Here I Go on a Whole Dang BiSH Thing Again

Struggling … to not make … color puns …

By now, friends, I’m sure that you’ve seen (or at least know that you need to see) the MV for BiSH’s new single “PAiNT IT BLACK”, so yes, while you can in fact look at it right down there before these words, I got all Maniac about it after the jump. Depending on how much you like or hate column inches being sacrificed to the gods of the Hot Take, you may or may not want to take that jump!

First, song and MV. I’ve still been holding out hope that this song was going to be a cover of the Rolling Stones classic (or at least throw it a bone), maybe do some visual callbacks like staging the MV at a funeral, etc., but it’s not to be the case:


It’s official: I’m exhausted with Kentacore. Or, more accurately, I’m bored with Kentacore, or what Kentacore has become — a standardized, formulaic, templated version of writing punk-inspired idol rock. Yeah, the song’s fine in that it does everything that it’s supposed to do, it sounds right, it’ll sell an adequate number of copies, Avex will be pleased, etc. Hell, because BiSH’s B-sides are almost always gold, I’m going to get it no matter how much I kvetch. And I figure that I can’t expect too awful much from a theme song (lots of extra hands in that pot).

But dang, you guys, I really wish that BiSH — really, Watanabe and SCRAMBLES — hadn’t settled on “fine,” and did better than painting by numbers.*

I left that whole BiSH-painted-black thing the hell alone and am still glad for it. I do however think that Watanabe has either run out of ideas, or he’s being given very little to work with in terms of generating buzz for his flagship project on account of needing to keep it within safe, well-defined boundaries. Yeah, we’re not even a year removed from the members going on a liberating shooting spree, and only a few months off from a (PG-13) femdom MV, but tell me that I’m crazy when I say that the past year, from “Promise the Star” to now, hasn’t been a long process of gradually blunting BiSH’s edges. Even the album, while deservedly well-received, was more a collection of mostly nice songs than the assault that was KiLLER BiSH just a year earlier. These are the idols who were once treated to sewage bukakke, for french’s sake; now their primary MVs default to sweeping high-angle shots of dancing in isolating confines. BiSH is becoming Bon Jovi.

Of course, for that, I’m ultimately looking less directly at WACK and SCRAMBLES and making sure that Avex is the greater focal point in the background, but that’s a thing for another day. Suffice it to say, I want my Punk Band Without A Band back. More “DEADMAN” and less “My landscape”, please and thanks.

There, managed to get the pun in there

6 thoughts on “Here I Go on a Whole Dang BiSH Thing Again

  1. There’s this denpa influence that showed up in the background of a bunch of tracks on Guerrilla BiSH and continues here right at the 5 second mark. It is straight out of generic, anisong J-pop and there is nothing all that interesting about it. This song still gives the girls’ signature voices a chance to shine which is nice, but not much else stands out. I mean, the bridge is just the chorus at a slower tempo, so they aren’t even really trying to do anything interesting. BiSH doesn’t have to be all post-punk for me (I actually really like the symphonic prog rock of Landscape and Orchestra) but this denpa-based stuff just bores me.

  2. Yeah this song is not very good. Weirdly I thought Kenta was on a bit of a roll recently, with Gang Parade’s ‘Breaking The Road’ and Empire’s ’Akarui Mirai’ being particular favs of mine, but he does seem to have settled into a worryingly boring template for BiSH songs. Ah well at least Ayuni is looking super hot in the MV!

  3. Bland-new idol SHit makes that dolla dolla bill y’all.
    Probably shouldn’t expect much change while that remains the case..

  4. I think you’re looking at it a bit too cynically.

    For one, Watanabe wants successful acts with legs, which is what every management company/label wants; I don’t care what grassroots stance you take, you aren’t going to survive as a brand or label without that. Back with BiS and early BiSH, the key to that success was controversy, and in turn, publicity. However, like the punk music that “Deadman” is a call back to, success via controversial publicity has a short ceiling and next to no longevity. Hardcore punk died because there’s no room for progress, as the musicians who created it *weren’t actually musicians at all*; that was the entire point. In a recent interview, the interviewer specifically asks Watanabe why he’s drifted away from the risky, controversial style of promotion, and he admits that he stopped once he realized it wasn’t necessary anymore; it’s more dangerous than lucrative at this point in time.

    As for the music itself, I think you’re misremembering Killer Bish, because it and Guerrilla have almost identical tracklistings, in terms of the amount of “assault” tracks vs. “comfort” tracks; I mean hell, Sharr is their most aggressive to date.

    As for this particular track, I just view it as it’s what it’s supposed to be: an anime opening; that’s what it was commissioned for and why it exists at all, which does tie into my only problem with it: why has it now been released as a single twice? I bought it the first time, but this time around I just bought schoolyard because *why was it released twice??* And the video is just so odd and awkward, as noted by many people in the YouTube comments. hahaha (though it’s my understanding that it was done by a film student? i could be lost in translation there, but that’d grant more leniency in my eyes)

    BiSH are domestically rising, fast. They signed to a major label one year after forming, and sold out Yokohama Arena at barely three years old, both of which faster than Babymetal, and that’s partially because of not solely relying on controversy or punk. Their accessibility is the key to their success and growth, and Watanabe knows that.

    There will never be another Babymetal, in terms of unprecedented global takeover; they were a once in a lifetime enigma, so in order for BiSH to achieve that level of global achievement, they have to dominate at home first, which is exactly what they’re doing. The punk element that sold me and you and others is still there, it’s just “on deck” while they gain momentum with more standard material, which is smart because straight up punk grants no room for growth. Given how aggressive ALL the girls have become live, I imagine their next record is going to be their most intense work.

    Maybe we just won’t see eye to eye on this, as I’m not at all an idol fan and you are, and that’s fine! Different strokes to move the world, for sure, and we all have our own tastes. I just think that it’s a bit questionable to crucify an act and its management for taking the smartest options at any given time.

    I will say, BiSH won’t realize their full potential until they have a full time backing band. That’s just fact.

    /end novel


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