avandoned‘s leader-self-producer-and all-around mastermind Beni Usakura enjoyed a surprise hit earlier this year when she collaborated with the toy-instrument garage-punk band CHILDISH TONES! Aside from an acclaimed single, the 45 record sold-out it’s pre-sales, then sold out it’s extended press-run, and eventually got a second pressing to meet it’s demand! Of course it makes sense that the hippest idol in the biz would once again team up with rockin’ist toy band on the planet, and here’s their latest delicious pop nugget for our listening satisfaction!
The A-side is called “Make Her Mine”, and there’s an appropriately lo-fi homemade MV to go along with it…
You may have noticed yesterday that Babymetal — the literal reason for the season, the thing that brought me here, still capable of being the most powerful entity in the universe — dropped another video in the run-up to the impending release of the extremely-anticipated Metal Galaxy album next month. I thought about just tossing a post into the ether in response, but no, friends, the Official Policy of Homicidols Dot Com is that Babymetal is supreme for a reason, and when a thing is supreme and also one of the only reliable cornerstones of the Legends category that sorts our content, that thing deserves more than a hastily scribbled ZOMG reaction. Let’s do whole paragraphs instead!
So the song is “Shanti Shanti Shanti”, which by the title alone would give away a certain touchpoint with the subcontinent; if you’re still unfamiliar, though, and you’re either personally South Asian or as personally adjacent as yours truly, you may find yourself surprised at how few non-Babymetal tropes are actually employed.
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!
Now that it’s completely official, the team of moralists and ethics professors here at Homicidols Dot Com can finally talk out loud and with full candor about the second single dribbled out by Babymetal in the lead-up to their first album in three years. Yeah, we usually don’t care all that much about leaks (especially not “leaks”) in a moral sense — it’s more a “let’s see this the way it’s meant to be seen maybe” thing — but in this case it felt appropriate to hold up a minute and let the chips fall.
It’s been a weird 18 months for Babymetal fans, but as if there were any doubt after “Elevator Girl”, this latest one is as definitive and clear a statement as you’ll get that the greatest show on earth is ready to smash some skulls in as fun a way as possible:
You can do the buy/stream thing here: Continue reading
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:
So we’re in a little bit of an idol lull. Typical for this time of year, sure, and yeah I could probably do more with new debuts don’t you judge me but what I, as a fancy guy with a fancy idol website, really want is to fulfill the mission statement, which is To Uplift Girls in Skirts Who Scream On Stage. However, with a dearth of suitably loud and vicious tunes to celebrate, maybe it’s appropriate to talk directly about the latest from one of the very best things to ever emerge from the primordial chika ooze*, a project still going stronger than most can ever fantasize about and with a higher standard of quality than more than most can hope to achieve. I’m talking about dang You’ll Melt More!, people!(!)
I don’t know why they elected to release this MV yesterday, but it also doesn’t matter why. Did anybody ask Michelangelo why he chiseled the David from a perfect block of marble? Of course not!** So don’t ask the sheer idoling perfection that is You’ll Melt More! why they do a video with magic and a very important guest start. Just enjoy it!
It seems like only last month that BiS split up. Again. And now they’re coming back. Again.
This time we didn’t have to wait first for Pour Lui to get bored of being in an unpopular band; no it will not be long at all until Mr. Watanabe welcomes us back to enjoy BiS and their wonderful world of marathons, audition dramas, similar-sounding songs and marathons.
But while we celebrate their return, let’s also take a chance to look back fondly at the previous incarnations of BiS. Here are 12 facts you never knew about this legendary idol group.
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
Welp, so BiS just disbanded for a second time.
The initial announcement of their disbandment back in March wasn’t really given much coverage on Homicidols, since it also happened to collide with a gazillion other things both in idol and our personal lives, but I think the general reaction of the announcement was certainly one of anger, confusion, and betrayal. It came straight off the heels of the annual shitstorm that is the WACK audition, in which multiple members (and Trivago, back for more) were fired on the spot for what was ultimately a frustrating sideshow. The remaining members had finally had enough and called it quits, with Watanabe immediately holding casting calls for a third incarnation of BiS mere minutes after the previous audition had even ended. Looking back, it was probably a good thing that none of us were able to write about WACK EXHiBiTiON in the end as the resulting article would probably have just been a mess of all-caps angrish and thinly-veiled threats of revenge towards Watanabe. Continue reading
In seems that even in a world where our dearly beloved shoegaze idols have been spirited off the mortal plane, we will (thankfully) never truly be left behind in a totally Dot-chan less world. Even now the ethereal beings slowly unravel little parting gifts that will allow us to continue reaping the rewards of their time on Earth.
The Dots dropped their final album “Points” last week, (along with a 7″ single!) gathering up their remaining unreleased tracks. There will be a review of that album here in the next day or so, so watch out for that a bit later! But let’s talk about this newest offering first…
While “PD” could certainly mean “Post Dots”, in this case, it stands for “Public Domain”, as in certain works in the Dot-chan universe have been placed into the care of all of us. Now before you start pressing your own Dots merch and bootlegs, keep in mind that there’s still ownership and restrictions that apply here!