Now that all of our other work is behind us, friends, and we’re firmly into 2017, it’s time to bring back the Monday Match Game. This one is … a little different.
Kawaii. It’s the foundation of the idol look, no matter how it manifests; it can be cool, creepy, goth, brutal, adorable and so on. Really, the only limits on how to express kawaii are the limits on the human imagination. And, as something of a culture unto itself, kawaii has its own subcultures, some of which become fashion-forward trends that manifest on the idol stage.
In this corner, the kawaii of illness and addiction, pale and pastel, self-loathing and society rejection; in the other, fantasies that are just a little bit off, like a dreamscape filled with wonders that melt every time you try to touch them. Two definitive trends in idol enter, but only one will survive! Continue reading →
If you follow that link, you’ll get to the cast list, more or less, and instructions for auditions. For? A music video! OMG! FOR?!
(Wait for it …)
Why, the single that they released in March!
It’s fine to be disappointed. I am. And not because I’m sure the end result will in fact be at the very least morose and possibly violent; I just wanted it to be a video for, you know, something new, or at least off of Antino Ideology. OIL WELL.
It doesn’t seem like there’s a lot going on at this immediate moment (though, having said that, I’m sure like three new videos and a major membership announcement will be released within the next 1:45), and your friendly neighborhood Maniac needs to be in a whole bunch of terrible not-good meetings at work all day, beginning quite early, so I thought that a little introduction to one of the most anus-clenchingly compelling newer idol groups was in order.
Meet Yukueshirezutsurezure (which is often shortened because typing). They’re in the banner. Their first EP/mini album will soon be unleashed upon the world. This is what the cover will look like.
I almost wonder if they aren’t like the Others/White Walkers from Game of Thrones; like, does the advent of spring force them to return to a chilly, shadowy realm where the sun can’t harm their well-crafted paleness?
But this is a new people intro, so this is what they sound like (this song with their big sisters in Zenbu Kimi no Sei Da):
They’ve actually been releasing teasers for a while, but take them down after 2-hour windows close. They are wonderful. I cannot wait for this albumlet thing to come out.
UPDATE: Sneaky kids went and put out another two-hour song release! This will only be available until 11:00 EDT, so get your listening in!
I do wonder if it’s common for groups to announce that they will, in fact, release some music into the world for you to buy and listen to, but not at a determinate point, or if Yukueshirezutsurezure did it just to drive home how deep a font of madness they are.
Back when I was but a new, budding Maniac, I’d let YouTube take me on these incredible journeys. It had made me a BiS list, for instance, and I’d let that sucker run for hours at a time at work. I can’t even begin to try to number how many groups I found that way; it’s a lot. And some of them wound up being just kind of there in the end, while others were awesome enough that I wanted to learn more about them and eventually start a music website with them as a focus … and then there was Zenbu Kimi no Sei Da.
One thing that happens to just about everybody while they’re discovering the hard side of idol is that moment, or maybe it’s many moments, when you just sit there and watch a video play through like five times, trying to figure out just what the hell you’re watching and listening to these incredibly dense, rich, violent songs and make sense of them.
Zenbu Kimi no Sei Da (“It’s All Your Fault”) came along at a very ripe moment. Babymetal was conquering the world, BiSH was stepping into BiS’s shadow, groups like PassCode and Party Rockets were showing that idols could do music both hard and accessible … in other words, somebody who was willing to put all of that up there together was going to get attention in a good way.
A couple of digital singles and an album later, Kiminosei have become regulars on the rock+idol scene, and they’re at the forefront of the yami-kawaii … movement? scene? something. Regardless, it’s a fantastic way to approach performance, all twisted emotions and sickly appearance and bent expectations. You’d see them and be like “Oh how cool, they look like an A-pop grou–” and then get stabbed in the face. Like, remember GoGo Yubari from the Kill Bill movies? She’d probably be all about this (when she wasn’t working as a creative director for Deep Girl).
What they sound like
Mix one part J-pop and one part hardcore, place in blender, drizzle in denpa. Between them and sister group Yukueshirezutsurezure, they’re charting this beautifully tortured space that I hope goes really far.
You’ll like them if
I don’t have a good comparison for this one. Maybe if you like Converge and Dempagumi.inc all in the same day, or you remember that little window of time when Hole was just a tiny bit poppy and you approved. They have moments that actually aren’t that far from Bad Religion.