We Review Things: “It’s a SAKA-SAMA World”!

SAKA-SAMA have been something of a favorite with Team Homicidols since they first formed in 2016, but at the same time, they’ve remained a perplexing enigma of an idol unit. Constantly shifting membership rosters are always part of this territory, but this group seems especially prone to changing it’s line-up with each passing season, with only Kokone and Dr. Mahiru providing consistency as it’s founding members. And the music of SAKA-SAMA, primarily billed as “Low-Fi Dream Pop”, is in truth equally unpredictable, with a wide variety of unique genres and styles that run the gamut of shoegazey indie-pop to oddball quirky country songs and spoken word pieces, making it a rather difficult task to describe what exactly the group does. Mind you, this isn’t a complaint by any means, I’m just trying to clarify why writing about TRASH-UP!!’s in-house idol group is well… quite a challenge. 

So after a couple of years of compilation tracks, EPs, singles, and one live recording, SAKA-SAMA have finally released an actual, honest-to-goodness full length album, titled, appropriately enough, “It’s a SAKA-SAMA World’! I’ve been excitedly anticipating this release since the moment it was announced, and I eagerly snatched it from OTOTOY right away. I came to realize quickly that this is an album that, just like anything related to SAKA-SAMA, has certain unique traits that can’t be summed up after a breezy listening session. This is what we call a “grower”, or a “slow-burn”, wherein one must dig in deeply to truly reap the rewards of the listening experience, and develop an opinion based on multiple takes instead of relying on easy gratification. 

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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

We Review Things: NaNoMoRaL is Long Overdue For a Heaping Ton of Glowing Praise…

I feel like a bit of a wrong has been committed in that NaNoMoRaL hasn’t gotten a proper write-up on this blog, but it’s most certainly not Maniac’s fault. They’ve been on the Homicidols radar nearly from the unit’s beginning, but I kinda-sorta called some claim on this group, and then sat on it far longer than they deserve. But the honest-to-goodness truth is that the reason for that is because I feel strongly that the group is so good, and it’s debut EP is so excellent, that I really wanted to think about this and get everything right instead of just blabbering like a giddy little fanboy. 

NaNoMoRaL is a duo made up of Amamiya Miku and Paseli-chan. Amamiya is remembered by a lot of us by her stage name “Natsuki” from her time in Avandoned. Natsu left that group in late 2016 and reappeared shortly after in the far-more traditional idol unit Emoquru Scoop (currently renamed EMOP), and then later still, announced she was leaving to become a solo act. But in actuality, she was working with EMOP’s producer, who happens to be Paseli-chan, and so, NaNoMoRaL was created! (Hope you’re taking notes on this.)  Continue reading

We Review Things: The tipToe./Dots Split Single is a Concoction of Fizzy Goodness


DIY rock bands figured out a long time ago that the “split-single” is a great way for fledgling artists to achieve the milestone of getting a record out there. Two bands chip in their money, and each gets one side of a 45 rpm vinyl record, ready to share with the masses. And for music lovers, it’s a pretty nifty deal as well, cause for a low price point,

you could take a chance on hearing two new bands you might happen to dig. It’s a great punk-rock tradition that plenty of bands still carry on today. 

And now here come two darlings on the indie-idol set, tipToe. (That’s how you stylize the type.) and ········· (You know, Dots.) with a split/collaboration single entitled “Tokyo Sentimental”. The two groups have been friendly buds for a while now since they shared a bill in which the tipToe. girls surprised the audience by coming out on stage wearing the Dots’ patented visors and vintage dresses and paying a little tribute to the ethereal idols. It was a fun little moment that brought tipToe. to my attention for the first time, and thanks very much for that! 

So how’s the single? “Tokyo Sentimental” is only four songs and it’s quick listen, and the two groups make the most of the brevity.  Continue reading

We Review Things Sleepily: 3776 | “3776 wo Kikanai Riyuu ga Aru to Sureba”

Last week, I was kindly informed that 3776’s Magnum Opus album, 3776 wo Kikanai Riyuu ga Aru to Sureba, was available for free on OTOTOY temporarily. Always one for a freebie, naturally, I downloaded it, and upon listening, I was like “Damn! This is a really great album!” and so Maniac responded, “Then review it”.

Two problems here:

  1. I suck at song reviews. They’ll all painfully boring and don’t go anywhere beyond “This is a pretty good song.”
  2. The album is three years old, making any kind of review totally irrelevant.

So, I had this ridiculous idea; I always come up with the best Friday Fun ideas when I’m half-asleep! YouTube dungeons, not so much. So, what would happen if I attempted to review an album (or more accurately, liveblog the album) on an hour of sleep? It wouldn’t be hard. My sleeping habits are atrocious anyway. As for the whole “three years old” thing? I’m ashamed to say, I didn’t even know this album was from 2015 until halfway through listening. I didn’t even know 3776 existed until OTOTOY informed me of this album’s existence. But one thing I do know, is Ide Chiyono (also known as 3776-chan in this review, as I was too tired to remember her actual name) is, according to her Last.FM profile image, the disaster girl meme.

Brian was invited to provide some input on 3776 as a bona fide expert, but he refused on the grounds that the piece would be funnier if it had less context.

Long story short, consider this shitpost-in-disguise an introduction to 3776 of sorts. As much of an introduction as a shitpost can be. But hopefully, we’ll be covering 3776 more in the future, because this was one of the most fun albums I’ve listened to in a long time.

So, onward with sleep-deprived Kerrie! Continue reading

We Review Things: Melon Batake a go go Make Sick Music For Sick People

Psychobilly idols Melon Batake a go go don’t generally strike me as rule followers, but in the case of their new EP, they abide by an age-old rock n’ roll rule: Keep it short and sweet and make them beg for more. It’s a formula that’s brought us legends from Hasil Adkins to the Ramones to Guitar Wolf to a hundred other rock stars who put a pep in our step and tickled our hormones. You simply can’t beat a great garage stomper, and now, Melon Batake a go go have come to put the idol spin on the barn dance. Continue reading

We Review Things: Yukueshirezutsurezure | ‘Six Fall Roar’ / ‘A Drama with Nietzsche’

Though the digital files for the three tracks on this double-A side from tortured yami-kawaii nymphs Yukueshirezutsurezure found their way into my inbox, I ultimately didn’t have time to handle a review. Fortunately for us all, Tsurezure mega-fan Phillter, who is now living the dream in Japan, was more than happy to step to the plate.

Cover art for double A-side single "Six Fall Roar" / "A Drama with Nietzsche" by Japanese yami-kawaii idolcore group Yukueshirezutsurezure

That one band with a super long name, Yu-something-something. The little sisters of the Queens of Yami-Kawaii, Zenbu Kimi no Sei da.

If you frequent this site (or the Idol Metal communities in general), then you should be very familiar with this band of four. When they first marched on the scene back in late 2015, no one quite knew what to think of them, but the general consensus was that they were something to keep an eye on. The name alone was something to stick with you … if you could pronounce it!

The haunting, lilting melodies that suddenly threw the listener into a panic with growled vocals and screams of frustration and rage were a combination no other band in the genre had attempted to quite that extent before. It was that combination of lullaby and nightmare fuel that intrigued many a fan, including yours truly, to become an Aquamarine (the name of their fans). So it will be no big surprise when I say that I loved this record. Continue reading