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 →
I don’t know when the idol underground first really started to make figurative noise (as opposed to literal), but there is a backwards throughline from the present day to 2010 and the foundation of BiS.
Forgive me just the second of indulgence; this is Screaming Sixties’ profile, after all. But I’m digging into history for illustrative purposes. BiS made the scene start to blow up, and Babymetal (simultaneously) showed the actual versatility of idols to audiences that might not have wanted to have anything to do with hard music or idols. Time went on, and while the indies were populated with everything from dance-and-DJ units to rock units to hardcore units and on and on, agencies large and small started to experiment with the harder sound, too.
Not everything was successful. That’s impossible. But plenty of it was and is successful, and while more and more live bands were being added to live idol performances, it stood to reason that some band at some point would flip the switch — rather than be called up to support idols, why not create and work with idols of their own?
So insert 6% Is Mine, a pretty good punk band in their own rights. I don’t know their reasoning, but they made the connection and decided to put together an idol unit that would front their own band. After a bit of a search, they settled on Miss Kai and Miss Montero, dubbed the Screaming Sixties, or Zekkyousuru 60do, after the powerfully windy latitudes in the southern ocean.
That video was released in August 2015, and the subsequent months have seen the Sixties tear up the scene with high-energy punk rock shows bolstered by one of the most un-idol looks going and a complete embrace of pure punk fury.
For independent and small agency idols, there is a pressure to record and get CDs and merchandise out there for the fans quickly, so it’s not terribly surprising that Screaming Sixties put out a live DVD (with 6% Is Mine), plus their official debut single and EP, in December 2015. But, thanks to working with a well-established band that is absolutely no joke, they got to release serious quality.
This is a very good song, is the thing.
That’s what an upward trajectory sounds like.
It’s going to be interesting to see what lies ahead for Zekkyousuru 60do. Other tracks on their debut are quite good …
… so it stands to reason that they’ll be able to keep cranking out high-quality punk rock that just so happens to have idols as singers, similarly to how Babymetal has evolved into being a heavy metal idol-singing dance unit and left their J-poppier side more in the margins. To be honest, this Maniac thinks that’s the model for the future, and the more, the merrier.