The Italian Job: One Englishman’s First Idol Concert

Our story starts on the morning of the concert.  I had been doing a spot of sightseeing in Bologna…

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Minna no Kodomochan Launch Five Months of New Music with “wall”

Kodomochan, fresh off of their back-to-back Corenement championships, has released the first deliverable of their recently successful crowdfunding campaign. As promised, from now until September, Everyone’s Children will bless us with a new song each and every month.  

May’s entry is the minimalistically titled continuation on the group’s core theme: “wall”

“What potent blood hath modest May.” ― Ralph W. Emerson

The doom metal pacing is is a perfect set-up that drives right into a synth-pop transition to… more metal. It’s like Iron Maiden invited Flock of Seagulls over to jam (think “I Ran” meets “Run to the Hills”).  Like many Kodomochan songs, it contains a glorious aural revelation that is worth staying around for before devolving into a reckless and manic finish including one last metal drop. Continue reading

Here’s How Yoneko Ended The Heisei Era

Does Yoneko ever stop and take a break? Apparently not, because she’s released yet another new, self-composed song and music video to commemorate today’s transition from Heisei to Reiwa era. Directed by Kai, of all people, in the first in what I hope will be many collaborations by ex-Bellrings who jumped to Trash-Up records. 

The song itself reminds me of Bellring gone lo-fi. And the music video fits pretty well, matching both Yoneko and Kai’s recent forays into retraux aesthetic. I’m not going to lie, through about half of the song I was expecting a sudden burst of clear vocals and thrashing guitars at each break, but nope, she sticks to the quiet, fuzzy audio quality for the entire track. But after I got used to it, I really began to appreciate the simplicity of one girl and her electric guitar. Would I say this was a good tribute to the ending Heisei era? I’m not really well-versed enough in Japanese culture to know for sure. But it’s a quality, chill, lazy-day track that I could easily imagine myself listening to alone in the garden on a sunny day, or in my bedroom on a late night, and that’s good enough for me.

Now, where’s that Kanra/Kai/Mizuho reunion single we all want?

I eye AYEAYE. Aye, I like them verrry much.

All over Japan there are young women doing idol performances for enthusiastic local wota, however we here in the wider world rarely get to hear of the acts outside of the Tokyo and Osaka scenes. Unless they decide to make an MV to show the world what they are all about.

So welcome Sapporo’s AYEAYE (Website | Twitter), a thirteen (or possibly even seventeen?) strong idol group whose Twitter has been around since 2014 but have only just released their first single. It may disappoint some to know that they are not a pirate-themed unit performing sea-shanty influenced metal or something – my guess is that they are named after the perpetually surprised-looking lemur species – but there’s a lot to love about this catchy little tune, driven by dark, brooding guitar with alternately smiling and glowering young ladies chanting over the top of it.

Aye aye aye my life until I die.

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Yanakoto Sotto Mute Drop Three PVs to Devastate Your Mid-Week Productivity

The perfect modern idols have released three PVs in coordination with their announcement of a May, 1 DVD release. THE GATE Live at ZeppDiverCity  was filmed at their January 2019 one-man where Yanakoto Sotto Mute performed with the backing of a full live band.

The PVs include two songs from their recent Humoresque EP trilogy as well as and their signature hit, “Lily”, from the now-classic Bubble album.  Continue reading

Yanakoto Sotto Mute Release Stain MV and I Will Never Be Clean Enough To Deserve This

Dropping with the delicacy of a pure snowflake carrying all the weight of a blood red brick, Yanamute’s new MV for Stain lands hard and leaves a mark.

Uh, guys? I think Rena needs an ambulance.

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Everything Is Right in GANG PARADE’s Latest, Which Is Like an April Fools’ Day Prank Unto Itself

I really didn’t want to bury the lede here, though the lede in any other context would have been “dang, who the hell crossed things up and gave that BiS material to GANG PARADE” and kind of sort of a joke that way, too, but in more of a funny one as opposed to feeling more than a little bit punked by this.

What is it? A dang masterpiece, that’s what:

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You Ain’t Scene Nothing Yet!

Hands up who wants to see a new video of a pair of idols getting chased around by a pink hippo and playing cardboard instruments to an upbeat thrashy punk tune which then segues into something like listening to nursery rhymes on flu medication? Well, put your hands down again because this isn’t a “new video”, it came out six weeks ago and if you’re cooler than me, perhaps you may have already seen it.

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Can Anyone Be Ready for this BiS?

The people have spoken(?) and Watanabe has reaggregated BiS as a nine-member unit. Not one to do things halfway or with subtly, the infamous adult patient neglecter has endowed the group with their own “Bohemian Rapsody”, which is a whopping 11 minutes and 47 seconds.

Grab your coffee or tea and sit comfortably to take in this grandiose venture:

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Making an Idol Monster: We Talk to the Creative Team behind Monster of Dolls

Just a few months ago, Homicidols published a profile of fans-turned-promoters bringing alternative idols to the Western World.  Looking back now, the article is a bit embarrassingly anglo-centric. Unbeknownst to us at the time, a group of Italian-speaking fans were putting the finishing touches on their own considerable efforts to launch an alt-idol festival in Italy. When the final lineup for the event was revealed in mid-February, it was clear that there was a new and significant player in the business of importing underground Japanese idol to the West.

https://twitter.com/monster_dolls/status/1096753534014578688

Seemingly overnight, the hardol diaspora had grown another tendril.

On May 11th in Bologna, Italy, Monster of Dolls will play host to alt-idol A-listers LADYBABY, the Western debut of JyuJyu, and an appearance by the legendary Sari of NECRONOMIDOL fame. The event’s biggest coup, however, is scoring the first ever overseas live for perhaps the hottest chika idol act in Tokyo: Melon Batake a go go.

The appearance of this top-tier alt-idol festival, seemingly out of nowhere, was the most pleasant of surprises. Our curiosity was piqued, not just about the cost of plane tickets to Italy, but also about the festival itself, the brains behind it, and about the Italian-speaking fandom whose presence we had been totally ignorant of until now. So we reached out to our new Italian allies in the quest to bring alt-idol to the West in the hopes that we could learn all we could.

We think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

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