Look at MANACLE Out Here Playing for Keeps

I remember coming back from hiatus last summer and getting run through the various goings-on in idol over those several months out. Graduations? So many! Debuts? Some good ones! Almost the entire membership of an iconic chika unit graduating en masse, reuniting with an old friend and starting something completely new? True as can be!

So yeah, following MANACLE from what you might call a curious distance for the last little while has been an interesting experience. Once I heard that the tea spilled over Okaki et al’s exodus was pretty tepid, I settled myself into a “this is fine” kind of scenario, like not really caring how or why but just accepting the reality of it all and hoping for the best overall. NECRONOMIDOL has obviously had some challenges; MANACLE, despite the circumstances, is plugging along and building momentum, and the release of their first album is occasion for a real-deal MV to show off what they can do:

That’s some quality work right there. You don’t hear quite so much of this take on idorock so much anymore, like it’s on the heavier end without being heavy-heavy, and it’s synthy enough that you might mentally file it under some kind of -wave designation, and it’s got a great hook that practically makes you give up and call it a pop song. Give me more of it, preferably via IV. Continue reading

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Let’s Discover Some Idols: Finally

The joke doesn’t land half as well as I wish it did

Yes, let us discover some idols! Or, in this case, re-discover some idols that we already knew and liked but now have a new wrapper. LET’S DISCOVER A BRAND. Or I guess the new product launched in direct competition to the original by people most intimate to it. The Oreo cookies, if you will, of idol.

You may remember a little project going back a couple of years, the not-quite-sung-enough 143, who we recently learned were going kaput. Bummer! And then suddenly one day idols associated with a new thing started to show up in my feed, people who I already followed despite not, uh, completely knowing who or what the heck or why. That does happen, this being idol and all! So I put a pin in it, as they say, and waited to see what happened. And what happened was our old pal Jul messaged to say, hey, have you seen this new idol group, they’re the 143 members who went their own way and are now self-produced. And I said, ah ha! It makes sense now!

And so, finally, Finally (Twitter): Continue reading

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Old School Idolcore Fans, Come Enjoy the 340.29m/s EP with Me

Without quite going right back over the same kind of territory that I covered in my original Let’s Discover of these folks, I say again that I loved me some sugartrap, and while 340.29m/s isn’t a 1:1 there, they’re still in the same musical tradition, which is to say idolcore from that glorious 2014-17(?) period when the synths were as heavy as the percussion and the shark hadn’t quite been jumped just yet. Yes, of course some groups were better than others in the first place, and the ones that did rise from the chika morass to make something more of themselves than a handful of CD-Rs and hundreds if not thousands of stilted cheki usually did so on the backs of bigger funding and a running start, but to me idolcore (and I specifically mean this exact flavor of idolcore) is and will always be the sound of Getting Into Idol.

Not a whole lot of groups are still doing it, though, is the point. There are a few, for sure, but even the remnants of acts from that era have either moved on musically or moved up, if you get my meaning. Idol’s a business, after all, and even the most meager of amateur friends-on-a-lark acts would probably prefer to do things that people want to see and hear. And that, for me, is part of the charm of the idolcore die-hards — they’re like Saxon or (gods help us all) Whitesnake in that they could stop at any time, but there are still enough fans to support them that there’s really no reason to change.

This post was supposed to be more of a celebration of 340.29m/s and the release of the record and I went and turned it into a backhanded celebration of commitment. So let’s re-tool real quick-like and actually listen to the dang record! Which those of you who nodded at any point in the preceding two paragraphs will probably like a whole lot if you haven’t already given it several spins! But I think you’ll agree with me that, while the sound is a certain kind of nostalgic, it’s also fresh and good. Continue reading

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Have We Really Not Said Anything about the TOKYO TEFUTEFU Stuff?

Whoops! We here on Team Homicidols are obviously supporters of Codomomental, including and especially the artists employed therein. It is therefore an all-time embarrassment when we, uh, kind of forget to do something with a Codomomental release because *brain fart*. It’s only been a week but what with various other goings on it does feel a little bit more. So here we go.

Hey! Remember how Codomomental debuted two projects in the past six or so months, and one of them is clearly further along than the other for they have two singles and a whole-ass album out, and that one is TOKYO TEFUTEFU? You do — cool. So yeah, that album’s out now, and therefore the boss was obliged to drop an MV to support the release, and to my complete lack of surprise it was for their best song to date, and … here you go!

Continue reading

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Wherein One SHINGEKI MV Stands In for All SHINGEKI MVs

So the other day, doop-dee-doop and all that, I see that one of my all-time anti-favorite acts in idol had a new MV. Should I write about it? I thought. Should I see what it’s like before making a call on that? That seemed wise. But then again, the artist in question, most easily referred to in their preferred shorthand — that is, SHINGEKI — you almost always know exactly what you’re getting, the only questions being left to the finer details. And so I thought, ah, let’s just Weekender that stuff again, nobody will miss it. BUT, friends, a different kind of realization struck me. See, it’s been some time since SHINGEKI came into our lives, and there have no doubt been hundreds of you whose journey into idol started after that and potentially even after this website stopped automatically posting every dang thing they did, so:

I decided that maybe, maybe just this time, I could try to fulfill the purpose of this website and put some context to the … I actually don’t know how to describe the way I usually respond to and consider SHINGEKI stuff. It’s almost always enjoyable if you can put away particular expectations other than “expect anything”; it’s almost always “good” in the sense that whichever musical elements they’re randomly slamming together sound nice and even sometimes tie together well; nonetheless, could I be accused of disparagement when it comes to SHINGEKI, something that would rise above light, good-natured teasing perhaps all the way to outright mockery? It’s all on the table, folks. But this post isn’t to recapitulate past observances, it’s to give those of you who either don’t know this wild-ass project or have only encountered it in snips and/or my backhanded remarks a chance to experience it in all its glory and then make your own judgements.

So. New single: Continue reading

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These Sugarpills Ain’t No Placebo

Does that pun work? Like do most of you even get it? Feh!

I’m mad at every information service in existence for not just up and telling me that Sugarpills had made good on their promised single. Missed it on Twitter, Spotify sent me nothing, it turned out that I hadn’t subscribed to them on YouTube after all like an idiot, so I literally found out about this by accident fully a month after the fact. Just terrible. But yes, one of my very favorite debuts of 2020 staffed up in the intervening months (which you’d know if you read the Weekender!) and released this single all the way back at the beginning of April:

It’ll cure what ails you! Now does the pun make sense?

Nice standard punk sounds, nice idol vocals to go with, a combination made in heaven. A true reviewer of music and media would knock the mix, probably, and ask for a higher quality to the MV, but honestly — this is an indie-as-hell project, and half of the charm in both idol and punk is in the rough edges. I’m personally just stoked that this fun, better-than-you-assume project is thriving and looking to the future.

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Catching up with Jekyll x Hyde

Man, you guys remember Jekyll x Hyde? Or Jekyll and Hyde or & or however you want to style it. Management-san seems to like “x” these days, so that’s fine. But man, remember them? I wouldn’t be mad if you didn’t — I know that my last actual post about them was two full years ago, so unless you’re familiar thanks to some sporadic Weekender appearances, we certainly haven’t done much to bring them to your attention.

Now, I imagine that a few things have probably happened in, like, two years’ time, but frankly I got a bad back anymore, my days of diving deep into the Internet for random idol unit membership past info are in the past, so let’s just presume that membership=changed and maybe a fan or two can fill in the gaps. What clearly has not changed is that Jekyll x Hyde is one of the most reliably interestingly units in the game — musically, that is, and of course they are; they’re from Nagoya — and a recent spate of Papermaiden sort of re-discovering them for herself got me thinking that maybe it’s time for a refresher post.

So if you’re unfamiliar but you have a passing familiarity with foundational texts in English-language science fiction, you have probably sussed out that the group has some kind of tie to duality. And you’re right! They have a light side (Jekyll Mode) and dark side (Hyde Mode) and frankly they’re both just fine, so let’s survey some recent stuff. Continue reading

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ATARASHII GAKKO! in One Take Just Sounds Exhausting

This was way too good to Weekender, way too much of just the right energy at the right time to hold up and admire for all of its athletic and artistic excess, super charming and, hell, even kind of inspiring. You may also recall that I vowed to exploit the ever-loving christ out of ATARASHII GAKKO!’s emergence for Western audiences by posting about them in lots of ways all the time and making sure that ol Homicidols Dot Com shows up a lot in search results! I am very clever.

BUT NOT SO CLEVER AS ATARASHII GAKKO!, who “Night Before the Exam” today, which is the extended one-take version of a clip they released back in the early days of their international breakout. I warn you, you will want to dance, but to attempt to dance like ATARASHII GAKKO! for more than, oh, a few seconds is going to leave you breathless and possibly looking for the ice pack and ibuprofen:

Imagine being this fit

After that last release of theirs, I do worry a bit that Our Friends Formerly Known as Leaders may abandon their wild-ass acid-jazz-fueled whatever-you-call-it musical flavor for something perhaps a bit more internationally “normie” friendly, but that they (and 88rising) brought this out is some relief.

And now that we have sufficiently padded our SEO for the week, this is your Homicidol Maniac, signing off!

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Erisu Goes ‘Battlestar Galactica’

I wish more idols had the sheer gusto of Erisu. They’ve been officially a thing for six? seven months? And yeah, a lot of new units pump out a lot of content early to build a fan base, and then from there I presume that the business logic is to spend judiciously, release strategically and hold on for dear life as the consecutive percussive waves of flavors of the month roll on and on toward the little niche of recognition you built for yourself. But isn’t Erisu in an interesting position? Based in Italy, under absolutely none of the same kind of performance pressure of every other idol unit in existence, and as true a passion project as you’re going to find, they get to do what they want how they want and when they want, and damn if they don’t do it well.

The announcement of the new EP with the kind of prog-or-Fall-Out-Boy title that I love hasn’t even been out all that long, I don’t think, but I knew that I didn’t want to miss the drop. And I was right! You don’t either. This is taking your “idols have a concept” concept and running it to absolute exhaustion. If you’re gonna go, kids, go hard:

Continue reading

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Himegami CRISIS Is Hanging ’em Up, But We Get a Nice Parting Shot

“Oh neat,” said I somewhat aloud as I looked at the tweet from Himegami CRISIS with a YouTube link in it, “a YouTube link from Himegami CRISIS!” Click, open, confirm: Yes, new video! What else is on their Tw–

Oh. Continue reading

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