You Review Things: Party Rockets GT | “Time of Your Life”

Cover of Party Rockets GT's Time of Your Life album

A few weeks ago, our pal dofphoto was like, “I can do reviews” and I was like “show me” and he was like “okay.” I’m not rescinding the pleasure responsibility necessarily, but I also know that other folks have a tendency to get music that I don’t, and is nothing if not service-oriented. And so, after some negotiating, here’s dofphoto!

I have a long fan history with Party Rockets. In particular, Yoshiki Haruka. From the dark back part of the stage, Haruka stepped out into the light and took control of what could have been an international rock/pop group. Unfortunately, the trend for graduations within the Party Rockets camp left Haruka and Fumika abandoned to the point that Fumika publicly cried, voicing uncertainty about the future of their beloved group and the fantastic songs they would leave behind. Continue reading


I Review Things: Yukueshirezutsurezure | “Post-Catastrophe”

Other than Babymetal’s Metal Resistance, I don’t know if I had more eagerly awaited an album in 2016. In absolute terms, “meteoric” isn’t a great way to describe Yukueshirezutsurezure’s rise, but in terms of awareness (at least among our kind) and rapidly defining a sound and attitude, they ran a marathon in a short while, only just failing keeping up with their equally compelling big sisters in Zenbu Kimi no Sei Da in total releases.

So yes, I anticipated that this was going to be a definitive album. I had such high expectations of it that, like a former jock parent who just can’t let go, I’m probably being a little bit unfair to the work, which should always be taken as it is rather than as I or anybody else want it to be. Nonetheless, I gotta be honest: I’ve struggled with this one. Continue reading


People Review Things: GANG PARADE | “Barely Last”

I really thought I was going to review Billie Idle’s bi bi bi bi bi by now, and then I didn’t and now what would be the point, really, so I was going to turn my attention to GANG PARADE and Barely Last, but a certain someone named Garry WHO HAPPENS TO BE IN JAPAN RIGHT NOW LIKE A JERK took care of it for us.

And thank goodness! We’ve already heard all of the songs and been snarky about the lineup stuff — galore! — and I’ve made mini-reviews of most of it, so did you really want to read me? You did not.

Garry, on the other hand, pinky-swore upon the holy book of your choice that he was listening with completely open ears, so the perspective from is an impeccable one. Continue reading


I Review Things: Yanakoto Sotto Mute | “Sealing EP”

It’s not a secret that I’m super-duper excited about the launch of Yanakoto Sotto Mute. Grunge idols from the people who brought us Bellring Girls Heart! That’s pretty much guaranteed to be right up Maniac’s alley. And their first EP, 8CM EP, proved that this was a project way the hell on the right track; hard alt-rock with well-matched vocals and members who put on as elegant and artistic a stage show as you’ll see in idol.

Their big sisters are going on hiatus, and Yanamyu are being featured in the farewell tour. With the opportunity to share a big stage in front of a big audience, can they take a big step up after just a few months of existence and become a player in the alt-idolverse? Can their second EP (available for free until the 26th!) follow up on the promise shown in the first and equip the group for what’s to come?

Guess you’ll have to read the whole thing. Continue reading


People Review Things: Idol Is Shit on Q’ulle’s “OVER THE HOPE”

You guys know me: I love me some Q’ulle. We even get to breathe a sign of relief that what could have been an imminent demise is, instead, a new beginning. That paints their recently released second album, Over the Hope, into a completely different kind of context; rather than be the death rattle of a fast-rising, talent-out-the-wazoo rock idol unit, it’s just the end of a chapter in what we can hope will be a significant career.

I’m going to download this album. I’m going to enjoy this album. And I’d love to review this album! But then I saw that it was again tackled by the very capable hands of our friend Garry MacKenzie, who not only helped to drive the Know Your BiStory series, but incidentally wrote another Q’ulle review that I shamelessly ripped off. So precedent is set!

What does Garry have to say about OVER THE HOPE? Continue reading


I Review Things: PassCode | ‘MISS UNLIMITED’

Covert art of Japanese idolcore digital EDM clubcore idol group PassCode's MISS UNLIMITED single

I never thought I’d review a single; I just didn’t see the point. And yeah, “MISS UNLIMITED” is listed on iTunes as an EP, but it’s three songs and an air vocals version of the title track, and that’s a single in my book.

So why would I bother reviewing this one? A lot of reasons, actually: Because there’s an ongoing discussion around whether idols other than Babymetal can achieve crossover success in the West; because PassCode is among the most cited and seen when newcomers go looking for “what else is like this”; because I felt like it; and so on.

This is PassCode’s major label debut. It’s available internationally via iTunes (and probably other mechanisms, too, eventually). It’s already available in Europe and soon will be in North America. This might not be going all-in, but it’s a move aiming at international audiences.

The question then becomes whether it’s actually any good.  Continue reading


You Should Add NECRONOMIDOL Vinyl to Your Collection

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


JAM Recap: Like Tee-ball, Everybody Gets a Trophy!

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!

Billie Idle

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


Fruitpochette Full Circle? The End Is the Beginning Is the End

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.

Cover art for Japanese idol metal group Fruitpochette's 'Scream~Unlash' maxi single

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


A Fan’s View of the iCON DOLL LOUNGE

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!