We Over-Analyze Things: BABYMETAL | “Elevator Girl”

It was about time BABYMETAL paid homage to David Bowie. I mean, while Bowie crushed just about every pop genre on the planet except Heavy Metal, he was largely responsible for the early creation of Glam Rock.

  • Without Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust, we have no KISS.  
  • Without KISS to influence a young Yoshiki, we have no X Japan.
  • With no X Japan, we have no BABYMETAL.

So when BABYMETAL’s new single, “Elevator Girl”, opens by directly channeling the piano riff from Bowie’s early 80s classic, “Modern Love”, the circle of life seems, in some ways, complete. In truth, the direct influence on this single is probably less Bowie’s soul and groove-flavored New Wave, and more the J-Pop fusion of acid jazz, funk and techno that coalesced around the same time period into the broad City Pop genre. City Pop has seen a lot of attention lately with interest from Vaporwave aesthetes, YouTube channels streaming curated City Pop feeds 24-7, and it’s own brief “I didn’t know [insert name here] put out a City Pop album” meme.

City Pop is also heavily influencing a number of current groups in the alternative idol world including early album-of-the-year contenders Atarashii Gakkou No Leaders, GuGu-LuLu and the fledgling OWA Yoru.

(This is a lot of words so far just to talk about a three-minute song. What we are seeing here is an unfortunate side effect when a group as musically fascinating as BABYMETAL only releases three pieces of new material in a twelve-month span. In the absence of an “Elevator Girl” MV to talk about, let’s continue the over-analysis:) Continue reading

The Final Episode of “BEYOND THE RED”

This actually happened yesterday, but it being Mother’s Day and all in the United States and Canada, and I being both an excellent son and grandson sort of distracted from the last chapter in NECRONOMIDOL’s serial horror short, which has been … it’s been a journey, man. It’s been a journey. I knew that I was going into it with a whole lot of disadvantages (minimal Nihongo being easily the greatest), but one’s raw enthusiasm for a project by one’s favorites can overcome many things.

Three previous chapters exist, and we got ’em all. I recommend watching the whole thing in sequence, as doing so will definitely help to contextualize things more and avoid the “wait, wtf is that now?” stuff that tends to happen when you don’t have the language helping to ground you. Continue reading

Babymetal: New Single, New Tour, Old Tricks

It ain’t exactly new anymore, folks, but various proto-iterations of “Babymetal Does X” have been sitting in the drafts queue and just teasing our itchy trigger fingers for the past couple of days, and the whole reason that neither Daemon nor I had hit Publish yet was because we were waiting on a dang MV that still isn’t out so TO HELL WITH IT, LET’S JUST DO THE DANG BABYMETAL POST!

So if you Weekender, you saw my brief reference to the weird feeling of seeing Babymetal making kind of a triumphant return in the same week that BiS was disbanded. That is, the two very loud, expectation-subverting idol-related things that got me into this, the first two (and I believe only in toto) to be granted the Legends tag in this WordPress configuration, easily the two biggest influences on the whole basis for this website and everything it cares about coming into existence in the first place, are going their separate ways not so much like a Journey song but more like Lyft’s and Uber’s respective IPOs, if you know what I’m saying.

Anyway, Babymetal is roaring back into your life (as if they ever really left!) with, on top of that album “soon,” the first single from it released digitally a couple of days ago and frustratingly difficult to access at first, actually, but now all hunky dory!

Obviously go buy the thing (that album’s still somewhere off in the future!), but you can also listen to it right here:

Continue reading

Minna no Kodomochan Launch Five Months of New Music with “wall”

Kodomochan, fresh off of their back-to-back Corenement championships, has released the first deliverable of their recently successful crowdfunding campaign. As promised, from now until September, Everyone’s Children will bless us with a new song each and every month.  

May’s entry is the minimalistically titled continuation on the group’s core theme: “wall”

“What potent blood hath modest May.” ― Ralph W. Emerson

The doom metal pacing is is a perfect set-up that drives right into a synth-pop transition to… more metal. It’s like Iron Maiden invited Flock of Seagulls over to jam (think “I Ran” meets “Run to the Hills”).  Like many Kodomochan songs, it contains a glorious aural revelation that is worth staying around for before devolving into a reckless and manic finish including one last metal drop. Continue reading

This Is “BEYOND THE RED” Episode 3

I was one of those people who studied abroad for a spell (and then came back and couldn’t stop talking about it for months). The country I was in was and is known for its avant garde cinema scene, so my program had a film component, and I had film students as friends, including one as a roommate. As a result, I spent plenty of time watching movies that were in a language that I could only in the most generous of senses say that I understood. It was a good time!

This is to lead into … the latest release of NECRONOMIDOL’s short horror film BEYOND THE RED, which I like to watch because I like to watch Necroma! Continue reading

BABYMETAL Announce U.S. and U.K. Headline Shows, “Elevator Girl” Release Date

The Fox God has spoken!! In the past 24 hours we have received (official) word of major U.S. and U.K. shows plus the release of BABYMETAL’s first new music of 2019.

BABYMETAL will be playing their first headlining U.S. arena show at The Forum in Los Angeles this coming October. The kitsune faithful were given all of 24 hours to prepare their wallets for VIP pre-sale tickets which are available this morning at 10:00 am PDT.

If simply being present wasn’t enough of a draw for you, every online ticket purchase for the L.A. Forum appearance comes with a CD copy of BABYMETAL’s forthcoming 2019 album which still doesn’t have an exact release date. This method of driving album sales is probably something they picked up while touring with the Red Hot Chili Peppers and/or Metallica who often do they same thing. It seemed a bit tricksy to me until I remembered the twelve copies of BiSH’s PAiNT it BLACK I had to buy to get checki tickets (worth it!)

BABYMETAL have played the L.A. Forum once before over the summer of 2017 while opening for Korn and Stone Sour. While this October performance will mark their first time headlining an arena show in the United States, they have headlined an arena outside of Japan once before. That was, of course, 2016’s record-setting appearance at Wembley arena in the U.K. to launch their last album, Metal Resistance.

Speaking of the U.K., they will be getting their own show this June:

Tickets go on sale tomorrow.

BABYMETAL also officially announced the worldwide digital release of the single, “Elevator Girl” on May 10th

The song debuted almost exactly a year ago on the U.S. leg of their 2018 World Tour. It is an upbeat prog-rock meets groove metal tune (think Toto meets Five Finger Death Punch) with ample English in the lyrics for folks to sing along to. 

This will be the first new music from the group since the criminally underrated “Starlight” was released last October.

LADYBABY Love You, but Have to Destroy You

I promise that I will never look away again.

On Team Homicidols, we’ve been distracted a lot lately by art house groups and hi-concept math-punk units or idols that make you stare at your shoes and weep.  But now that we gazed so hard at ・・・・・・・・・ that they vanished back into the ether from whence they came, it might be best to sink back into basics for a little while. Like a nice, simple “you got chocolate in my peanut butter” blend of J-pop and Metal.

I wonder what LADYBABY has been up to?

DAAAAaaaaaammnnn…

Screaming, growling, rapping, clean choruses and djenty guitars: that’s some back-to-fundamentals kawaii nu-metal right there, and a perfect illustration of how Team LADYBABY have stayed relevant though all of the unit’s formations and turmoil.  They get the basics right and they do it incredibly well.  There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, especially when the output is this ferocious and enjoyable.

I have a feeling that this MV will earn stock-image status for any future profiles of alternative idol.  It’s practically iconic.

This new release has especially got to excite everyone heading to Monster of Dolls next month in Italy as this track is going to be an absolute banger live.

Almost Everything You’d Like to Know about NECRONOMIDOL’s European Tour

The last time the Inquisition came to Europe, thousands were killed, thousands more forced to convert or driven into exile, nascent nation-states reformed by fire and blood. The aftermath of its quest for infidels and heretics extended far beyond the realm of the spirit and deep into the temporal affairs of emperors and kings. The reverberations of its impact can be felt through the centuries even to today.

And that was even before NECRONOMIDOL showed up!

Yes, the Darkness Girls will be returning once again to terrorize the European continent, bringing with them endless plagues and excellent music. It’s a long-ass tour with big events and extended stops and why am I doing my traveling in the wrong hemisphere this year? The choices we make …

Anyway, the important stuff, like where and when: Continue reading

This Is Episode 2 of NECRONOMIDOL’s “BEYOND THE RED” Film

Man, you wake up on a Sunday all hoping for goodness and light and clarity and hope, and not only is it raining buckets outside, but NECRONOMIDOL up and dropped the second installment of their short film, and of course I’m immediately going to watch it despite being unable to follow the story in all but the most cursory of ways!

Continue reading

BABYMETAL Announces Release of New Album TBD, 2019

BABYMETAL used Fox Day 2019 to launch a new era of ambiguity, announcing that they will finally release their long-awaited new album at some point this year.

In addition to the new album, BABYMETAL revealed some major upcoming shows.  Late June will mark SU-METAL and MOAMETAL’s return to Yokohama Arena for the Apocrypha of the Fox God’s first Hemingway reference:   BABYMETAL Awakens – The Sun Also Rises. Continue reading