I hope that everybody was looking forward to Q’ulle’s upcoming album release, their second under Avex, at least half as much as I have been. Arguably the finest purveyors of idorock left alive, the former dance troupe is always at least good and has an upper echelon that most idols, frankly, can only dream of trying to reach. Plus, unlike a lot of projects, they didn’t have to change what they were doing when they went major! They just, like, did even more.
Give this a quick spin:
That’s a lot of previewing to do! Granted, there’s enough music that you’ve heard before (because you are a Q’ulle fan, like all smart people are) that it’s not totally fresh and surprising, but there are some new moves here that I wasn’t prepared for. Yakko’s death growl, for instance.*
It was a big night in Shibuya tonight, friends, as NECRONOMIDOL held their first live ex Hina and Sari, and used it as a platform for much more than just rolling out new members.
But first, of course, the members. As all but completely given away in the teaser photo earlier in the week, there are two, and one of them is known to many of us as Hibiki, formerly of Gokigen Teikoku, now going as Kenbishi Kunogi. The other, Michelle, is previously unknown but for folks who follow the modeling scene.
The world of idol is a vast and terrifying place, often all the moreso at moments of uncertainty about how you feel about the world at the moment. And a lot of people are feeling down right now! Yesterday was a bloodbath! So in addition to regular ol’ sonic therapy, let’s prove just how easy it can be to find good things and embrace them.
Ishido Natsumi! I feel like there are maybe five people in the whole of Western wotadom who’ve come across her in the past. Is it because she’s new? She is not new! Is it because she’s bad? She is not bad! Is it because she’s particularly obscure? Not unless you consider being from Nagoya and being as regular a performer as it gets obscure! Well, actually maybe the Nagoya thing hurts her a little bit, what with Tokyo getting the lion’s share of the lion’s share of attention and only total nerds being marks for other local scenes (Osaka ftw).
The grind, when you’re a fancy idol website guy like me, can lead to weird surprises. Like, “oh cool, I actually already have two placeholder draft posts of that group that I’ve been meaning to talk about that just dropped the bitchin’ new MV” or, more appropriately in this case, “oh right, I’d wanted to do something with that and then lost it.” Thanks, Auhby, for reminding me about this very exciting announcement by Toricago and getting me to shift gears from what I had been writing up to ensure that I didn’t forget about this again!
So yeah, Toricago, new album, February. Because nothing good in life is ever easy, you, uh, have to go to their website to listen to the trailer, so do it on the link herein:
Toricago was by far my favorite new thing in idol in 2018, and I’m loving this look in at their development of the edgy-idol-chika thing along with the other big dominant trend, the artsier styles of rock and pop that have turned idol into one of the most reliable places to find cool and interesting new things. Let’s see where they’re able to take this; it’s only like two months away!
You may have seen the scuttlebutt, but I’ve taken my own advice and want to make sure that no stones go unturned, so here: Hey, do you guys remember NO MARK? You know, one of the umpteen great debutantes of 2018, and the umpteen-minus-five-or-whatever who didn’t get a finalist nomination in the Best Of but would probably at least make some folks consider it in the right light? This NO MARK? Right! They’re super-idol-titled SET YOU FREE album is available for free on OTOTOY through Friday (Japan time, I presume), so:
【メディア情報】 OTOTOYにてアルバム「SET YOU FREE」ライターレビュー、メンバー&プロデューサーライナーノーツ掲載‼︎ DLした方には是非読んで頂きたい、そして先にレビューを読んだ方は是非アルバムをDLお願いします‼︎無料配信は12/21(金)0時までです‼︎https://t.co/4ge9sXPnv6
If you’re looking for a good time with very little commitment of your precious time resources, you could do a lot worse than discovering whether you’re definitely going to be picking up the new There There Theres album, BRICKS, or whether you’re almost definitely going to be doing so. It’s just a question of personal hype level, isn’t it? In spirit if not in fact continuing on the BRGH legacy of being the queens of chika means that TTTs releases are events, man. You gotta step into that and let it hit you with all due severity.
And especially when the rapid-fire nature of the it could leave an adult human staggered and gasping for relief! It’s a lot like Arguably Greatest Punk Collaboration Ever Short Music for Short People, a glory of 30-second songs. TTTs absolutely destroyed that standard in setting a new record in Getting to Know Music By Hearing It in Tiny Snips!
Game gotta respect game, and who else in idol, period, maybe ever, brings quite the same level of total creative vision as Soze and Melon Batake a go go? The answer is pretty much nobody! It is right and good to worry about the state of that vision anytime anybody from the depths of chikadom gets picked up by a major label, because of course said label is going to want to direct the show to an extent, but if anybody can brute-force their way through some meddling producer’s insistence on being right, it’s these girls.
And think of the benefits! Like, it’s possible that Melon will, after demonstrating a strong business case and projecting a viable ROI through omnichannel (zzzzzzzzzzzzz) DOING A REALLY GOOD JOB AND MAKING MONEY, get some extra lucre to do neat things with. I am, of course, in this case electing to be an optimist.
But hey! There’s been new Melon stuff lately, in preparation for that move out of the indies, and there’s more of it now! Continue reading →
As you are no doubt aware, SPARK SPEAKER, who are good and cool, have a new album to promote, their second, THE WORLD IS MIND (which had better be a Scarface reference or I riot), and it’s already gotten added-bonus attention from fans because of a demonstrable shift in sound, which we got a flavor of from “paradigm shift”. Everybody who commented on that, from a position of knowledge, agreed that it was at least an interesting move, and that the album was in fact quite good and worth grabbing.
Well, gang, if you’re not among that esteemed company, here’s your chance for a meaningful taste of the whole shebang: Continue reading →
Dang, do you guys remember BIЯTH? I had to go back to Memory Lane quite a bit to follow up on that one, and I’ve been sitting on this dang post for a few weeks. But, neat project, idol+guy with guitar+obviously other instruments (but it’s really just Ricka and Yuma making up the group), doing good work. I have this weird tendency to have Ricka’s tweets right at the top of my feed when I randomly look in, so I fortunately hadn’t forgotten the name when some fresh buzz started up a little while back, and paying attention pays off!
They released their latest maxi single/EP/four-track record that defies easy labels on Sunday, so it’s now officially weird that I haven’t shared the trailer with you guys:
After that first couple of videos, I didn’t reckon that we’d been getting a trailer for IDOL SHREDDER that’s practically the length of many groups’ EPs with almost three weeks left until the album drops, but I’m also not going to complain about a bigger, fuller, better look. Frankly, nobody should!
I don’t have the best track record when it comes to converting other humans to the charms of this very grown-up unit with a very grown-up orientation, but please do, friends, consider it. As “just” idols, REGiNA KiSS was in fact quite good; with the band behind the slightly retooled duo, they mix things up more frequently and take some interesting chances. I’d love for this to wind up on some major streaming services so that folks can get the experience in full.