Update: Now available!
You may have seen this from NECRONOMIDOL:
Yep! The Dark Girls have re-released their NEMESIS album on vinyl through Specific Recordings. That is, the Specific Recordings that’s based in France. That can swing distribution around Europe and the Americas. That … uh …
Hello, what’s this? Continue reading
Rather than recap everything from @JAMxNatalie EXPO, I’m only going to focus on the things that either connected to older bits of news here or turned into points of discussion online. If you’re like, I wish Thing X were up for discussion, leave a comment!
The Fake Four were down to three for most of the last few months when they decided to make all the news at once: bi bi bi bi bi, their third full-length album, was forthcoming; oh and Yasui Yuuhi was definitely out because reasons, and Momose Momo’s sister Akira was going to take her place.
They rolled out the new lineup at JAM and, well: Continue reading
I invited Patrick Kirby, one of the admins of the Idolmetal/Alt-Idol Facebook group, to give his thoughts on Fruitpochette’s recent “Scream~Unlash” maxi single, and a little on the state of Fruitpochette itself. Ping the man here, and remember that you can snag the tunes on iTunes and Google Music.
FruitPochette released a new single last month to go along with debut of a new member at TIF 2016. The new member, Rum, would feature “desubo,” or “death growl.” The new single is titled “Zekkyou ~ Unlash”, “Zekkyou” meaning “Scream.” The single featured one more song with death growl, “Flying~In my dream.” Unfortunately for most of the metalhead FruitPochette fans, Desubo FruitPochette would only last a month.
Now that part is out of the way, I will say the screaming is more background than the feature. The mix has the screaming pushed to the background, and other than that, there is no back and forth. It is pretty much The Shiori Show. Shiori sings lead on every song, and she sounds amazing. Despite the difference of no back and forth singing, and the addition of desubo, this sounds like the same FruitPochette we all know from the previous releases.
Now for my track by track take on the EP. Continue reading
We’re big fans of iCON DOLL LOUNGE around here, given that it’s become a great venue for the kinds of idols we appreciate while giving them a chance to, you know, idol a little bit and do a fashion show in addition to performance. Our friend @DaeMetal is in Tokyo for a little something happening next week and taking in all the shows we wish we could see, and he very kindly contributed this report in the forums:
I regularly question why I’m so intrigued by these idols and this music. Especially since, for me, one of the key characteristics of a good musician is the ability to pull off what they do in a studio in a live setting. So, on this visit to Japan, I decided to put it to the test and see just how well these idol units who have somehow gotten their hooks into my soul hold up on stage. iCON DOLL Lounge provided the perfect opportunity to kick it all off with 14 groups (not all of whom would make the Homicidol playlist) performing over the course of six hours.
Read the whole thing, and let Daemon know that you appreciate the contribution. I sure do!
For all of the chaotic good news surrounding the return of BiS to actual existence, the first major-label release of their official successor, BiSH, almost managed to fly under the radar. Hell, even the introduction (and subsequent Internet love-in) of Ayuni D seems to have gotten more hype. And the one-day bonus sale pre-release of KiLLER BiSH actually garnered complaints from people — I’ve seen everything from “it’s a cheap stunt” to “why are you such a rip-off, Watanabe?” — and warranted official replies from BiSH on Twitter.
I hope everybody has a chance to clear their heads and shut up for a second so they can listen to this album. (Also, the lyrics are available here if you can Japanese.)
It’s BiSH’s third full album release, all in a span of roughly 16 months (insane), which also includes the “OTNK” and “DEADMAN” singles, which is remarkable; considering that they tour pretty much constantly, it’s almost impossible in fact. For the sheer number of songs now in their discography, plus the schedule and move to a major label, one could be forgiven for thinking that they’d be toning it down. The same was expressed around “DEADMAN,” for which “toned down” is not something you’d use as a description. But this is an album, a major investment by a label that knows what it’s doing.
Basically, did KiLLER BiSH deliberately get a little lost in the shuffle? Or is it delivering on BiSH’s burgeoning promise?
GUESS YOU’LL JUST HAVE TO READ THE REVIEW! Continue reading
Though the digital files for the three tracks on this double-A side from tortured yami-kawaii nymphs Yukueshirezutsurezure found their way into my inbox, I ultimately didn’t have time to handle a review. Fortunately for us all, Tsurezure mega-fan Phillter, who is now living the dream in Japan, was more than happy to step to the plate.
That one band with a super long name, Yu-something-something. The little sisters of the Queens of Yami-Kawaii, Zenbu Kimi no Sei da.
If you frequent this site (or the Idol Metal communities in general), then you should be very familiar with this band of four. When they first marched on the scene back in late 2015, no one quite knew what to think of them, but the general consensus was that they were something to keep an eye on. The name alone was something to stick with you … if you could pronounce it!
The haunting, lilting melodies that suddenly threw the listener into a panic with growled vocals and screams of frustration and rage were a combination no other band in the genre had attempted to quite that extent before. It was that combination of lullaby and nightmare fuel that intrigued many a fan, including yours truly, to become an Aquamarine (the name of their fans). So it will be no big surprise when I say that I loved this record. Continue reading
In J-school (that’s “journalism school,” not “Japan school,” you weirdos), they talk about headlines that pretty much say exactly what the story is about. I didn’t go to J-school, but I did just that anyway!
So Bellring Girls Heart, the twisted little alt-rock ravens who are easy to love if you like to be challenged and/or love your rock music to come from Great Britain at any point after about 1960 and the earlier the better, and easy to hate if you like things like vocals being on pitch and being the kind of person who chronically misses the point, officially release their best-of album today. BEST BRGH covers really just a slice of their large, varied catalog, with vocals re-recorded with the current members (and they’ve had a lot of members!).
And because Japan has a culture of physical media being important, many groups will happily toss their music onto Soundcloud or other channels, and we benefit. Because, see, the headline. Continue reading
Hauptharmonie is one of the most unique musical projects I’ve ever come across. Self-described as idols that exist outside of this Warring Idols Period, with a sound that knows no era, they can be music for everybody and almost nobody all at the same time; I’ve described their sound as “music for music lovers.”
Accordingly, I’m completely and totally in love with them. They’re the soundtrack to chain-smoking your way through a bad divorce in your office building’s basement gin joint. I want them to bring their faux-demure-barefoot-angry-flapper selves to this country to play the New Orleans Jazz Fest and blow people’s minds.
A while back, Phillter translated into Japanese a request letter that I could send to idol managers; there’s this here website, and you’re covered on it, and I’d really like to write a review of your next release, so would you please consider sending a press copy of it? Most don’t reply, but some do, and Hauptharmonie’s reply was absolutely gracious and generous. For enabling the acquisition and because Hauptharmonie is impossibly cool, Phillter wondered if he could contribute to this review, and to that I say sure.
So. On to the review!
Courtesy of our friend Pascal, here’s a review of Metal Resistance in the French J-culture magazine Coyote:
Musical phenomenon, to some, just a curiosity to others, Babymetal represents the unnatural union of J-Pop and extreme metal ! ie three kawaï female singers performing bouncy melodies over sharp riffs, furious blast-beats and salient electro sounds provided by a harsh metal band ! As amazing as it seems, this system goes full speed, and this second album, in its way of exploring different styles (heavy, thrash, black, speed), is terribly efficient – despite a few errors of taste and an inevitably too clean production.
When Pascal shared this, his comments were interesting and on point: It’s weird how this review isn’t just late to the party in how it exists, but in how it seems to barely understand this whole “baby metal” thing that just so happened to be in France for the third year in a row; like, do you want to review the album in context? discuss the actual cultural phenomenon? anything? The last time our kind of idols appeared in Coyote, the context felt right; not so here.
There might be a point here about how things like this show that our Babybubble might actually have more fixed walls than we think, that every Late Show or Golden Gods appearance is countered by the raw cultural weight of so many other things enjoyed in preference by several hundred more people, and that, for every what feels like a step forward for the hard side of idol in the West, there’s still a massive amount of ignorance and even hostility.
There also might be a point here about lazy writers, short-sighted editors and/or the restrictions of print formats.
If you’re something of a heavy idol regular, you know Guso Drop, and nothing about this should come as any surprise to you; if you’re new to Guso Drop or relatively unfamiliar with them,
what’s the matter with you you can use this as a starting-off point: Earlier this year, when BiSH announced a ban on certain rowdiness at their live shows, Guso Drop decided to stay true to their underground, punk-as-fuck core and proclaimed that not only would they never dream of doing such a thing, but they were henceforward therefore to be considered the heaviest idols in the world. Continue reading