This album cover is what they call a “conversation starter”.
Being the first studio offering by the new line-up of Kunogi, Michelle, Rei-chan, Okaki, Himari and her omniscient hair makes this EP one of the most eagerly awaited releases of the year. Team Homicidols were lucky enough to be blessed with a preview copy (all it cost was my soul but I wasn’t using it much anyway). It’s a diverse set of tracks by fan-favorite songwriters exploring themes of trauma, entropy and conquest alongside the omnipresent influence of Lovecraftian terror. Here’s a sneak peak:
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 contendersAtarashii 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 →
Zetsu is an 18-track epic from two of the greatest warriors in chika idol. Since forming in 2014, Montero and Kai of Zekkyosuru 60 Do, aka Screaming Sixties, have driven enough miles to circumnavigate the globe twice while performing approximately 300 gigs a year. And that isn’t hyperbole.
The next time you find yourself in Japan you can be certain that, somewhere, Screaming Sixties are performing a show and you need to get to whatever city they’re playing in because that’s why they made Shinkansen.
Before I get into the review itself, I want to make sure I don’t bury the lede: This is an essential album that you need to purchase immediately!
If you have any thoughts of picking up Zetsu (and you should), you need to open the website of your Japanese music retailer of choice and order it today. Most sites are starting to flag this CD as back-ordered and, if history repeats itself, once the first pressing of this CD is sold old, the only place you will be able to find it is at a Zekkyo60 live. Also note: most retail sites won’t recognize “Screaming Sixties” as the group name so you will need to search on Zekkyosuru 60 Do or 絶叫する60度 .Continue reading →
The Cyclone is a small black box theater in a Shibuya basement which, according to the posters it uses for wallpaper, has played host to gigs by just about everyone over the past 20 years, including Cthonic, Crossfaith, Abigail Williams and every chika idol unit you’ve ever cared about. This past Saturday, it also hosted Yukueshirezutsurezure’s Emergency One Man Live, the emergency being Futamaruya Shidare’s sudden exit from the group.
The Cyclone’s capacity is 300, which seems to have been determined not by some safety conscious fire marshal, but in response to a challenge to see how many people one could stuff into the space, shoulder-to-shoulder, wall-to-wall.
SAKA-SAMA have been something of a favorite with Team Homicidols since they first formed in 2016, but at the same time, they’ve remained a perplexing enigma of an idol unit. Constantly shifting membership rosters are always part of this territory, but this group seems especially prone to changing it’s line-up with each passing season, with only Kokone and Dr. Mahiru providing consistency as it’s founding members. And the music of SAKA-SAMA, primarily billed as “Low-Fi Dream Pop”, is in truth equally unpredictable, with a wide variety of unique genres and styles that run the gamut of shoegazey indie-pop to oddball quirky country songs and spoken word pieces, making it a rather difficult task to describe what exactly the group does. Mind you, this isn’t a complaint by any means, I’m just trying to clarify why writing about TRASH-UP!!’s in-house idol group is well… quite a challenge.
So after a couple of years of compilation tracks, EPs, singles, and one live recording, SAKA-SAMA have finally released an actual, honest-to-goodness full length album, titled, appropriately enough, “It’s a SAKA-SAMA World’! I’ve been excitedly anticipating this release since the moment it was announced, and I eagerly snatched it from OTOTOY right away. I came to realize quickly that this is an album that, just like anything related to SAKA-SAMA, has certain unique traits that can’t be summed up after a breezy listening session. This is what we call a “grower”, or a “slow-burn”, wherein one must dig in deeply to truly reap the rewards of the listening experience, and develop an opinion based on multiple takes instead of relying on easy gratification.
Here at Homicidols, the only thing we love as much as idols is throwing people into an experience they’ve never had before and get their raw impressions. In this case, our reviewer dived into the freezing waters by himself and we just came by with towels and a warm drink to pick him up. Friday Fun resident contributor Salem Black has graciously accepted to write up a review of the Babymetal comic (Oh? My earpiece is saying it’s a graphic novel). Please enjoy his foray into an unfamiliar medium.
Ok, so I been asked to review the Apocrypha: The Legend of Babymetal comic, I mean graphic novel, by virtue of having ordered a copy. I must admit from the outset that I’m no reader of manga or graphic novels, so I thought I would review this coming from the perspective of a Babymetal fan who will basically buy any merch sold in the West, aside from those t-shirts they sell to coincide with the release of everything and anything, like the official t-shirt of this novel, which I didn’t buy and why I had to read it in the nude (lie).
It’s thanks to Babymetal I discovered this very website and all the wonderful groups it’s brought to my attention since. Just think, if I never spotted a 2016 article about Babymetal performing at some festival in the UK on the BBC website, I would have missed out on so much fantastic music and never got the chance to experience the spectacle of watching Babymetal in front of 50,000 fans at the Tokyo Dome and the strange anticlimactic mood that filled the dome after they failed to make their big announcement at the end of the show. Speaking of an anticlimax, lets see what this comic, I mean graphic novel, is all about! Continue reading →
The latest adventure in the USA with NECRONOMIDOL(This time accompanied by Oyasumi Hologram.) has come to a close! It’s always fun to take in the experience through the eyes of other fellow fans as these shows make their way across the tour, and get a new perspective of these events as other people see them. As circumstances would have it, Team Homicidols was unable to represent at this tour, mainly because real life is stupid and piles on it’s own commitments. Perhaps one day, idols will overthrow the wicked forces that run this world, oppressively placing demands upon us that distract from what’s really important, which is going to idol mass and paying proper respects to our deities.
Until that day happens, we thankfully have wonderful friends of Homicidols like Killer Cashew. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting the Cashew and Asto, his partner in crime, and they’re terrific people who deserve great experiences like this tour. I’m glad that they were able to enjoy the show, and I’m indebted to Mr. Cashew for taking time to contribute an account of the evening in his own words. Let’s read about the fine art and dark visions he witnessed!
Hi, Killer Cashew here. Normally I’m a quiet follower of the Homicidol community, but due to circumstances, none of the usual contributors were able to attend the Oyasumi Hologam/NECRONOMIDOL leg of the crowdfunded world tour. I was asked if I wanted to share some details of my experience and so here we are…
Life’s best pleasures are simple things: Walks in the woods, black coffee, dogs n’ cats, and 45rpm singles. And speaking of singles, Avandoned, the delightful queens of quirk, gave us their second release this year, following up the completely fabulous old-school jam “After School” with their latest offering, “Lemon Peels”.
This is their third single on the terrific Vivid Sound label (the first was the nearly perfect “Donut Friends”), which has produced some bountiful musical fruit for Beni and Kotao. The vinyl-oriented label’s been around since 1973, and with that sort of history and experience, they’ve really shown an understanding for what makes this duo unique and tapped into that by helping them align with label-mates like Magic, Drums, & Love, Monari Wakita, and SOLEIL (although SOLEIL jumped into the majors with Victor Records). With these resources, along with their friendships with great retro-rock bands like LEARNERS and The Childish Tones, Avandoned have really come into their own over the past couple of years, and I think they’ve finally arrived at what is truly their own sound, and not simply the vision of outside producers. Continue reading →
So, it has come to this. As the now-reddish maple leaves are accumulating on the ground, this maiden needs some pick-me ups. And I’ve just found one of the offerings for this fall is most interesting.
As the seasons turn, so does the TV schedule. One of my main para-Homicidols interests being manga (and anime, by extension), I dived into one of the new titles and found myself dumbfounded, as we have the closest thing to an Alt-idol anime there ever was. SO YOU GET A REVIEW.
The title is Zombieland Saga, an original anime series announced this summer as a collaboration between Avex Pictures and Cygames, which just debuted this week. Detailed (spoilerific) synopsis on the first episode under the cut: Continue reading →