And Now Babymetal Is Officially Back

Now that it’s completely official, the team of moralists and ethics professors here at Homicidols Dot Com can finally talk out loud and with full candor about the second single dribbled out by Babymetal in the lead-up to their first album in three years. Yeah, we usually don’t care all that much about leaks (especially not “leaks”) in a moral sense — it’s more a “let’s see this the way it’s meant to be seen maybe” thing — but in this case it felt appropriate to hold up a minute and let the chips fall.

It’s been a weird 18 months for Babymetal fans, but as if there were any doubt after “Elevator Girl”, this latest one is as definitive and clear a statement as you’ll get that the greatest show on earth is ready to smash some skulls in as fun a way as possible:

You can do the buy/stream thing here: Continue reading

No, This Is What the New BiS Will Sound Like

Man, you guys, after the feelings of middling disappointment spawned by hearing Watanabe-sama’s vocal fill-in on the first track from BiS3, I was not feeling good about this whole project’s yet-again comeback. Like, BiS was once upon a time one of the coolest and most important things in music, and while a lot of BiS1’s success can be tied to the personalities involved and the angle that they took to everything, at the heart of it was the fact that their music was that damn good, and that they had the right vocal mix to crush the hell out of it while telling a compelling story about their own personality blend. Even BiS2 had its moments in that regard, but it was, yeah in retrospect but also in real time if you opened yourself to the idea, kind of clearly a knock-off. It just didn’t have the same energy or spawn the same feelings of possibility.

With the latest reboot, one could be forgiven for going into it with diminished expectation. A copy of a copy is, after all, two full orders of magnitude lesser than the original*, and I’ll go ahead and out myself as one of those who felt like BiS was getting another run more to fulfill a contractual obligation to a record label and to sell out remaining IDOL merch inventory. Other people were apparently more than ready for BiS3, though, because the initial announcement of this track’s availability (yesterday) exceeded the download bandwidth and was all but inaccessible. Good thing for Soundcloud, then, and good thing for us — this is a winner:

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You’ll Melt More! At Their Best Is Better Than Anything Else

So we’re in a little bit of an idol lull. Typical for this time of year, sure, and yeah I could probably do more with new debuts don’t you judge me but what I, as a fancy guy with a fancy idol website, really want is to fulfill the mission statement, which is To Uplift Girls in Skirts Who Scream On Stage. However, with a dearth of suitably loud and vicious tunes to celebrate, maybe it’s appropriate to talk directly about the latest from one of the very best things to ever emerge from the primordial chika ooze*, a project still going stronger than most can ever fantasize about and with a higher standard of quality than more than most can hope to achieve. I’m talking about dang You’ll Melt More!, people!(!)

I don’t know why they elected to release this MV yesterday, but it also doesn’t matter why. Did anybody ask Michelangelo why he chiseled the David from a perfect block of marble? Of course not!** So don’t ask the sheer idoling perfection that is You’ll Melt More! why they do a video with magic and a very important guest start. Just enjoy it!

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BiS Return: Here’s 12 Facts You Never Knew About BiS

It seems like only last month that BiS split up.  Again.  And now they’re coming back.  Again.

This time we didn’t have to wait first for Pour Lui to get bored of being in an unpopular band; no it will not be long at all until Mr. Watanabe welcomes us back to enjoy BiS and their wonderful world of marathons, audition dramas, similar-sounding songs and marathons.

But while we celebrate their return, let’s also take a chance to look back fondly at the previous incarnations of BiS.  Here are 12 facts you never knew about this legendary idol group.

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We Over-Analyze Things: BABYMETAL | “Elevator Girl”

It was about time BABYMETAL paid homage to David Bowie. I mean, while Bowie crushed just about every pop genre on the planet except Heavy Metal, he was largely responsible for the early creation of Glam Rock.

  • Without Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust, we have no KISS.  
  • Without KISS to influence a young Yoshiki, we have no X Japan.
  • With no X Japan, we have no BABYMETAL.

So when BABYMETAL’s new single, “Elevator Girl”, opens by directly channeling the piano riff from Bowie’s early 80s classic, “Modern Love”, the circle of life seems, in some ways, complete. In truth, the direct influence on this single is probably less Bowie’s soul and groove-flavored New Wave, and more the J-Pop fusion of acid jazz, funk and techno that coalesced around the same time period into the broad City Pop genre. City Pop has seen a lot of attention lately with interest from Vaporwave aesthetes, YouTube channels streaming curated City Pop feeds 24-7, and it’s own brief “I didn’t know [insert name here] put out a City Pop album” meme.

City Pop is also heavily influencing a number of current groups in the alternative idol world including early album-of-the-year contenders Atarashii Gakkou No Leaders, GuGu-LuLu and the fledgling OWA Yoru.

(This is a lot of words so far just to talk about a three-minute song. What we are seeing here is an unfortunate side effect when a group as musically fascinating as BABYMETAL only releases three pieces of new material in a twelve-month span. In the absence of an “Elevator Girl” MV to talk about, let’s continue the over-analysis:) Continue reading

So, BiS Disbanded, Again

Welp, so BiS just disbanded for a second time.

The initial announcement of their disbandment back in March wasn’t really given much coverage on Homicidols, since it also happened to collide with a gazillion other things both in idol and our personal lives, but I think the general reaction of the announcement was certainly one of anger, confusion, and betrayal. It came straight off the heels of the annual shitstorm that is the WACK audition, in which multiple members (and Trivago, back for more) were fired on the spot for what was ultimately a frustrating sideshow. The remaining members had finally had enough and called it quits, with Watanabe immediately holding casting calls for a third incarnation of BiS mere minutes after the previous audition had even ended. Looking back, it was probably a good thing that none of us were able to write about WACK EXHiBiTiON in the end as the resulting article would probably have just been a mess of all-caps angrish and thinly-veiled threats of revenge towards Watanabe. Continue reading

The Dot-chans Just Gifted Us A Little Creative License…

In seems that even in a world where our dearly beloved shoegaze idols have been spirited off the mortal plane, we will (thankfully) never truly be left behind in a totally Dot-chan less world. Even now the ethereal beings slowly unravel little parting gifts that will allow us to continue reaping the rewards of their time on Earth.

The Dots dropped their final album “Points” last week, (along with a 7″ single!) gathering up their remaining unreleased tracks. There will be a review of that album here in the next day or so, so watch out for that a bit later! But let’s talk about this newest offering first…

https://twitter.com/tokyo_tsukurou/status/1116686540153819137?s=20

While “PD” could certainly mean “Post Dots”, in this case, it stands for “Public Domain”, as in certain works in the Dot-chan universe have been placed into the care of all of us. Now before you start pressing your own Dots merch and bootlegs, keep in mind that there’s still ownership and restrictions that apply here!

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BABYMETAL Announces Release of New Album TBD, 2019

BABYMETAL used Fox Day 2019 to launch a new era of ambiguity, announcing that they will finally release their long-awaited new album at some point this year.

In addition to the new album, BABYMETAL revealed some major upcoming shows.  Late June will mark SU-METAL and MOAMETAL’s return to Yokohama Arena for the Apocrypha of the Fox God’s first Hemingway reference:   BABYMETAL Awakens – The Sun Also Rises. Continue reading

YOU’LL MELT MORE! Once Again Prove They’re The Real Queens…

Sometimes I think You’ll Melt More! is the most criminally underrated group of all in the sub-sub-genre of music we celebrate here. They exist in this odd spot where they’re too big for the chika circuit, but yet just out of reach of the true heights of fame and praise they truly deserve.

While other groups get more Western fan attention with outlandish stunts and forced controversy, YLMM! focus on actually making fantastic music with a lot of heart and earnest ambition. Clearly when you see the sizes of their crowds and the loyalty of their fans, it’s notable that they’ve done very well for themselves, but I really feel like they deserve even more than what they’ve already (impressively) achieved.

https://twitter.com/ylmlm_staff/status/1102494077650530305

I’ll even admit that I don’t always give them the love they deserve as often as I should, and that’s simply an offense on my part. I think the issue is that You’ll Melt More! have been making their psyche-fueled-freakout-krautrock-inspired magic since 2012, and when an idol group lasts this long, we kind of start to take them for granted, and that’s a terrible mistake!

One of the personal course-corrections I made for for 2019 is that I would get back to aggressively supporting this group as vocally as they deserve, and this recent live video of the group performing their nearly eight-minute space-rock monsterpiece “Only You” from their their 2015 magnum opus album “You Are The World” is the perfect window to refresh what is already gloriously refreshing.

This video highlights the final stop on their tour for the “Never Give Up Drunk Monkeys” release, shot at Zepp Tokyo in front of their most loyal fans, and it’s a document of just what kind of greatness idols are capable of with a lot of heart, soul, and quite a bit of physical risk as well. I know there’s plenty of videos for “Only You” floating around, but I never get tired of watching them perform this epic. I’d say this is the song to pull out if you want to sell this group to a friend unfamiliar with them, but also, this is a great piece of music to show that person in your life who doesn’t even know what idol music is. It’s peak non-traditional art idol in my eyes, and a great summation of what our favorite misunderstood genre of music can achieve.

https://twitter.com/ylmlm_K/status/1102580140138098691

And then there’s the performance itself, the vocals have that not-quite-perfect but yet lovely ring, the set is amazing, the dragon dancers add just the right flavor, and the emotions! Kechon has tears streaming down her face, and those are the tears of hard work and giving it your all for your art. Chiffon is still the most underrated idol vocalists around, and cooler than cucumbers in the freezer. Ano is Ano and thank goodness for that, doing her Ano-ish things, including spending plenty of time floating around on the adoring crowd.

And of course we have Younapi, who should’ve been voted Queen of the Scene multiple times over, fearlessly climbing a ladder like she’s about to pull the wrestling finishing move of the year while hyping up the audience with positive vibes of pure charm. I swear, every time I watch an “Only You” performance I want high-five the sun in the sky. It’s just beautiful.

Also, I’m glad Younapi got down from that ladder okay. (Off camera) That made me a little anxious.

2019 is still young, and Spring is around the corner. Still plenty of time for You’ll Melt More! to continue their usual pace and release an album, six EPs, ten singles, and a gazillion MVs before the year ends. I’m looking forward to all of it!! 

 

 

 

 

 

Shidare Withdraws from Tsurezure. There Is No God.

Weeping.

 Caleb has been so kind as to translate Shidare’s long message, as well as allowing us to post it on Homicidols. The original can be found here.

I, Futamaruya Shidare have decided to withdraw from Yukueshirezu Tsurezure. First of all, I’d like to say thank you and apologise to those of you I have upset with such a sudden announcement, to those who were looking forward to next meeting me, and those who supported the direction we were going in. The 28th November 2018 was 3 years since I had been announced as an initial member of Yukueshirezu Tsurezure. It was 3 years of thinking, worrying, trying, hesitating, fighting and pushing myself as to how we could make Tsurezure a good group, how we could make our concerts good. However, in some respects I’ve realised I found myself thinking I can no longer stand here, or keep walking on. Even so I pushed through and came to where we are now, but now that Kotetsu and Takara have been so kind as to join us, I came to the conclusion that perhaps Yukueshirezu Tsurezure has a better chance going forward without me, and decided to withdraw. It was my dream as a member to show you Yukueshirezu Tsurezure’s songs and worldview. I still believe Tsurezure’s songs have the power to save people. Our weak yet strong songs embrace a lot of people’s isolation and darkness. However, I feel it regrettable and vexing that I overwhelmingly lack the actual strength to convey our worldview, and if I think about it I might have always been stuck in the same place. And before I knew it I had trapped Tsurezure in my negative loop. I, who wanted to be part of a group, had personally confined Tsurezure. And going on, I thought of the possibility of me changing. However the more I thought about it, I decided to stop clinging on as now I have lost the confidence to dedicate everything as a member of the group; as Yukueshirezu Tsurezure. I originally also thought “what if I could change through our tour that begins this February”. Throw away every part of me, kill it, as if it were life or death and if even then I couldn’t change then I’d think again about quitting. However, as the other members are going into this tour frantically trying to climb higher, I found myself in a completely different direction. I felt that this was a betrayal to my other members and the gunjou who so kindly support us. There are many ways of grasping betrayal. To everyone who was looking forward to the tour, I’m truly sorry. Those of you who said you’d celebrate my birthday in February, those who anticipated Yukueshirezu Tsurezure as a 5 member group, and you who said you’d always support me, I’m sorry. I’ve gone so far as to do this for over 3 years, so I have no regrets. Also, I’ll be looking up from here so Yukueshirezu Tsurezure can continue to shine. I pray I can see Tsurezure and the gunjou smiling from here. Thank you for allowing Futamaruya Shidare into your lives, for letting me live. Yukueshirezu Tsurezure, thank you. Do your best, don’t be defeated, take care.

Futamaruya Shidare