“Dance rock” is right, though; it’s like a defused version of OG Osaka Shunkashuto, or if somebody paid a vocaloid composer* to write something a little funkier. Those instrumentals are absolutely killing me.
I’ve been keyed in on QUEENS ever since I found out about them — ex-PIIIIIIIN will do that to you — so you may have seen some of this stuff in the Weekender, but I figure that it’s worth adding here for that fuller Queens experience:
True story: This was the first post that I called “We Are All Incredibly Easy Marks” because I couldn’t believe how very little idol could get people (including yours truly) so excited. I decided to wait to see how it turned out. How the tables have turned now that there’s meat on the bone!
Much like with XTEEN, the arrival of BLACK NAZARENE (Instagram!) to the wotaing world was met with some nice buzz. There was even a teaser! However, also like with XTEEN (and other than the note described above), I wanted to see something pan out before jumping to too many conclusions. Name? Cool. Description? “THUG + kawaii.” Interest piqued, so what does having a name like a Swedish blackened death metal band and a self-brand that some might more align with, like, RHYMEBERRY or something, ultimately give us?
It took a little while to prep, but new Aqbi idols Gu-Gu LULU made their debut on Sunday. I was leery, I’ll admit; though Tanaka-san has a great track record with his projects, nobody bats 1.000, and some combination of the name and what I thought might be a draw toward that emerging weird-for-the-sake-of-it slice of idol had me backed off, expecting something potentially cool but also potentially off-putting.
Video from the debut was on the Internet faster than … well, very fast, and I was gratified to see that my fears were unfounded, and this is a group that’s going to be fun to follow:
So after that last little bit of Q’ulle, I was scrolling through their feed for an overview of what all they’ve been up to lately (besides owning so hard, that is), and my eyes caught something that’s what you would probably consider to be a little atypical for the elegant, fashion-line-owning dance idols:
I’m not even going to pretend to know how to handle that song, which has so many likable things in it, nor where Maboroshi takes things from here, but this is a really good launchpad. Idol sometimes sticks the landing!
The last time that Daichi graced us with the developing musical repertoire of CHICKEN BLOW THE IDOL, reviews were a little mixed, mostly because people wondered what was the point of this thing when 2& was still in existence and Daichi and Saki were known to still be working together.* For these two songs (plus lyrics!) dropped yesterday, you may … well, I guess it depends on your perspective.
I’d like to strongly urge you readers to do yourselves a favor, and open up Spotify or Apple music and look up the just recently released album “My Name is SOLEIL”…
SOLEIL, you see, is a band, but it’s also the name of the band’s lead singer, and together they’ve released an uplifting and exciting album that recalls Shibuya-kei and the 60’s rock genre known in Asia as “Group Sounds”. And if you also love the classic girl-group era and the heyday of French ye-ye pop, well, herein awaits a tasty treat as well. To call this recording pure joy is a trifle bit of an understatement. This is a captivating concoction of nostalgic vibes bursting at the seams with fresh modern energy, it’s just really that good. Continue reading →
It turns out that Terry was just as late-night post-making the other day as I was, and bless him because there was no way in hell I was going to follow up on anything of less than the utmost importance. Like, following idols gets to be kind of a grind sometimes — there’s only so much of what you come across that you really, truly want to keep up with, and only so much of that that you can stay invested in. Hell, I have a fancy idol website, and it’s friggin’ exhausting!
The point is: Thank you, Terry; I think I’m going to pay attention to this one:
How new is a unit when it’s old members with a new name? Well, I mean, we already have PINKYCASE to demonstrate that new is nonetheless new! And the new unit is still so wedded to the old identity that not only are they almost totally literally called The Idol Formerly Known as Maboroshi Karen GeNE, but they’re just continuing straight on with the old brand while I guess they figure out exactly what new steps look like:
And speaking of things that people are all HEY YOU JERK YOU NEED TO DO SOMETHING WITH THIS about, I submit to you not a new maturation of idol rock, but a new realization of kawaiicore that’s presently* giving vigorous side-eye to all who’ve come before:
That’s PINKYCASE (Twitter), and it suddenly feels like much of the loudol world is turning to peppy pop punk numbers of which I wholly approve**. Here’s a ((very)) (new) live digest: Continue reading →