I really didn’t want to bury the lede here, though the lede in any other context would have been “dang, who the hell crossed things up and gave that BiS material to GANG PARADE” and kind of sort of a joke that way, too, but in more of a funny one as opposed to feeling more than a little bit punked by this.
Attention students!! Leaders just dropped the early front-runner for album of the year.
Atarashii Gakkou No Leaders has never been the most accessible of units from a Western perspective. Their MVs often sit behind region blocks and paywalls, while their music makes artsy references to social concerns that may require cultural translation. In short, exploring the group’s music requires a bit more proactive labor than just clicking “play” on YouTube and rockin’ your socks off. However, with the release of their stunning second album, Wakage Ga Itaru, now is the time to put in that extra effort.
There’s a thing in the broader BiS-connected family, apparently, to tease fans by calling things “last” for no clear reason, this turn being GANG PARADE’s to assume the unfortunate title. As we’ve heard so far from one of the weirdest-possible MVs even this weird-embracing website has ever covered, and from a nice run of additional material, GANG PARADE’s LAST album was likely going to follow in the experimental, electronic, whatever-have-you-wave post-pop shut-up-I-can-do-what-I-want footsteps that the group has really made their standard since emerging under their current name and most of the current lineup after, ironically, Barely Last put the POP era completely to bed.
And then they went, you know, what we really need to do is throw all that to the wind and have ourselves a proper BiSH ballad!
-GANG PARADE are holding their annual joint Christmas/Bad Chiiin’s Bad Birthday bash. The office is decorated in a weird mishmash of Christmas and kid’s birthday party decorations. Kamiya Saki is handing out presents in a Santa costume. Yamamachi’s diminutive frame struggles to hit the pinata that looks suspiciously like Pour Lui. Maika has been knocked out by just 2 cups of mulled wine and SiS are pulling Christmas crackers. The birthday girl sits content atop an office chair decorated with tinsel as she is approached by a familiar yet unnerving man-
Watanabe: Happy birthday-slash-Christmas, Haruna!
Haruna Bad Chiiin: Thanks, Mr. Watanabe! Did you get me anything?
Watanabe: But of course! I’ve bought you the very best gift money can buy!
Haruna: Wowee!! You really got me a Hachimals Mystery Egg!?
Watanabe: Nope! We made a music video for that song you composed!
So GANG PARADE released the MV for their new single the other day, and it’s a nice song and all, but — likely due to the fact that it’s a theme song — kind of tame by the group’s recent-ish standards. Perhaps in the vernacular of today’s youth: It doesn’t so much slay as lightly buffet. A little disappointing!
Of course, as we know ’round these parts, the B side is the best side, and the companion track from the single is unexpectedly exactly what I needed not just from this record, but from like all of idol in the past several months:
I knew that I was going to be on a train under the ground when GANG PARADE dropped the video for their new single, so my mind went to all kinds of fanciful places with it. Would it be heavy or dark or epic or tortured? Would it be great, or greatest? After all, nobody on the WACK roster has been as consistently cool and interesting with their releases as GANG PARADE since at least the latter parts of last year. A new single so titled as to get Ke$ha into my head from references first to last just had to be great, right?
I mean, it’s nice!
Inspirational! Also kind of nihilist!
I’ll admit, I was hoping for something a little more something out of this one. It reminds me way more of late-run POP than it does what GANG PARADE’s been doing since the SiSncident injected raw excitement into what had been WACK’s least effective product, and that took some doing when you consider that the opening guitar licks got me het up like I was about to get the rock anthem I’ve been waiting for. Alas! I guess the limitations of being for a TV show proved to be too much.
“We haven’t done anything yet, but we apologize in advance?”
Well, that’s ominous. Granted, I can thinkof manythingsWACK shouldapologize for, but this is now. Well, the future. Eyebrows were raised. Questions were asked. Just what exactly is this future scandal WACK have had to apologize in advance for? It got even worse when Watanabe tweeted out the words many a WACK fan dread; “Announcement at 24:00.” There was panic, theorizing (mostly from me) when eventually, the fateful moment came. Continue reading →
Though “new” is kind of a misnomer, I guess, given that the former POP has been on such a great roll for months and months now, but this companion piece to “GANG 2” still makes the grittier take feel fresh: