It’s 2020 now, and all of this is firmly in the past, but I think it’s worth mentioning the wild ride that WILL-O’ went on over the course of the previous year. A lot has changed in the now three-plus years since Alloy was originally formed, and though WILL-O’ as WILL-O’ is fairly well-established at this point, I think it’s fair to say that change is the most consistent thing about the group. Well, change and doing great rock-related idol work, that is, and I mean that literally because you’ll remember that I held up “POP’N” as my personal favorite song of 2019.
And as that was going on, they were also releasing a new EP to close the year! I kind of forgot about it (it was sitting in my wait-until-an-MV-drops pile), then the MV finally did come a little on the late side, so here I go rhetorically returning the favor! But also they did some interesting stuff in the meantime, so waiting turned out to be smart. Anyway, the MV: Continue reading
Happy new year! Japan have already rang in the new decade and with it, a menagerie of new music.
Rock and alternative style idols are no stranger to unexpected collaborations, from BiS and Hijokaidan to You’ll Melt More and… also Hijokaidan. But in this subculture, mainstream breakthroughs are the real sucker punch to longtime fans of girls dancing to alt rock with a crowd of about 30 people.
So, fresh off their major label debut, GANG PARADE have dropped an announcement that their second digital single will be a joint composition between Scrambles’ very own Matsukuma Kenta with a very special guest…
Mastermind behind Momoiro Clover Z: Hyadain! Continue reading
Ah, and now we reach the point in the promotional machine when a new release (specifically, a WACK release) is laid almost completely bare before the world and all of its details are known and we get to speculate wildly about what might fill the otherwise-empty informational crevices. Behold, the new BiS album, now more than just a bunch of stuff on Soundcloud:
A title! A track list! A … a cover that looks a lot like it’s really playing up an appropriate punk rock association while also trying very hard to avoid being sued by Green Day! Good lord, after these tracks, there’s just the one left to show off, and it could also be a Green Day reference if you’re willing to stretch a little, and I’m guessing that’s where the MV will come from, the only question really being when, it being a real shame that we’re still more than a month from the release date, I say again.
But let’s listen to the new songs, which you can also still download for a hot minute (I’m sorry!): Continue reading
As very dutifully reported in a recent Weekender, among various other endeavors swirling around Wagamama Rakia, they had a new EP, and an acoustic one at that, heading for release. It hit streaming services on Christmas Day, but I only just got around to listening to it yesterday, and while doing so I thought that, you know, maybe this exactly how we should be closing things out for 2019 — stripped of the usual noise, the songs in this case give the members a chance to really showcase their talents, and the simpler renditions of popular standards gives the group’s work an interesting spin.
Anyway, put this on while you have about 20 minutes of stuff to do, and tell me that your experience isn’t improved by a factor of about 7,000:
To give this post extra heft, here’s their end-of-year message to fans:
Ah, the mishmash, one of my two or three favorite groups that basically just performs all the time and never releases anything, thereby leaving me to drift hopelessly through a directionless life with neither succor nor support. I wish they did more stuff! It’s hard to stay mad at them, though, because they rub shoulders with excellent company and I think are largely satisfied with being their best selves in a milieu that appreciates them. But anyway! There’s music, and you can get it. Thanks for a retweet campaign involving one of those demos that I’m always kvetching about, they have a full song to listen to, and then to download for free, and hey look get to it:
So as I mentioned the other day, one of the perks of being a fancy idol blogger is that you get into communication with the behind-the-scenes folks, both to build personal relationships (people like each other, imagine!) and to share information. So it is that we know about Owaranaide, Yoru in the first place, in fact, and how their latest single (dropped yesterday) came into my life.
I warn you: If you follow OWAYORU at all, you may have an idea of what it is they sound like, what they do, etc. Put aside those notions, friend, and think to yourself, now why would Maniac be so coy about this and so excited all at once? What is it about this strange person that I should turn into an inference about what I’m about to hear? And if the answer to that question happens to land you on such things as “Dance for Philosophy” and “Especia” and “what could have been for Hauptharmonie,” which is to say, how about a little smoothness to your day, wouldn’t that be a nice way to close the year and start a week all at once?
What a pleasant surprise. And the best part is that it’s by Candye Syrup’s composer-san, too, which goes to show you that talent is talent and that some people simply cannot be contained. I just wish there were more than the one track! And maybe some video! And then another thing like this in short order!
You guys, I swear I was minding my own business this morning, and then along comes ol’ Viz Major to ruin things and inadvertently provide the lede:
What the hell was that! I thought he was making up this whole “poetrycore” business too (I can sympathize!) until I bothered with a minute’s worth of homework, but yes, it’s true, and so is the Yuyoyuppe thing, and while the complete lack of individual identities suggests that the lyrics and not-use of the I word in any of their press does suggest that this may not be an idol thing, they’re published on an idol label (for Spotify, at least) and sound idol, so I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt and also me an opportunity to bring this wonderful injection of beautiful pain into your lives. Continue reading
This is the other big item from earlier in the week that I wanted to make sure to highlight, like really highlight, and I’m doing it wantonly because it’s a lot and they deserve it. Yeah, I’m talking about Maison book girl, who I still can’t believe I write about as favorably as I do nowadays after quite a long time of both pretending that they didn’t belong and being too xylophone-reliant to take all that seriously. Here we are!
The point of the post, though, is to acknowledge that Maison book girl released an album earlier this week, and it is excellent, the kind of high art that I think just enough of idol has embraced. They also, in conjunction with that release, dropped a couple of MVs that you may or may not agree are the best songs on the album, but I read the selection as “these songs sum up the album go buy it.”
The first, from the day of the release itself: Continue reading
Thank the gods for some down time! I’ve been dying to get a few minutes to really catch up on some of the excellent things that happened in idol this week, the latest couple of pre-album track releases by BiS among them. Friends, they do not disappoint.
First things first, if you know what’s good for you, take advantage of the fact that you can download these things and have them:
Should you need additional convincing (like, if the last one of these pre-releases didn’t have you absolutely twitterpated), just listen to these suckers. I will warn you, though, that this is music of excellent quality, one of which will threaten to put you in the hospital. Continue reading
Next up in the Brief Run of Posts So Maniac Can Feel Better about Himself: EMPiRE! Who released this latest MV from their new album and went the extremely easy-but-effective-because-this-is-how-idol-works route with it. Wherein, in fact, key schisms within Team are laid bare, as Kerrie was like “oh you can just put that in the Weekender, it’s just one of those member retrospective montage things” and I was like “what’s that? I was too busy crying into a pillow to hear.” Yes, I happen to love these kinds of videos, and with them exactly this kind of song, which I believe is now canonically known as The ODD FUTURE Method.
The new album is out! The tour is wrapping up! WACK has things cooking and we’re only hours away from something that’s probably going to make people mad! It’s only a week until Christmas!