Let’s kick this off by acknowledging that probably nobody in idol is as regularly loud as Broken By The Scream. Only a few units ever have had such a go-for-broke musical style, and I can’t think of any that employed dual high-low harsh vocalists. This makes BBTS unique, and they’ve parlayed being loud, good, and atypical into a certain modicum of popularity. Nobody disputes this.
The big question is, with their first full-length album now on the way, are they ready to take the next step and become something bigger, something more than the niche they currently fill?
— 激ロック (@gekirock) June 11, 2018
What a title, for one thing, and please tell me that this is going to be a concept album in which the titular alien (portrayed in most songs by Kagura) crash-lands on earth and, being remarkably humanoid, is able to observe and discern the vicissitudes of human existence in a manner not unlike Hamlet’s prince-turned-fool spying on those who betrayed his father, reporting through musical narrative her changed understanding of herself and her society.* That’d be stellar.**
I wanted to call it out because things feel pretty ripe for BBTS right now. Their EP was really good, and they’re appearing in the milieu that’s frankly probably the best for them right now, with other idols, yes, but also THE Natsu no Mamono and more band-centric projects, on top of more bands. If it’s true that management has more of a song-and-dance-than-idol approach planned for them, that’s fine, as the number of genuine metal units is not large, and the number of those that make a real name for themselves is even smaller; what matters (to me) is that BBTS reaches their ceiling, which is quite high, and avoids falling into a rut, which is all too easy when your industry’s economic model says to keep doing the things that people like. And if BBTS can make that kind of a move (say, perhaps, with this album!) and can reach toward their creative-and-good ceiling while building a bigger base of fans, it might be their breakout point.
Or maybe it’s early yet! Or maybe there isn’t a moment to be had, because life is cruel and meaningless. I just feel like there’s a sizable audience out there for Broken By The Scream — idol fans, metal fans and even people who aren’t really either just yet — and that they’re in a position to take it if they want it.
*An earlier draft featured a turn to all-out nihilism until Kagura’s alien witnessed the birth of a child, whereupon she realized that there is meaning and joy in this life after all
**That’s a pun