The New Babymetal Single Is as Fitting a Tribute as We’ll Ever Get for Yuimetal

By now, you’ve probably heard the stream of “Starlight”, Babymetal’s first release in (/checks watch) two and a half years, good lord. There’s an MV, too, which we’ll get to in a second. First, though, let’s take these things in meta-chronological order and note: Yuimetal is officially out of the group:

Hot take to follow! First that MV:

And now to go ahead and reverse that order … Continue reading

We Review Things: Avandoned’s “Lemon Peels” is Certified Organic

Life’s best pleasures are simple things: Walks in the woods, black coffee, dogs n’ cats, and 45rpm singles. And speaking of singles, Avandoned, the delightful queens of quirk, gave us their second release this year, following up the completely fabulous old-school jam “After School” with their latest offering, “Lemon Peels”.

This is their third single on the terrific Vivid Sound label (the first was the nearly perfect “Donut Friends”), which has produced some bountiful musical fruit for Beni and Kotao. The vinyl-oriented label’s been around since 1973, and with that sort of history and experience, they’ve really shown an understanding for what makes this duo unique and tapped into that by helping them align with label-mates like Magic, Drums, & Love, Monari Wakita, and SOLEIL (although SOLEIL jumped into the majors with Victor Records). With these resources, along with their friendships with great retro-rock bands like LEARNERS and The Childish Tones, Avandoned have really come into their own over the past couple of years, and I think they’ve finally arrived at what is truly their own sound, and not simply the vision of outside producers. Continue reading

This New LADYBABY Is Beyond My Comprehension

LADYBABY’s sort of surprise-springing this digital single on us, but I doubt that too many people are going to complain. This is a group that’s pretty much always done what they wanted, and damn the man, like they exist within this idol milieu but also somewhat apart from it. Frankly, more groups should probably operate that way!

I don’t have enough cultural context to make this work in my head, and would therefore appreciate some tutorial about why I’m wrong, but let me preface this by noting just how high my eyebrow arched when I looked at the description stuff and saw “KAWAII-DEATH” and “something something Showa era songs.” Like I don’t get entirely where they’re going with that, but … well, I presume that this is what that means:

Continue reading

It’s a Crucial Time for a JOANJOAN Update

I’ve been sitting here with my finger twitching over this stuff from Yet Another of Maniac’s Favorite Recent Discoveries JOANJOAN for several weeks, and I really just can’t wait anymore. Plus, what I’m waiting for might not ever actually make it to fruition, and then won’t I be the one with egg on my face? And you’ll be the ones who probably didn’t learn some additional info about JOANJOAN because I can practically guarantee that you’re not following them yet!

So to preface, the really important news is that there’s this new digital single available:

It’s so up my alley that I may as well give it its own permanent address

I’m not sure that we’ll reach MV territory for it, hence the low-context post. Just trust me on this one — if you like your stuff digital and loud and idol, you’ll probably dig it. Continue reading

I’m Really Late to IVOLVE’s MV But Wanted You to Have It

Yeah, welcome back to another edition of Posts Maniac Meant to Quickly Write During His Break, and this is one that I actually responded to in real time as opposed to setting it up ahead of time. But after I was completely all-in on what IVOLVE was giving with their new song that doesn’t have anything to do with this single release, I felt like it was only right to follow up with the single itself, or I guess the second song from it because we already trod this ground:

And holy crap, it’s a nanoCUNE number. Continue reading

Who Did It Best? BiS or BiS? Against the Pain!

Ah, friends, we once again are presented with the latest release from the unevenly two-headed monster that is BiS, a single called “Against the Pain” that both 1st and 2nd have versions of. Rather than be purely reductive and blogtastic and be all This Is What Maniac Thinks about it, I leave it up to you, the viewers at home, to render the decision. Yes, it’s Monday, but no, we shan’t go with the Match Game format. Just take in these MVs and render your verdict: Continue reading

I Don’t Think Minna no Kodomo-chan Can Tone It Down, You Guys

Just last night, I was getting a meal with a younger friend, and the barely audible radio took up a familiar melody. I needed a second to place it, but only a second, and was soon bouncing along and enthusiastically adding my own “Mmmbop, ba duba dop” along with the iconic tween band. The response was an eyeroll, which led to a discussion in which I copped to always loving the crap out of stupid Hanson despite “being a proper young edgelord and always pretending like I was too cool for that.” This in turn spawned a conversation about what constitutes and edgelord, and at what age it officially becomes not okay to pose as one, and whether edgelords or scene kids or hipsters are worse, and anyway this anecdote is taking on a life of its own.

The point is, what I wanted to drive home to my friend is that edgelords, for good or ill, can easily be spotted by their complete and utter refusal to operate under any speed other than full, and their expectation that others do the same. It can, frankly, be refreshingly honest and committed behavior, with candid dialogue between trusted peers provided means by which we grow and change as necessary. It can also be completely obnoxious!

Now, see: title, and come back to me and ask aloud whether you think that I’m attempting to call out Minna no Kodomo-chan, winners of the Corenament and big 2018 breakouts. Go ahead! I don’t bite. Okay, great question, and no, not really. The principle, I think, does apply, because while I could not possibly be more excited about a new single coming out in less time than it’s going to take me to overreact to the news, let’s regard the whole thing and then see where it takes us. Continue reading

Babymetal to Almost Certainly Soon Be Releasing New Album

Just kind of riffing on my dude Daemon’s post from the other day, but it’s true, and not like in the way that I got way out in front of myself and thought that this year’s international tour was a precursor to an album release (instead it was precursor to more fan tears than I thought possible!). No, this seems pretty legit. Just play along.

First this got dropped into the world:

I’m assuming that it was kind of quietly regarded because it’s a) for the graphic novel and b) was released by the publisher, not Amuse. Fine. But … hey, that’s Babymetal music, music that was theretofore unheard by we mere mortals, and there’s some heft to the whole presentation, like there’s more to it.

Par for the Babymetal course, no doubt. Par for the Babymetal fan course, though, is to relentlessly overanalyze everything within broadcast distance of potential new material, and in this case some sleuthing uncovered our likely future. Continue reading

If the World Gives Us Nothing Else, May It Keep Giving Us DEVIL NO ID

We very literally don’t hear enough about DEVIL NO ID, Okinawa’s loudest answer to the modern idol equation, and it’s quite a shame because, as what you’re about to experience will attest, they’re … well, they’re really good. Combined with the kind of backing that makes big-time collaborations possible, they’re an act that should be making more noise, figuratively as well as literally, than they do.

All of that to preface:

That disarmingly put-together number is spiritually right in line with how DEVIL NO ID does their business, which is to say lovingly striking nasty beats like hammer blows into otherwise highly danceable music that much better aligns with their idol-plus-EDM presentation. It also just so happens to be delivered on a silver platter by the same Ueda Takeshi who penned “STUPiG” and “Gimme Chocolate!!” and is/was the driving force behind the sublime AA=, among other projects that find cool ways to be loud. Continue reading

This Is NEO BREAK’s First Single

And speaking of stuff that I didn’t get around to working on while I was on hiatus, here’s one that I found to be a true personal delight … two weeks ago, when I first saw the video and made a post draft. “A ha,” thought I, “’tis the perfect item to schedule ahead for when I will be detached from the Internet!” So cute of me to think that I’d actually have the time to do all of that, pre or otherwise!

It’s a nice song, though.

This guy was actually released on Sept. 26, so I’ve technically gotten in the post within the opening two weeks of its existence, YouTube publish date of the video (and lack of full MV) be damned. They also had a one-man on the 30th, which I obviously didn’t inform you about despite the big note a few lines down from here that I’m about to delete, because, like, this post is late. Continue reading