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.
Garry, on the other hand, pinky-swore upon the holy book of your choice that he was listening with completely open ears, so the perspective from IdolIsShit.com is an impeccable one. Continue reading →
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.
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 …
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.
It is the Official Policy of Homicidols.com 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 twoposts 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 →
It is the Official Policy of Homicidols.com* that Babymetal is cool and good. Metal Resistanceis 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.
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 →
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.
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 →