This Is and Is Not a Review of NEO JAPONISM’s New Albums and Such

After a few false starts, I finally get around to writing up something approximating a review for “NEO JAPONISM’s new album” that would only have been accurate if I’d waited a minute to include the second album released a mere week later, and then subsequently two additional tracks that appear on neither album but did get MVs. Correct — I waited myself into complete uncertainty as to what or when anything would happen, and then lost impetus for the project. But now that I think we’re safe from any extra releases, why not dig in and actually talk about this stuff? Continue reading

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Let’s Discover Some Idols: MISSEMILY

At last, an appropriately timed Let’s Discover! This goes back to whewas first stepping back into the game back during the real summer, and I had to spend time getting re-adjusted. Yes, I’d kept in contact and had a general sense of what all was major-league happening in idol, but a lot of things just didn’t get noticed at all. Homework was a necessity! And on one of my very first days coming back to life, I see this in my feed because like half of my follows were reacting to it:

Ho ho! And who is this and what is going on? Of course it required investigation — if all of your friends do something, you tend to at least want to test it out yourself, no matter what mom says — and what a pleasant learning experience it has been so far. Continue reading

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I Hereby Nominate GREAT MONKEYS for the Best Debut of the Year

Well, friends, it finally happened — after I excitedly pinpointed the debut of the mishmash sister group GREAT MONKEYS a little while ago, they slowly but surely leaked out little bits of content until bam! into our lives drops the rare congruence between hype (however entirely personal) and result. AND I’m pleased to say that I was totally right and my girl Juri (now rendering it Julie, which makes absolutely perfect sense) — former awesome focal point of the underappreciated JOANJOAN and then relative short-timer with No Surprises — is leading this thing just like her currently awesome energy and presence deserve.

Prepare yourself for a blast:

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Wonder Lander Keeps Rewarding Me for Liking Them

This post is all messed up. It was supposed to be a straightforward celebration of all things Wonlan and their current releases and motivating you to give them a go if you haven’t already several times, written yesterday no less, except that I drafted the whole middle bit and left off the ends and now I can’t remember which witticisms were used to do what, so how about this: You go look at this MV, which is new to the Wonder Lander corpus, and you get all “oh neat I like this” as is appropriate, and then you continue through the post because there’s more to it, and if you can figure out the context for yourself then you win a prize, which will be determined by Chris at his convenience. So go for it:

This is a journey, man

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Lots of Change Is Afoot for the Various Up Up Girls

I take no credit for this — Kerrie brought it up in chat and I just stuck it into the queue so as to have pieces in one place, to which Kerrie responded “OH GREAT YOU DO IT” and thus does one the least well-versed-when-it-comes-Up-Up-Girls-at-least people is the bearer of what is almost assuredly some degree of bad news, but these things do always depend on perspective.

So! Yesterday, Up Up Girls announced that, following a big-ass outdoor live on the 26th, the old regime will be no more and a new regime will rise.

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UNDER BEASTY Is Releasing Too Much Music and It Makes My Brain Hurt, Thank Goodness

I bet you, yes you!, have read through the Weekender while sipping your free trade organic Sumatran dark roast coffee and pondered, gee, how does this sausage get made? Well, friend, I’m here to tell you that the Weekender is painstakingly curated over the course of t– HA HA HA! I mean, yeah, it takes some work, but for the most part somebody makes a draft post for it and sticks in something, and then others on Team add around it, and then I get lazy and make an Idol in Focus, and back when we had the various other features we’d look for X, Y or Z, but then the coup de grace on Saturday morning is my personal dive through the very many hundreds of YouTube accounts that I subscribe to, hunting for new content that is both genuinely new, genuinely interesting and from diverse enough sources that you don’t always see the same things. And now that we’ve set the stage, let me say that those video dives often yield more workable content than you’d expect, and in this past weekend’s case very notable drew my eyes back toward the former indie wonders in UNDER BEASTY, and a new MV from them, and that is right below, but also let me say that no post can make any sense (even with the way I write!) without additional context, and so it was that I also looked to UB Twitter and saw that they’re releasing a new single, and so this all made sense:

However! Just a few days prior, they dropped the MV for “Trust in …”, which is an almost perfect idorock ballad:

Now, “Trust in …” is actually a completely different single release, from the first week of August, which means that it is in no way associated with “Real Blade”, which … releases next week: Continue reading

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You Review Things: RAY | “Pink”

Once again actually by Viz Major!

When ・・・・・・・・・ (vocalized as “Dots” or “Dots Tokyo”) emerged onto the idol scene in late 2016 with their shoegaze music and unorthodox presentation, it was a surprisingly much needed breath of fresh air from the saturated market of overcolored aesthetics and systematic cheerful, yet often contrived, songs predominant in idol culture. Along with this new approach to the genres of music that idols perform, the group attached an eccentric mythos to their profile, implementing things like all members are named ・(a single dot) but have nicknames that change every so often and go by themes such as vegetables or even infrastructures (one member was nicknamed “Konbini”, the Japanese word for “convenience store”). Visors were worn over the eyes of the members to conceal their identities, which established them as both an innovative and mysterious idol group. They quickly gained fans in not only the idol spectrum, but also among fans of shoegaze and indie rock outside of the J-pop music sphere, and in 2018 released their debut album『 』(a title with no words but actually 9 half-width spaces), which proved to be one of the best albums of that year. Unfortunately, the following year the inevitable fate which many idols have succumbed to was met, and the group was dissolved after performing a final one-man live at Tokyo Kinema Club on March 24, 2019. Continue reading

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Arrow Heart Is Still Alive and You Need to Appreciate That

Who among you who regularly read ol’ Homicidols Dot Com in the early days, when I posted any and everything and marveled at the very ability of idols to exist on this mortal plane, are still around to reminisce with me? Ah, the glory days, when Alice Project fanboys sock-puppeted their way to … something, and we did stupid things purely for the sake of trying something new. And, pertinently, they were the days when I was blown away in so many ways by the persistent presence of a little idol project called Arrow Heart.

Listen to this! I’d do anything for a clean recording to really appreciate it — as Phillter (remember Phillter?!) once put it, they’re basically FRUITPOCHETTE sans some polish. And the neat thing about idols, you don’t need them to rock the hell out to appreciate them, as demonstrated: Continue reading

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And Along Comes BiSH with This Fun-ass Video

Imagine being WACK right now. Just a few short years ago, your entire company consisted of an upstart tribute project of a legacy brand that had inadvertently spawned a whole subculture within a subculture, and while it was probably clear to everybody involved that this project would have success at the very least on paper, not even Watanabe’s own fairy godmother would have put money on him sitting at the top of a giant-ass pile of money here in the Year of Pour Lui 2020, with project after project hitting all the right notes and doing things that chika idols* aren’t supposed to do.

And at the base and peak of it all sits BiSH, whose LETTERS EP continues a string of technically quite good releases from the group who once dressed in rags and got kicked out of TIF but are now proper headliners with all the slick support of any of the industry giants they were once created in part to overcome. I personally haven’t been as big a fan of their music since THE GUERILLA BiSH felt like a step down from the heady success of GiANT KiLLERS, but I nonetheless support the group and its members with the same doe-eyed fan energy as ever. Hence it’s been somewhat bittersweet to see WACK group after WACK group lap them creatively over the past few years. See, for instance, the newest album from BiS!

But because this is apparently the summer of WACK, BiSH couldn’t just let LETTERS stand on a single MV release, and yesterday they gave us one of the very best things they’ve ever done: Continue reading

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Sway Emotions Slightly Is My New Favorite Thing

I’m usually inclined to use a Let’s Discover Some Idols kind of title on these posts, but please, my friends, let’s dispense with formula for the sake of saying the thing that is good and true and pure, which is that there are many idols and many idol debuts, but only a handful of them truly excite. And one of them is Sway Emotions Slightly.

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