This Post Is a Celebration of the Mere Existence of XOXO EXTREME

Idol is genreless. You learn this pretty quickly even if you don’t start off going down the bottomless rabbit hole of chika loud idol — you might be like “oh wow I really like BTS perhaps this ‘Perfume’ thing from Japan is similarly fun” and within a week you’re wondering what the hell a GO TO THE BEDS because that’s next in your somewhat randomized playlist and you’re currently listening to some lady with an extremely squeaky voice rap perhaps a little too well for comfort. Genre, such as it is within idol, is largely a matter of trend: Idorock is a thing because it’s easy, and we’ve had really solid runs through metal and punk and nowadays, yes, rapping is apparently the latest big thing. The really memorable idol units, though, are the ones that take a fairly unique genre position (Dots with shoegaze, Yanakoto Sotto Mute with grunge, Hauptharmonie with … however you describe Hauptharmonie) and double up by also being really goddamn good at it. Those things stick; so too do those rare times when an idol unit fills a very unique niche that needs filling, like GARUDA coming out of the woodwork as my personal white whale doing unsettling industrial stuff.

All of this to say that there is really one prog idol unit out there, they’ve been in that position for several years, they’re always incredibly, absolutely, wonderfully entertaining, and they check every box I just described, making them some kind of weird idol genre gold standard that may not make them the world’s most popular performing act but definitely makes them one that deserves love and respect, all of it.

That’s the post. Go enjoy your Saturday.

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