Idol is genreless. You learn this pretty quickly even if you don’t start off going down the bottomless rabbit hole of chika loud idol — you might be like “oh wow I really like BTS perhaps this ‘Perfume’ thing from Japan is similarly fun” and within a week you’re wondering what the hell a GO TO THE BEDS because that’s next in your somewhat randomized playlist and you’re currently listening to some lady with an extremely squeaky voice rap perhaps a little too well for comfort. Genre, such as it is within idol, is largely a matter of trend: Idorock is a thing because it’s easy, and we’ve had really solid runs through metal and punk and nowadays, yes, rapping is apparently the latest big thing. The really memorable idol units, though, are the ones that take a fairly unique genre position (Dots with shoegaze, Yanakoto Sotto Mute with grunge, Hauptharmonie with … however you describe Hauptharmonie) and double up by also being really goddamn good at it. Those things stick; so too do those rare times when an idol unit fills a very unique niche that needs filling, like GARUDA coming out of the woodwork as my personal white whale doing unsettling industrial stuff.
All of this to say that there is really one prog idol unit out there, they’ve been in that position for several years, they’re always incredibly, absolutely, wonderfully entertaining, and they check every box I just described, making them some kind of weird idol genre gold standard that may not make them the world’s most popular performing act but definitely makes them one that deserves love and respect, all of it.
Pretty sure that I’ve used a version of this title before, so sue me
Man, the first part of this week was absolutely exhausting. Did you know that we set a record, not just for Homicidols Dot Com, but I’m going to go ahead and claim for any Western J-music-oriented bloggy site, period? Yep: In about 12 hours, we issued 10 unique posts, and legitimately only a handful of that was planned April Fools stuff; the rest was because of either awesome pranks that needed to be called out, or just plain awesome stuff that needed to be shared. And we still didn’t get all of it! It was most of the stuff for Tuesday too! Wild as hell. I feel like I’m still digging out.
After all of that, you need a re-charge, and what better serendipity than to connect with something I got a little excited about recently, which is here rendered in all of xoxo EXTREME’s unique live goodness:
I’d say “this week,” but let’s be real, that Yanamyu EP drops tomorrow and the sun very may well cease to cross the sky when that happens. Heaven help us all.
Instead, let’s focus on what’s directly in front of us! And what’s directly in front of us is the kind of astonishingly perfect glory that happens best in idol, when genres collide and tempos are upbeat and the only way to describe the mood that comes over you is “great”:
I haven’t had time to put together the idol Halloween costume post that I really wanted to, not to mention the really fun idea that Daemon had, so instead I come bearing different kinds of treats — overdubbed idol live video! And who better to provide than one of the strangest, most unique, least predictable acts in the entire scene, xoxo (Kiss&Hug) EXTREME, who popped out these suckers a few days ago and keep drawing me back with them, for I have missed them:
Like, we’ve done it before, but what started off yesterday as a desire to have my second-favorite work playlist followed by something louder* took me down a memory hole that ended abruptly at one of the few idol projects booted up on Bandcamp, which is xoxo(Kiss&Hug) EXTREME, who are simultaneously also idol’s sole absolute devotee of old-school prog rock and therefore a glorious thing.
And it was in the moment when I was two glorious, flute-enhanced minutes into what immediately follows that I decided that yes, a post needed to be blogged, and the closest thing that idol has to Jethro Tull needed a more recent moment of celebration:
I was lamenting the other day (to myself, but very, very loudly) that the first month of the new year hasn’t really had any immediate Of the Year contenders. Necroma’s single is great, of course, but has no MV, and there have been precious few releases, period, let alone any that would make you jump up and holler out of the sheer joy of hearing something great.
Then along came xoxo EXTREME with their first-ever MV, and I’ll be damned if it didn’t leave me a little slack-jawed. Continue reading →