When future music historians look back at the history of the genre the English-speaking world, for lack of a better term, generally refers to as “Alternative Idol”, the decade of 2010 to 2020 will be seen as foundational. Underground idol in Japan has been around since at least the late 90s, hard rock composers were penning songs for idol units in the mid 2000s, and indie idol has probably existed since the birth of the idol genre itself. However, it was the year 2010 when the momentum of disparate events would begin to coalesce and eventually define the broad genre we know and love today. That year’s creation and subsequent seismic success of BiS and BABYMETAL would inspire the formation of hundreds of punk and metal idol units. At the same time, the zeitgeist of the early 2010s independently birthed several other less prominent but just as significant influences. Bellring Girls Heart, You’ll Melt More, Especia and others emerged to embrace an edgier and more avant-garde approach to idol, crafting the sounds and sensibilities of post- and pop-punk, new wave, techno and progressive rock into something entirely new. These early groups inspired both creative composers and adventurous music fans to embrace independent and underground idol as an effective medium for expressing almost every subgenre of rock, hip hop and electronica. Over the past decade, alternative Japanese idol has grown into a world class laboratory for the creation of some of the most innovative music on the planet. Continue reading
It all started simply enough. Around midnight Tokyo time, BABYMETAL dropped an MV for “BxMxC”, their nu-metal banger that was exclusively released as part of the domestic (Japan) version of METAL GALAXY almost one year ago today. While BABYMETAL have been feeding us performance videos on the regular, we have to go back almost two years to the release of “Starlight” for the group’s last true MV, and all the way back to 2016’s “KARATE” to see an MV featuring the members themselves. This made it a brutally refreshing departure to see SU-METAL literally spit fire in this Mortal Kombat meets 8 Mile mash-up.
“BxMxC” is now available digitally worldwide.
Shortly thereafter, they also released a BxMxC special edition t-shirt which sold out in about three seconds so don’t even bother searching for the link. But if you still feel an itch to spend money on BABYMETAL, they got you covered. Just a few hours later, they dropped the motherload: Continue reading
So you’ve probably seen the news, that BABYMETAL, who through no fault of their own have had their entire reason for being (big-ass live shows) ripped out from under them, are going to release their very own version of a double-live gonzo album next week:
”LEGEND – METAL GALAXY” LIVE ALBUM will be digitally available worldwide on September 9th, 2020
— BABYMETAL (@BABYMETAL_JAPAN) September 2, 2020
This was already announced a while ago, Twitter-diving shows, but it’s new to me dammit!
Good. Great. Grand. Wonderful. This is very much a Weekender item. So why am I blogging a whole-ass post out for it? Because, starters, it’s been a minute since the last time we had good reason to post a BABYMETAL thing, and also because I have now listened to the previews and deemed them good, and because today is a very special day, my very own Fox Day if you will, as it is the sixth anniversary of my first BABYMETAL experience (it was “Megitsune”), which is almost as life-defining as the time I decided to strike up a conversation with the person to whom I am now engaged to be married and also very easy to remember because it’s my brother’s birthday. So in honor of the unofficial beginning of Maniac and the eventual establishment of ye olde website, I blog a BABYMETAL post. Continue reading
Hey, do you guys remember IRONBUNNY? I sure do, and even though I ultimately wasn’t moved to make them a proper Homicidols Big Deal, things changed when they popped up in the Western metal press:
— MetalSucks (@metalsucks) December 16, 2019
I’ve had them on speed dial for the past week because I noticed on Twitter that they’d recorded an MV, which I took to be an almost dead certainty that we’d be getting that MV in due time, and sure enough it happened! It’s a good song, and what incredible timing, considering that I hadn’t had a chance to write up the latest BABYMETAL MV yet but still intended to do so — but would life really be best served with two separate posts about idol metal that has happened to connect to one degree or another in the West, or would things be much more fun than to smash those two things together into a single empty competition? You know the answer by now! Continue reading
You may have noticed yesterday that Babymetal — the literal reason for the season, the thing that brought me here, still capable of being the most powerful entity in the universe — dropped another video in the run-up to the impending release of the extremely-anticipated Metal Galaxy album next month. I thought about just tossing a post into the ether in response, but no, friends, the Official Policy of Homicidols Dot Com is that Babymetal is supreme for a reason, and when a thing is supreme and also one of the only reliable cornerstones of the Legends category that sorts our content, that thing deserves more than a hastily scribbled ZOMG reaction. Let’s do whole paragraphs instead!
So the song is “Shanti Shanti Shanti”, which by the title alone would give away a certain touchpoint with the subcontinent; if you’re still unfamiliar, though, and you’re either personally South Asian or as personally adjacent as yours truly, you may find yourself surprised at how few non-Babymetal tropes are actually employed.
On night one of BABYMETAL AWAKENS – The Sun Also Rises at Yokohama arena, KOBAMETAL woke up and realized he had forgotten to tell anyone when the group’s new album was being released. Shortly following Friday night’s show, he finally announced:
METAL GALAXY, BABYMETAL’s third album, will be released on October 11th 2019. This date coincides with their first-ever U.S arena show at the Forum in Los Angeles.
3rd アルバム『METAL GALAXY』発売決定DEATH！！
— BABYMETAL (@BABYMETAL_JAPAN) June 28, 2019
The 16-track album will come in at least seven flavors:
- Limited SUN version – (2CD / Analog size jacket) – ¥ 4,500
- Limited MOON edition – (2CD / Analog size jacket) – ¥ 4,500
- Limited edition – (2CD + DVD) – ¥ 4,200
- Normal edition – (2CD) – ¥ 3,500
- Analog version – (2Vinyl) – ¥ 5,000
- THE ONE Limited Edition- (2CD + DVD) – ¥ 9,000 + THE ONE fan club membership
- A transparent vinyl version has also popped up on the English language store.
Now that it’s completely official, the team of moralists and ethics professors here at Homicidols Dot Com can finally talk out loud and with full candor about the second single dribbled out by Babymetal in the lead-up to their first album in three years. Yeah, we usually don’t care all that much about leaks (especially not “leaks”) in a moral sense — it’s more a “let’s see this the way it’s meant to be seen maybe” thing — but in this case it felt appropriate to hold up a minute and let the chips fall.
It’s been a weird 18 months for Babymetal fans, but as if there were any doubt after “Elevator Girl”, this latest one is as definitive and clear a statement as you’ll get that the greatest show on earth is ready to smash some skulls in as fun a way as possible:
You can do the buy/stream thing here: Continue reading
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 contenders Atarashii 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
It ain’t exactly new anymore, folks, but various proto-iterations of “Babymetal Does X” have been sitting in the drafts queue and just teasing our itchy trigger fingers for the past couple of days, and the whole reason that neither Daemon nor I had hit Publish yet was because we were waiting on a dang MV that still isn’t out so TO HELL WITH IT, LET’S JUST DO THE DANG BABYMETAL POST!
So if you Weekender, you saw my brief reference to the weird feeling of seeing Babymetal making kind of a triumphant return in the same week that BiS was disbanded. That is, the two very loud, expectation-subverting idol-related things that got me into this, the first two (and I believe only in toto) to be granted the Legends tag in this WordPress configuration, easily the two biggest influences on the whole basis for this website and everything it cares about coming into existence in the first place, are going their separate ways not so much like a Journey song but more like Lyft’s and Uber’s respective IPOs, if you know what I’m saying.
Anyway, Babymetal is roaring back into your life (as if they ever really left!) with, on top of that album “soon,” the first single from it released digitally a couple of days ago and frustratingly difficult to access at first, actually, but now all hunky dory!
— BABYMETAL (@BABYMETAL_JAPAN) May 9, 2019
Obviously go buy the thing (that album’s still somewhere off in the future!), but you can also listen to it right here:
The Fox God has spoken!! In the past 24 hours we have received (official) word of major U.S. and U.K. shows plus the release of BABYMETAL’s first new music of 2019.
BABYMETAL will be playing their first headlining U.S. arena show at The Forum in Los Angeles this coming October. The kitsune faithful were given all of 24 hours to prepare their wallets for VIP pre-sale tickets which are available this morning at 10:00 am PDT.
First ever US arena headline show is confirmed!
BABYMETAL "LIVE AT THE FORUM"
Oct 11th, 2019 : The Forum（LA）
— BABYMETAL (@BABYMETAL_JAPAN) April 22, 2019
If simply being present wasn’t enough of a draw for you, every online ticket purchase for the L.A. Forum appearance comes with a CD copy of BABYMETAL’s forthcoming 2019 album which still doesn’t have an exact release date. This method of driving album sales is probably something they picked up while touring with the Red Hot Chili Peppers and/or Metallica who often do they same thing. It seemed a bit tricksy to me until I remembered the twelve copies of BiSH’s PAiNT it BLACK I had to buy to get checki tickets (worth it!)
BABYMETAL have played the L.A. Forum once before over the summer of 2017 while opening for Korn and Stone Sour. While this October performance will mark their first time headlining an arena show in the United States, they have headlined an arena outside of Japan once before. That was, of course, 2016’s record-setting appearance at Wembley arena in the U.K. to launch their last album, Metal Resistance.
Speaking of the U.K., they will be getting their own show this June:
Special Show In London With Two Guests At O2 Brixton Academy Confirmed!
Jul 2nd : O2 Brixton Academy, UK
Guest : AMARANTHE / SLEEP TOKEN
General On Sale: 10am Apr 26th
— BABYMETAL (@BABYMETAL_JAPAN) April 23, 2019
Tickets go on sale tomorrow.
BABYMETAL also officially announced the worldwide digital release of the single, “Elevator Girl” on May 10th.
The song debuted almost exactly a year ago on the U.S. leg of their 2018 World Tour. It is an upbeat prog-rock meets groove metal tune (think Toto meets Five Finger Death Punch) with ample English in the lyrics for folks to sing along to.
This will be the first new music from the group since the criminally underrated “Starlight” was released last October.