We Review Things: BiSH | ‘CARROTS and STiCKS’

BiSH - CARROTS and STiCKS

Sitting down to a first listen of the fifth BiSH album, CARROTS and STiCKS, the big question is: Which BiSH will predominate? The brazen punks who got kicked out of Tokyo Idol Festival? The potential game changers who released a two-minute thrash punk single as their major label debut? Or the commercial idols who promote cell phones and sing anime theme songs?

We know the punk is still in BiSH as demonstrated every time they let Ling Ling center and she does the emotional equivalent of kicking your teeth down your throat. At the same time, it’s hard to give punk cred to a group that’s signing exclusive deals with Apple to restrict the digital distribution of their own music. I certainly won’t begrudge a person for making a living off their art, especially in the crap ass world of Japanese entertainment where the vast majority of power and profits are concentrated in the hands a few management moguls who are far less benevolent than BiSH’s boss-who-we-love-to-hate, Junnoske Watanabe. And it’s not like those of us who have climbed aboard the BiSH train can cry about genre, aesthetic or ideological purity anyway. Watanabe has never hidden the fact that he is punk in the same way that Malcolm McLaren was punk: thumbing the nose of a conservative society is good fun and all, but only if you can make a buck (pound or yen) doing it.

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One New BiS Song, One Not-so-new BiS Song, One Maxed-out Network

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!

This Is the Latest Zenbu Kimi no Sei Da Re-recorded Song Preview

Hey! I only have a minute so forgive the blow-through, but check it: The everlasting joy that is Zenbu Kimi no Sei Da, who are in the midst of releasing a remixed, re-recorded album of past hits with the updated membership, just keep sending out previews, as you could probably have inferred from the title of this post. Well, there’s another one today, and this is right under the wire!

“Oh noes!” you cry out, “I may be too late!” And to that, mis amigos, I say, have you not been paying attention to Homicidols Dot Com and our wink-and-nudge relationship with Codomomental all these years? Just look after the jump! Continue reading

This Wagamama Rakia Album Trailer Is of a Tasteful Length

So Wagamama Rakia, who were low-key one of the big breakout success stories in chika idol last year along with temporarily fluid membership situation and goodness knows what all else, I lost track, have an album on the way. Like, imminently. And, as is smart and good and hale and all that, they dropped a trailer for it yesterday. It is, however, one of the more unique trailers that I’ve ever encountered.

The run time is 4:02. In your own personal realm of experience — which of course can vary based on a whole mess of factors — and assuming that all songs on the album are given approximately equivalent feature time in the trailer, how many tracks do you think it contains? tHe AnSwEr MaY sHoCk YoU! Continue reading

I Got the Best Music

We can’t stop music.

No, This Is What the New BiS Will Sound Like

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:

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More, uh, Nue Idols, You Guys

You would not believe how many puns I left on the cutting-room floor

Well look what the cat kind of very slowly but eventually dragged in, you guys! After previous existence*, previous hiatus and pretty solid radio silence, Nue (who you may actually be following, who knows!) (Twitter) is not just back to being a thing, but doing it in a way that says, hey, here we are and now it’s serious business. In fact, they did it basically in one shot, and if you weren’t paying attention already, maybe now you will be:

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Two Hours Till the End of the World

Oh hey neat! I expected that Zenbu Kimi no Sei Da’s pre-warned announcement would be some kind of music something, what with the upcoming release of their let’s-re-release-a-ton-of-stuff-with-the-new-lineup album on the way, but did I expect that they’d come shooting out of the gates with one of the greatest, loudest, violentest, Codomomentalest idolcore songs ever put to tape? I did not. Am I absurdly pleased that they did? I am. Feast your ears on the re-recorded “WORLD END CRISIS”, only do it kind of fast because they put the ol’ two-hour limit on it and HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA no, friend, just play along and then if you’re here after the link in the tweet dies, ol’ Uncle Maniac will still see you through:

We’ll do the usual shenanigans because, not because there’s gonna be a whole lot there.

What?

Just take the jump.

Hi, this is where the track lives forever!

Where is Freud, indeed?

What is there to say, really? It’s still friggin’ “WORLD END CRISIS”, which frankly only gets better with time and always leaves me waxing what-could-have-been about Peak Codomomental. And they’re all still good! It’s just, there are apogees out there, and you begin to understand the whole thing with Sisyphus once you’ve reached the top of the hill and let that rock slip just the tiniest bit.

This is a good version, though. The shuffling of roles within the song took me a minute to adjust to, but the real highlights here are always the dual screams, and while I’ll admit that I’m waffling on whether my girl Yotsu is in the same position as before or whether she took on the Shidare role, I still think that this sounds like the gold standard for idols shredding their throats to really expose those emotions. What a song.

The remix album is out at the end of July. I hope they give us more on the long road to that point!

I Think Hys Is Gonna Be Fun

Hey, you know what? Let’s do a new idol thing. Haven’t done too much of that lately, but I have minutes and I am motivated!

I like when you guys ping me with idol things. One, I get to vicariously experience your excitement; two, I like learning about new idols, especially now that I don’t get to spend time on the scroll like in the good ol’ days*. So thanks Andrew! We’ve been waiting on this group to make something shareable happen for a very little while, they having very slowly come into being since, well, we’ll get to that part. But January basically. And now they have a true PV!

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So This Is What BiS3 Will Sound Like, Huh?

It was inevitable following the official re-re-launch of BiS that there would be quick next steps. No, I don’t mean the greatest post in the history of idol blogging; I mean a demo of some sort, something that sticks with the WACK playbook to give a taste of what’s to come without actually revealing anything of substance — the members are all still ghosted-out, after all. And that inevitability bore fruit today! This is apparently what we can expect to hear from the re-renewed Brand-new Idol Society:

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