People Review Things: Idol Is Shit on Q’ulle’s “OVER THE HOPE”

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


You Should Add NECRONOMIDOL Vinyl to Your Collection

Update: Now available!

You may have seen this from NECRONOMIDOL:

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


Bellring Girls Heart Released All of “BEST BRGH” on Soundcloud Hot Damn

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


The International Grows: ‘Metal Resistance’ in French Magazine ‘Coyote’

Courtesy of our friend Pascal, here’s a review of Metal Resistance in the French J-culture magazine Coyote:

Scan of a review of Babymetal's Metal Resistance written in the French J-culture magazine Coyote

Pascal’s translation:

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.

Either way.


People Review Things: Idol Is Shit’s Garry MacKenzie on Q’ulle’s ‘Alive’

It is the Official Policy of that many voices can and should contribute to the discovery of idols and their music. Among those voices whose contributions are good and cool is Garry MacKenzie, owner and operator of the very good Idol Is Shit. This review is his.

You all may recall the two posts covering Q’ulle‘s most recent music videos. You may also recall that Q’ulle, who are good, are good, and you therefore like them and appreciate their music and want to buy it. And as if you needed any more convincing, Garry believes that their just-released single, “Alive,” is more than up to par. Get started here, then visit his site for the rest. Continue reading


I Get into Arguments: Maniac vs. Alex Shenmue

It is the Official Policy of* that Babymetal is cool and good. Metal Resistance is not a perfect album, but it is a very good one, and even the parts of it that I was most critical of initially are winning me over.

Alex Shenmue, the big brain behind his self-named blog, was one of the very few reviewers of Metal Resistance to give the record a not-good score, and one of the even fewer to do it with, like, reasons and stuff.

Despite being mistaken and wrong and probably someone who steals candy from children, Alex is clearly an intelligent human, and he proved that by accepting my challenge to a debate of sorts:

We reviewed one another’s reviews. I formulated very smart and good arguments; I think Alex may still be trying to cope with the depth of self-loathing he must feel to be so bitter and angry, as he was unable to convert being smart to having good arguments, and the only logical conclusion thereupon is that he has lost the capacity to think.

Anyway, we had some fun assaulting one another’s opinions. Check it out!  Continue reading


I Review Things: Babymetal | “METAL RESISTANCE”

Disclaimer: I wasn’t going to write this review. I have a much more interesting concept for Babymetal and Metal Resistance that I’m working on with another writer, but the more I listened to this album, the more I felt that there were things that needed to be addressed; and, for what it’s worth, That Other Thing will be a lot better for me having done this first. So.

On to the review!
Continue reading


Idol International: BiSH Reviewed in French Magazine ‘Coyote’

Per Pascal Hatton on Facebook, here’s a very cool bit of news: The French J-culture mag Coyote reviewed FAKE METAL JACKET. BiSH! In France!

Scan of BiSH review Fake Metal Jacket in French magazine Coyote
Continue reading


What the ‘KARATE’ Video Says about the Future of Babymetal & Idol Metal

Have you seen Babymetal’s “KARATE” video yet?

Now you have.

When it comes to a cultural touchstone like Babymetal, there’s no such thing as “just a video,” and I can’t imagine a more “just a video” than “KARATE.” But it says an incredible amount about where Babymetal is now, where they’re going as a performing entity and what the future of what we call homicidols might be challenged to be. Continue reading


Babymetal’s ‘Metal Resistance’ Album Broken Down UPDATED with poll

We live in an age when exclusive content may as well just be pointed and laughed at; Metal Hammer is running a massive Babymetal feature in this month’s issue, complete with a track-by-track breakdown of the upcoming Metal Resistance album. For the smart people who pre-ordered, it’s already arrived in some cases; it hits newsstands tomorrow.

And of course Babymetal Newswire is already running with the track review. Continue reading