Say Goodbye to PiGU

Frick and frack, you guys. I’ve largely been spared the personal worst of disbandments so far, but along comes the demise of one of my favorite Osaka groups. PiGU, one of the neatest of rock idols (regardless of the flavor they embraced at any moment), are being brought to an end by POP iD:

I’ll just go ahead and let Chris explain it all: Continue reading

Melon Batake a Go Go Are SICKxIDOLSxSICK!

Obviously it’s a bit early, but I’m essentially ready to declare Melon Batake a Go Go my pick for Homicidols’ annual Best-Of in the “Breakthrough Artist” category. The group is on fire right now, with what finally appears to be a stable, solid line-up backed by great tunes, and an incrementally growing fan-following that really adore these “Idols From Outerspace”. Even from the short time ago this blog previously covered these girls, they’re swiftly taken on a new life and gained new fans. It’s fun and exciting to watch a group rise from obscurity and earn some well-deserved praise, and the time is definitely at hand for these young ladies.

With the iron hot, the sidekick idols are poised to strike with their upcoming EP “SICKxIDOLSxSICK” (It reminds me of the Cramps’ classic album “Stay Sick”!) which comes out in May. This will be the first release with the group’s current roster, because all the members are still too new to have recorded together before. (I think Soze is the only active member to have any recorded Melon music at all.)

The newly invigorated Melon Batake a Go Go has charged up their social media resources to spread the word of outer-space-psychobilly-infused-garage-rock-idol-music, including taking advantage of Soundcloud to share a brand-new song for the masses! It’s called “Horror Billy Nights”

It’s a solid rocker that’d make about any band proud! Nice meaty guitars, great vocals, and a spooky vibe that’ll fit into your Halloween party mixes this Fall. The only minor issue I take is that with a name like “Horror Billy Nights”, I kinda wish there was a little more “billy” in there. Just twang up those guitars a little bit! This is an idol group that I’m simply dying to see eventually perform with a live three-piece band featuring a devil-locked dude slapping a coffin-shaped stand-up bass with a couple of go-go dancers (Or a guy in a gorilla suit, that’s always cool too!) shaking it fast on pedestals along the edge of the stage.

Also up on the YouTubes is a short promo video that features another newly recorded song that Melon’s been performing live for some time, and moody piece of horror pop called “Change the Wolfman”

While things are certainly going fantastic for Melon Batake a Go Go, there’s been one unfortunate hitch in their giddy-up.  (Literally) Sadly, Soze Nakamura injured her ACL during a show last month, and she’s been out of the live-equation while awaiting surgery, followed by the eventual recovery process. The group’s been performing with occasional guest stars- as well as a framed photo of Nakamura in her honor. In the meantime, Soze has been revitalizing the group’s long-dormant Instagram accountwhich had been seemingly forgotten, with brand new, fresh photos. (On a related note, she now has a SOZELICA Instagram account as well!)

I haven’t seen any sort of pre-order information for purchasing “SICKxIDOLSxSICK” but I’m certainly keeping my eyes open. Also hopefully now that the Melon Girls have increased their stature considerably, perhaps the distribution for this EP will be improved. It’s been a bit of a task to get hold of their earlier stuff and it’d be great if a wider base could get their hands on this upcoming gem. They certainly deserve it, and there’s no doubt in my mind that we’re looking at future breakouts here. Keep your eyes on Melon Batake a Go Go!!!

It’s Been a Long Wait, but It’s Worth It for Zekkyou

Gah, I have been waiting >forever for this, and it’s my own fault; I’ve had placeholders about item #2 in this post just sitting in the queue for … well, a while. Nonetheless! It’s time for some motherhubbard Zekkyou rocking your dang face off:


Urge to two-step rising …

Welcome back to the world of staged, pro-shot MVs, Zekkyou, and prepare for the warm embrace that this is going to bring you even before you set foot in the UK. Continue reading

Let’s Welcome PINKYCASE to the Party

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

These Lyric Videos Are a Great Reminder That Alloy Is Cool

I’ll be honest, I like when you guys tell me about stuff, largely because there’s a good chance that I missed or bypassed it, and you’re like, no idiot, listen to and enjoy and share this. And then I can!

So Alloy. Martin, bless him, kindly drew my attention to the fact that they’d dropped a lyric video for “Pinball”, one of their earlier tracks (and by earlier, I’m talking 16 months old):

Which they then immediately followed up with another one for “astronaut with this little infinity sign because things need to be complicated”: Continue reading

BILLIE IDLE Finally Isn’t Lying about the ‘Last’ Thing!

If you crazy kids are regular followers of that hip new rock ‘n’ roll idol group BILLIE IDLE, you may have noticed a whole mess of references to something called “P.S.R.I.P.” lately. Ominous, no, after LAST ALBUM? Kind of!

Well, it’s a single. John with the heavy lifting:

We knew to expect something from Billie Idle today, we just didn’t know what. So we had to wait around for the announcement, as usual. 今晩22時にお知らせがあります。 — BILLIE IDLE® (@b_idle_official) February 22, 2018

via Billie Idle Announce Upcoming Single — Straight From Japan

Continue reading

2& Day: 22 Songs Lasting 2 Hours 22 Minutes On 2/2

5:00 a.m. Outside, snow. Not only did I have to drag myself to work , I then somehow had to get myself from there to Meguro with very little time to spare. Luckily, through some fortuitous turn of events, the snow melted faster than it fell and so my road home was relatively clear. And then the road to the station was even more so. So clear, in fact, that every traffic light I reached turned green upon me reaching it.

I ended up being early on every train I had planned to be on, and so rather than going straight to Meguro, I headed to Ikebukuro with Dean to get the best karaage in the world. It’s also the shop that does weird collaborations with Alice Project, though their normal karaage is far better than those could ever be. Amusingly the shop’s history with Alice Project caught up with us, as Maipuu (to me she’ll forever be “minefield”) turned up as we were waiting, recognised Dean (who used to visit PARMS far too frequently) and then hid behind a corner until we disappeared. I guess she was there to stick her feet in the batter or something.  Continue reading

Melon Batake a Go Go is the Garage-Rock Idol Group We Needed

Before I started attuning my ears towards the world of Japanese idol pop, my true musical loves from Japan came in the form of the legendary punk and garage-rock scenes that took root in Tokyo and Osaka. To this day, if you really want to experience what a full-on blast of real rock n’ roll can be, you owe it to yourself to explore the wild, wild world of underground Japanese music played with no concern for money or fame, but only for that moment of pure chaotic joy that breaks the everyday routine of real life, making you feel alive and ready to shoot for the moon on a jet-powered-flame-spewing Kawasaki set to the rhythm of an out-of-tune-six-string opus clocking in at under two minutes…

Now with that spirit in mind, let’s check out Melon Batake a Go Go, a group of “Outer Space Idols” with cool superhero sidekick inspired outfits that are here to unite the legions of underground rockers under the same roof with worshipful wotas. They first formed in 2015, and like a lot of idol units, they’ve already experienced a lot of membership changes. Here’s their first MV, a great song with some cool spy-guitar surf guitar and a big dose of catchy hooks…

Oh dang, that was good! Fast-forward to the present day, and Melon Batake a Go Go has some new faces, but they remain a fantastic garage-rock infused group who really bring the fun live. I mean holy crap, they do a freaking’ CRAMPS (via Hasil Adkins) cover?!? And one of their other signature songs is a flat out rockin’ variation on The Trashmen classic “Surfin’ Bird”, occasionally joined on stage by a guy in a gorilla suit and a cat with a Godzilla mask on his head. It’s just everything that’s perfect…

At present the group is fluctuating between three and four members, while currently auditioning for a new addition. One thing that’s interesting is that their website puts their age-range at 18-30, so they’ve got a wider acceptance of “idol material” than most. I’m looking forward to seeing when the group has it’s line-up nailed down and seeing where they go from there. One of their members, Nakamura, also has an absolutely delightful solo career under the stage name SOZELICA, and she’s going to be a force to be reckoned with in the near future. (I’m following up this article with one about her, so stay tuned for that.)

There’s always something new (to somebody) in the idol world, but Melon Batake a Go Go is a special kind of thing to get excited over. I just wish Lux Interior was here to see them…

Official Twitter      Official Facebook      YouTube Channel  

Zeikin 5% Bring You a Tax Increase You’ll Be Thrilled To Pay…

I stumbled across 税金5% (Zeikin 5%, or “Tax 5%” *) well over year ago on Twitter, and starting following the group, intrigued by a whole lot of potential demonstrated in a small sample of super-short clips of the member’s practicing. But frustratingly, nothing more than these scattered videos ever materialized, and more puzzling still, it appeared that the group was in a consistent state of membership chaos. New faces would appear, then go away, and ultimately the group appeared to essentially evolve into a solo act by a young lady named “Mimo”, who at one point described herself on her profile as a “Fuck’n Idol”.

Well, with the turning of a new year, nice new surprises have come! Zeikin 5% has recently dropped not one, but two honest-to-goodness MVs, and I’m thrilled to let you know that some truly special greatness is blossoming here. The video descriptions describe the group as a “Rowdy, Anti-Social Punk Rock Band”, and dammit that’s all we could ever ask for…

The group(band) has also dropped a couple of great live clips on their YouTube page, and it’s clear to see that Zeikin 5% is a pretty fun time for the family. Attend one of their shows, and chances are good that Mimo will force you to hold her mic while she cranks out some raw rock n’ roll. (Also, I couldn’t help but notice that she uses a Guitar Wolf guitar strap, so extra points there!)

Currently Zeikin 5% appears to have landed a new bass player, and Mimo mentioned on her Instagram that the group is seeking out a drummer, so maybe a real locked-down line-up will materialize in the year to come!

Lastly, I’d say it’s a fair question to ask “Is this idol?” and the best I can say is “Yes and No”, and does it really matter in the classic sense? (My interpretation of Zeikin 5%, is that they want to be a punk band utilizing idol tropes.)  YLMM!, Screaming 60’s, Hanako-san, the whole entire concept is a big, fluid free-for-all at this point and I believe that’s a great thing for all of us. Idol, band, Idol-band, tomato, tomatto. I just know I like it and want to support it!

*By the way, 5% is the average tax rate for Japanese citizens. 

I Have Never Felt So Betrayed

So after all of that, at the completion of their LAST TOUR to support LAST ALBUM, the one with the apocalyptic artwork that spawned one of the truly incredible idol conspiracy theories ever floated in a space that loves nothing more than indulging in wild hyperbolic conjecture, shortly after announcing the LAST CHRISTMAS performance, BILLIE IDLE, who are not idol if you ask, announced … a new single and tour for the spring:

Leaving aside the fact that one of the greatest assemblages of humanity to ever hit the stage will continue to hit the stage (and be assemblaged!), and that First Summer Uika in particular won’t stop not-idoling until she’s in her 40s, this is a betrayal of trust so deep that it makes me want to give up the game forever. I AM OFFEND.