The Greatest Alternative Idol Choruses of All Time

Welcome to the first installment of our latest community project seeking to identify the top choruses, drops, breakdowns and hooks in alternative, indie, and underground idol. 

Here in chapter one, we are exploring the best choruses as identified by you, the readers of Homicidols dot com and, I must say, you all got great taste. It took forever to compile this post as these are some of the catchiest and most addictive tunes in idol. They can’t just be listened to once. Each entry took about five minutes to write and then two hours of bingeing the song over and over again.  These aren’t just phenomenal choruses. These are some of the best songs by some of the best artists in the genre.

Note: The MVs embedded here are time coded to start just before the chorus kicks in, but we know how YT loves to throw ads for windshield replacements in our faces when we just want to listen to some music. Hopefully, it all still works.

Also, I wasn’t able to include every song that was nominated, especially from those folks who sent in multiple entries. I did try to include at least one song by everyone who participated. Thank you again for all of the contributions!

GUSO Drop – Guuzou

Nominated by: BobIsRandom

“This is a great chorus. Catchy and memorable. And perfect for idol because it’s easy for people to join in on (even not knowing Japanese).”

It’s only fitting that we begin with GUSO Drop,  one of the foundational units in punk idol responsible for sending many Westerners down the chika idol rabbit hole.  “Guzzou” serves as a great reminder of everything that chika idol was, wants to be, and can be again.

BELLRING Girls Heart – asthma

Nominated by: Raito

“A chorus benefits from what surrounds it musically, and “asthma” embodies this idea. It reaches those lofty, soaring heights precisely because the verses and bridges propel the chorus upward in each instance. If you’re familiar with the song, you can feel the swell and pulse of the chorus right after the first bridge – even though it doesn’t appear yet. It sits in you, waiting, like a longing sigh waiting to be exhaled. The song continues onward toward the second verse, building up to the second bridge, and finally reaching the chorus….and what a chorus. The beat prompts you to do something: tap your finger, bob your head, jump in one spot. But this is only the first chorus, for when we reach it the second time, we’re ready for lift-off. At this point the song strips down to just strings and keyboard before ushering in the crowd sing-a-long of crowd sing-a-longs. The “Whoa ohh ohh ohhhhh ohhh”, as it builds up and merges with the chorus, becomes euphoric. It gestures towards a kinship, a unity with others made real by those voices shouting without words. “asthma”, musically, is a journey upwards, as each musical element carries the chorus higher and higher. But it’s the kind of chorus that brings us along with it, to survey the lofty view we’ve reached – whether temporarily or for eternity.”

I can’t add much to Raito’s eloquent description other than to say, “Homicidols is always looking for new music correspondents”. 

“asthma” is, of course, the closest thing we have to an official, international anthem of chika idol. There are few wota on the planet who do not get goose bumps or feel the compulsion to form a circle pit whenever they hear the ethereal notes of that signature bridge leading into the final chorus.

Zenbu kimi no sei da. – Mudai Gassho

Nominated by: Terry (aka Ramen on the Homicidols Discord server)

“You sing and cry doushite together with all your heart, this one hits harder every time.”

The emotional impact of this lovely and deeply bittersweet chorus is magnified in the song’s climax, achieved through reducing the chorus to a single voice and piano. 

I remember the warmth of your hands exactly how it feels…
So tell me why? Tell me why? Why aren’t you here?
I don’t wanna forget. I don’t ever want to forget. Tell me why?

This is peak Zenkimi.

MELON BATAKE A GO GO – I WAS A TEENEAGE ALIEN

Submitted by: FarFromSleep

The Idols from Outer Space’s recount their arrival on our pathetic, dying planet in a largely spoken word song punctuated by an unforgettable power chorus declaring:

Yeah, we are aliens!
We’ll be sure to rescue you.
Yeah, we are aliens!
Nothing is impossible.
Yeah, we are aliens!
We’re gonna get you out of here.
Yeah, we are aliens!
Children of science.

MERRY BAD END – Diamond Ain’t Break Down

Nominated by: Pepjin Klaassen

“Catchy AF. Getting goosebumps every time I hear the intro, even after five or so years, anticipating that chorus.”

MERRY BAD END are a sentimental favorite around here. After being rejected by auditions for other groups, Chihiro formed an indie unit of her own made up of fellow rejects. She then commissioned this as their signature song. Not only is this a great tune to listen to when you need some energy to persevere, but also take strength from Chihiro’s example. Now leading MBE’s successor unit, FiDZ, her idol career has outlasted many of those units who rejected her. Diamonds certainly do not break down.

BiSHPromise the Star

Nominated by: JoJo

There are a lot of BiSH songs that could have been nominated, but JoJo sent in the one that delivered the unit’s breakthrough into the mainstream, saying, “The song always moves to a crescendo.” Well, ya! It has to when it promises the stars. This song is also unique as the choruses contain more lines of lyrics (10) than the verses (4) even if you add the bridges (2). I actually counted and did the math: this song is 49% chorus!

Also: stick around for the second rendition of the chorus to get your dose of Ling Ling breaking into tears which then, of course, leads to AiNA having to power through her own tears. Those are always my favorite BiSH moments.

ATARASHII GAKKO! – Koi Geba

Nominated by: Cal

Long before they teamed up with the Beastie Boys producer or got invited to rock the stage at Coachella,  ATARASHII GAKKO! belted out this piano rock anthem about a student confessing their love for their teacher as the ultimate act of rebellion.

Revolt! Revolt! Love is a spring storm.
Revolt! Revolt! Its rain soaks the asphalt.
Revolt! Revolt! It makes red flowers bloom.
What I said when I confessed my love—those words I said then
Revolt! Revolt! Revolt! Love Revolt!

・・・・・・・・・ – Satellite

Nominated by: Eric Sutherland

“It has a long melodic line and is buoyant and joyous.”

The tricky part with shoegaze, and with a unit as experimental as ・・・・・・・・・(aka “dots Tokyo” when we need to verbally communicate about the group) is, can we even be sure of where the choruses being and end? Perhaps, what we think are the verses are actually choruses, and what we think are the choruses are bridges? Perhaps is doesn’t matter, and we should just appreciate the music given to us by the ethereal manifestations we knew as  ・・・・・・・・・ during their short stay on Earth.

NEO JAPONISM – Mind-Mirror Nuxx

Nominated by: ricardo oviedo

“It is a very catchy chorus, well thought out. Many times, in more powerful songs, the chorus diminishes the power created by the verses. This one continues the momentum the song creates. ”

This entry speaks directly to one of the main reasons why I enjoy launching these projects that ask you all for you favorite songs, MVs, and, now, choruses. It’s simply so I can discover some new, great tunes!  There are a lot of NEO JAPONISM songs that could potentially compete for Best Chorus,  but this deep cut selected by ricardo has found an instant spot in my playlist.

NECRONOMIDOL – STRANGE AEONS

Nominated by: Daemon

Since no one else put this one forward, I had to do it myself. In “STRANGE AEONS”, NECROMA gave us this brilliantly upbeat, yet deeply dark, chorus about a violent end of days delivered with all the happy, glowing enthusiasm of pop idol.  Having our souls burnt into oblivion never sounded so catchy!!

Devil ANTHEM. – UP

Nominated by: Carrythezero

“It starts as simple and extremely catchy and grows as it devours the last third of the song. This combined with an absolutely insane video makes it, in my opinion, one of the best things Devil ANTHEM. has ever done.”

The MV is straight out of the uncanny valley but, damn, that is a catchy chorus.

BELLRING Girls Heart – GIGABITE

Nominated by: Denis

“I challenge any idol fan to not jump on rhythm! The ah a-ah ah ah a-ah part with the members spelling out GIGABITE softly in the background is the perfect way to make even the shyest idol fan hype-up and join the crowd of jumping people.”

Two entries for the crow girls, and why not? If nothing else, this is a great opportunity revisit this MV eight years later and marvel at the sheer number of legends that first earned their wings in the Modern Freaks of “Chika” Idol Department: Kai, Ayano, Anna, N Feni (aka Yoneko, but then known as Kanra), Mizuho,  Yui Ogasawara. This is an all-star line-up from before they were stars. The level of talent captured here is kina mind-blowing.

Yukueshirezutsurezure – Iki Shini Gairon

Nominated by: Patrick

“Catchy, emotional, heartfelt – when I first heard it it was my earworm for months – this is my favourite chorus even outside of alt idol.” 

Good choice Patrick! The title of this tune translates to “Overview of Death” and is a classic of the darker corner of the yami kawaii genre. The second iteration of the chorus goes:

If you’re the crime, I’ll be the punishment.
And if you’re the punishment, I’ll do everything I have to do to deserve it.
The end rolls on, transcending good and evil.
If I’m in pain, I’ll show you my smile. I’ll hide in the darkness. I’ll unravel the present and the future.
I’ll kill you, stubborn guy.

This is Tsurezure’s version of a love song. So good…

BiS – nerve

Nominated by: The Momentum of History (and BobIsRandom)

BiS did a lot of subversive things in their time, but once of their most brilliantly insidious  acts was sneaking “nerve” into the mainstream idol cannon.  Every idol on the planet knows both the lyrics and choreography to the tune by heart.  A light,  effervescent tune innocently asking why you won’t take them home and crawl in bed with them:  

Are you trying to be cool?

Or do you not like me?

Don’t you have the nerve?

As always, head on over the Homicidols Discord server to tell us what we got right or how far we went wrong.

We also put all of these incredibly addictive choruses (that are on Spotify), plus other tunes that were nominated but didn’t make it into the post, into one convenient playlist to aid in satisfying your fix.

One thought on “The Greatest Alternative Idol Choruses of All Time

  1. Maybe the fact that the song isn’t even a year old can excuse why “イーアーティエイチスィーナーエイチキューカーエイチケームビーネーズィーウーオム” by BiS hasn’t been put on this list. Prior to this I would probably have nominated “asthma” or “C.A.N.D.Y.” by BGH, but seriously, I have no idea how many times I’ve played this one the last 9 months, and the non stop anticipation and build up, and then one of the most catchy choruses in the history of music hits me like a freight train every single time.

    https://youtu.be/D0lYZOLWZOw?si=OlJZhJm42nM9K8bs&t=77

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