This review’s going to be more than a little different from how we usually do things, because a thought occurred to me when folks started to talk about the songs being released from Re:STUPiD as if they might be unrecorded work from Lui Frontic Akabane JAPAN (I can see arguments pro and con and have at different times supported either) — we’re thinking about BiS and their music now in the completely wrong way. See down at the end for the punchline and why I legitimately think that’s good and bad, but for now … on to the review! Continue reading
I saw that “New Me” is definitely available in the United States:
— 大阪☆春夏秋冬(しゅかしゅん)公式 (@syukasyun) January 23, 2017
Our pal dofphoto wrote a pretty nice review for Party Rockets GT’s Time of your life, and said: Maniac, nobody gets into lesser-appreciated idols like I do, I can definitely do more review things; to which I replied, knock yourself out. So here’s dofphoto with another review!
Yumeado is in my top five groups, but I won’t let that effect my feelings here.
Let’s start by talking about the single-as-a-single trend Sony has been pushing on Yumeado. This would be the third single in a row that was released with one track — what is the purpose here? Historically, different “type” singles are released with a single girl per cover so fans can purchase their favorite idol, but these are grouped shots. EP/singles runs Y1000, these were released at Y450, so there isn’t a cash grab going on here. To add, these singles are limited to 20,000 copies and, for the first time that I am aware, failed to chart at Oricon.
Yumeado is definitely going through some back end issues with the departure of Rei and sudden disappearance of Akari. My guess is Sony is trying anything possible to keep fan interest by being random/shocking (most of us are here for Yuumi anyways). I guess we will see how this plays out.
‘Koi no Effect MAGIC’
I did some research on Mr. Green Apple to see who was responsible for this little ditty (curiosity), but I feel, in idol, who writes a song isn’t as important as how it’s presented by the group. This track feels like classic Yumeado in the vein of “Candy Chan.” Very upbeat and cutesy, it helps frame the youth of Yumeados’ vocals, Karin and Yuumi in particular. The mix is solid, with no overbearing keyboards, and percussion is kept at a playful pace as well.
Yumeado for me is all about that hook and chorus, and “Effect MAGIC” delivers at every turn. I have no issues with this track in the slightest — my one gripe is that they released a MV for it so soon that now I have a theme in my head when I hear the track and that theme does nothing for the song.
You could pretty much copy/paste my thoughts for “Koi no Magic Effect” here (replace cute with aggressive). I won’t waste time on the Babymetal connection here because it’s irrelevant; this song was written for Yumeado and not purchased from a drawer of leftover scores. Yumeado is no stranger to heavier tracks — they toyed with this sound on “Stealth Bukai” and, to a lesser degree, “Shomei Teenager.”
Once again, Yumeado hits all the right notes with the hooks and chorus (love the chorus). “Idol Race” is a perfect track for Yumeado and fits nicely into their body of work.
I have been burden with the thoughts of the last few uninteresting singles (“Love for you” and “Fantastic Parade” were okay, I guess) so I am very happy with the latest tracks. Whatever is going on in the Yumeado camp, I hope it doesn’t end in disaster like a lot of groups we are seeing lately, and although I can’t imagine anyone else as a part of this group, I do hope they recruit experienced idols to replace Rei and Akari (if it comes to that).
A few weeks ago, our pal dofphoto was like, “I can do reviews” and I was like “show me” and he was like “okay.” I’m not rescinding the
pleasure responsibility necessarily, but I also know that other folks have a tendency to get music that I don’t, and Homicidols.com is nothing if not service-oriented. And so, after some negotiating, here’s dofphoto!
I have a long fan history with Party Rockets. In particular, Yoshiki Haruka. From the dark back part of the stage, Haruka stepped out into the light and took control of what could have been an international rock/pop group. Unfortunately, the trend for graduations within the Party Rockets camp left Haruka and Fumika abandoned to the point that Fumika publicly cried, voicing uncertainty about the future of their beloved group and the fantastic songs they would leave behind. Continue reading
Other than Babymetal’s Metal Resistance, I don’t know if I had more eagerly awaited an album in 2016. In absolute terms, “meteoric” isn’t a great way to describe Yukueshirezutsurezure’s rise, but in terms of awareness (at least among our kind) and rapidly defining a sound and attitude, they ran a marathon in a short while, only just failing keeping up with their equally compelling big sisters in Zenbu Kimi no Sei Da in total releases.
So yes, I anticipated that this was going to be a definitive album. I had such high expectations of it that, like a former jock parent who just can’t let go, I’m probably being a little bit unfair to the work, which should always be taken as it is rather than as I or anybody else want it to be. Nonetheless, I gotta be honest: I’ve struggled with this one. Continue reading
I really thought I was going to review Billie Idle’s bi bi bi bi bi by now, and then I didn’t and now what would be the point, really, so I was going to turn my attention to GANG PARADE and Barely Last, but a certain someone named Garry WHO HAPPENS TO BE IN JAPAN RIGHT NOW LIKE A JERK took care of it for us.
And thank goodness! We’ve already heard all of the songs and been snarky about the lineup stuff — galore! — and I’ve made mini-reviews of most of it, so did you really want to read me? You did not.
You guys know me: I love me some Q’ulle. We even get to breathe a sign of relief that what could have been an imminent demise is, instead, a new beginning. That paints their recently released second album, Over the Hope, into a completely different kind of context; rather than be the death rattle of a fast-rising, talent-out-the-wazoo rock idol unit, it’s just the end of a chapter in what we can hope will be a significant career.
I’m going to download this album. I’m going to enjoy this album. And I’d love to review this album! But then I saw that it was again tackled by the very capable hands of our friend Garry MacKenzie, who not only helped to drive the Know Your BiStory series, but incidentally wrote another Q’ulle review that I shamelessly ripped off. So precedent is set!
What does Garry have to say about OVER THE HOPE? Continue reading
Update: Now available!
You may have seen this from NECRONOMIDOL:
— NECRONOMIDOL (@NECRONOMIDOL) September 9, 2016
— 只今、チンポジ調整中丸… (@don1292) September 20, 2016
Yep! The Dark Girls have re-released their NEMESIS album on vinyl through Specific Recordings. That is, the Specific Recordings that’s based in France. That can swing distribution around Europe and the Americas. That … uh …
Hello, what’s this? Continue reading
In J-school (that’s “journalism school,” not “Japan school,” you weirdos), they talk about headlines that pretty much say exactly what the story is about. I didn’t go to J-school, but I did just that anyway!
So Bellring Girls Heart, the twisted little alt-rock ravens who are easy to love if you like to be challenged and/or love your rock music to come from Great Britain at any point after about 1960 and the earlier the better, and easy to hate if you like things like vocals being on pitch and being the kind of person who chronically misses the point, officially release their best-of album today. BEST BRGH covers really just a slice of their large, varied catalog, with vocals re-recorded with the current members (and they’ve had a lot of members!).
And because Japan has a culture of physical media being important, many groups will happily toss their music onto Soundcloud or other channels, and we benefit. Because, see, the headline. Continue reading
Courtesy of our friend Pascal, here’s a review of Metal Resistance in the French J-culture magazine Coyote:
Musical phenomenon, to some, just a curiosity to others, Babymetal represents the unnatural union of J-Pop and extreme metal ! ie three kawaï female singers performing bouncy melodies over sharp riffs, furious blast-beats and salient electro sounds provided by a harsh metal band ! As amazing as it seems, this system goes full speed, and this second album, in its way of exploring different styles (heavy, thrash, black, speed), is terribly efficient – despite a few errors of taste and an inevitably too clean production.
When Pascal shared this, his comments were interesting and on point: It’s weird how this review isn’t just late to the party in how it exists, but in how it seems to barely understand this whole “baby metal” thing that just so happened to be in France for the third year in a row; like, do you want to review the album in context? discuss the actual cultural phenomenon? anything? The last time our kind of idols appeared in Coyote, the context felt right; not so here.
There might be a point here about how things like this show that our Babybubble might actually have more fixed walls than we think, that every Late Show or Golden Gods appearance is countered by the raw cultural weight of so many other things enjoyed in preference by several hundred more people, and that, for every what feels like a step forward for the hard side of idol in the West, there’s still a massive amount of ignorance and even hostility.
There also might be a point here about lazy writers, short-sighted editors and/or the restrictions of print formats.