The waning days of 2019 and opening week of 2020 have been a special time. Some of the greatest legacy acts and personalities of our time hang ’em up at last — the literal goddess of earth and sky herself even revealing that she’s been secretly married all this time — and with that saw the retirement from idol and return to solo work by the grand dame herself, Pour Lui, twice founder of BiS, mature member of BILLIE IDLE, from whose fecund mind sprang the cultural movement that created not just modern chika idol but about 95% of what we like to cover here. That Lui was going back to her roots as a solo musician (though still connected to the Watanabe/Matsukuma machine) felt like a nice coda, something natural. She was done with idol, and idol — graciously — was done with her.
Or so we thought!
New group with a familiar-sounding name. New auditions. New music. “It’s complicated” with WACK. Somebody stage an intervention for this woman! Continue reading
We did it! Despite the very best efforts of the world to destroy humanity before the new decade was more than a few hours old, we got to the day when the full album of the fully rebooted BiS came to fruition with the MV that will lead it into the sales wars. And what an MV! Maybe you saw it during yesterday’s aborted leak. Maybe you saw enough that, when combined with the title, you had no choice but to think of certain late-90s punk touchstones and tributes to an aesthetic that never should have died. I don’t want to say that every little thing in it is completely deliberate, but come on. Just look at this:
Yep, that definitely hit all of the right notes. Maybe the only thing truly missing is one of the actors suddenly having their face twist into a horrifying hell rictus, or a lo-def shot inexplicably shaking and turning to convey wackiness or something. Otherwise, from colors to setting to styling to the exploitative use of little people in the guise of show business icons, I’m back in the waning years of rock music’s last best decade.
And the music? Well yeah, that’s good too. I think we all figured that’d be the case, right? Like, they got the less saucy stuff out of the way on the last album preview — given all the rest of their body of work so far, for BiS3 to drop anything less than an all-out punk barrage would be the biggest surprise of all. And yeah, all in all I do think that this album has shaped up to be the best by a group named BiS in quite a while, though we should wait for the official release just in case Watanabe decides to pull some shenanigans.
Ah, and now we reach the point in the promotional machine when a new release (specifically, a WACK release) is laid almost completely bare before the world and all of its details are known and we get to speculate wildly about what might fill the otherwise-empty informational crevices. Behold, the new BiS album, now more than just a bunch of stuff on Soundcloud:
A title! A track list! A … a cover that looks a lot like it’s really playing up an appropriate punk rock association while also trying very hard to avoid being sued by Green Day! Good lord, after these tracks, there’s just the one left to show off, and it could also be a Green Day reference if you’re willing to stretch a little, and I’m guessing that’s where the MV will come from, the only question really being when, it being a real shame that we’re still more than a month from the release date, I say again.
But let’s listen to the new songs, which you can also still download for a hot minute (I’m sorry!): Continue reading
Thank the gods for some down time! I’ve been dying to get a few minutes to really catch up on some of the excellent things that happened in idol this week, the latest couple of pre-album track releases by BiS among them. Friends, they do not disappoint.
First things first, if you know what’s good for you, take advantage of the fact that you can download these things and have them:
Should you need additional convincing (like, if the last one of these pre-releases didn’t have you absolutely twitterpated), just listen to these suckers. I will warn you, though, that this is music of excellent quality, one of which will threaten to put you in the hospital. Continue reading
It’s December, gang, and in fact we’re inside of two weeks til Christmas and three til the new year, and the Homicidols Best of 2019 has drawn to a close, the year is basically done let’s all just pack it in and enjoy all the photos of idols in their Santa outfits and — oh, right, BiS3 has a record on the way, and they’d like to remind us of that fact and get us excited about it by giving it away for free in little pieces. This is from yesterday:
Got ’em? Good. Let’s play them together! Continue reading
WACK never sleeps, apparently, and nor does its somewhat eponymous founder have time for your shenanigans or judgment. In fact, he stacked up extremely Watanabe moments for the week and delivered like has never seemed possible — and it’s only Wednesday, good lord.
This is a music website, so the most important news is that the latest flavor of BiS (to which I do refer derisively but actually find myself more in love with all the time) is releasing a new album, and here’s the first track, which you can download until the 10th on the link here, and also listen to in perpetuity:
Y’know, we talk about about Yufu Terashima quite often amongst ourselves on the twitters, but I did a quick check and to the best of my knowledge, we’ve never posted anything specifically about her on this blog. I mean yeah, she was a member of that iconic group that pretty much gave birth to the movement, but perhaps Yufu herself goes a little bit more into the sort of pure idol territory that this blog appreciates but doesn’t usually cover.
But when you film an MV for a song that is not gives a fun visual medium to a delightful pop gem, but eludes to the elusive answers of one of the biggest questions that the human race has been asking since it first formed an inquisitive thought, you pay attention!
Ah yes, another week is upon us, and BiS3 hasn’t formally debuted yet, nor has an official release hit record store shelves, so that can only mean one thing — probably! they’ll tease at least one more new song and give an update on when the suddenly-a-lot-more-interesting-than-most-people-I-think-expected-they’d-be group debuts.
This was a safe assumption! And between the teaser strategy and the soundscapes at play, among other things, it feels less like a BiS debut and more like, well, their original namesakes’ rise four years ago. I find this business decision smart and good because, efforts made to the contrary, the most BiS-like thing to debut from WACK since 2015 has been pre-major BiSH, so really, emulating that whole move is a-okay in my book. The evidence? As if it hasn’t been abundantly clear, this debut is coming with some really cool musical choices (ah, those liberal pinches of heaviness), including these two new ones, which include what for me is one of the most interesting tracks that any notable in idol has done this year:
BiS gave us another round of previews from their new album that frustratingly has the same name as their first. You might have already heard “BiS3” by now, but listen to it again because now there are actual member vocals and not Watanabe’s on it!
And a brand-new song, “SURRENDER”.
Dang it, BiS. So many of us were skeptical of this third generation incoming, but these are some pretty solid tracks right here! I guess we’re stuck here forever. On that note, should you want to listen to these tracks forever (or at least until they’re on an actual album) both BiS3 and SURRENDER are free to download on Dropbox. I’d suggest grab them quick before Watanabe’s account runs out of bandwidth again!
Man, you guys, after the feelings of middling disappointment spawned by hearing Watanabe-sama’s vocal fill-in on the first track from BiS3, I was not feeling good about this whole project’s yet-again comeback. Like, BiS was once upon a time one of the coolest and most important things in music, and while a lot of BiS1’s success can be tied to the personalities involved and the angle that they took to everything, at the heart of it was the fact that their music was that damn good, and that they had the right vocal mix to crush the hell out of it while telling a compelling story about their own personality blend. Even BiS2 had its moments in that regard, but it was, yeah in retrospect but also in real time if you opened yourself to the idea, kind of clearly a knock-off. It just didn’t have the same energy or spawn the same feelings of possibility.
With the latest reboot, one could be forgiven for going into it with diminished expectation. A copy of a copy is, after all, two full orders of magnitude lesser than the original*, and I’ll go ahead and out myself as one of those who felt like BiS was getting another run more to fulfill a contractual obligation to a record label and to sell out remaining IDOL merch inventory. Other people were apparently more than ready for BiS3, though, because the initial announcement of this track’s availability (yesterday) exceeded the download bandwidth and was all but inaccessible. Good thing for Soundcloud, then, and good thing for us — this is a winner: