There is a new BABYMETAL single out and all is right with the world.
FUN FACT (DID YOU KNOW?): All the members of BABYMETAL have the name metal in their, er, name? It's true: Suzuka (SU-METAL), Yui (YUIMETAL) and Moa (MOAMETAL).
It's been five years since we last heard the super lush, whispery, twee sounds from Matryoska. So what have they been up to? Something huge, it would seem. Their new album Laideronnette is due out on 12/12/12. The first track "Monotonous Purgatory" (above) is a sad, expansive, glitchy orchestral dream. The rest of the album (see the sampler below) looks to be more of the same, which is all fine by me.
You can download "Monotonous Purgatory" for free direct from their site and order the album there as well. You can also get it at CDJapan.
10 Japanese acts that would have been way way better choices than AKB48 for the Wreck-It Ralph soundtrack
I just saw that the super-creepy Japanese pop act AKB48 is on the soundtrack for the video game themed animated film Wreck-It Ralph*. While I suppose it should come as no surprise that such factory processed mega-sleaze could manage to shlerm its way onto the soundtrack (we are talking about Disney here after all), it does send this fanboy into something of a tailspin. Because for God's sake, there are exactly ONE ZILLION better Japanese acts to choose from for this sort of fun, nostalgic, vibrant love letter to video games. (I'm assuming most of that. Haven't seen it.)
So I took two seconds and wrote a list of the first ten acts I could think of. HERE IT IS, in order of relevance and everything, just in case you get bored of listening to incredibly awesome music halfway through like a moron who deserves total junk like AKB48 forced into your slack jaws and down your bloated food-chute.
*Looking up the correct punctuation is the beginning and ending of the research I did for this post.
#1 Sexy Synthesizer
If you get 15 seconds into this and don't know why it's number one then stop reading and smash your damn fool face into a brick wall until it's nap time. COME ON. Sexy Synthesizer is amazing and uses a handful of Namco arcade game sounds in just about every song he writes. Including Galaga which is the best game ever made. Disagree? See above advice.
You can hear his entire ROCK album below.
THIS IS THE COOLEST CHIPTUNE ALBUM EVER CREATED. Why? LISTEN TO THE RAPPING OH MY GOD. Oh, and it should be obvious unless you're a dummy but Sexy Synthesizer had a hand in its creation. GOT MORE SPICES.
OK, so we've been pretty spastic right out of the gate. Maybe what you'd expect. And then BOOOOM. Omodaka. That's right, funk-tastic chip driven funky funk courtesy of a Stevie Wonder bass line and some wickedly weird traditional folk singing layered over the top. If Disney really wanted to blow people's minds, THIS would be playing through Wreck-It (I'm too busy to bother with the Ralph and more) non-stop.
"Y! M! C! K! Let's go! Let's go! *clap clap* Y! M! C! K! Let's go! Let's go! *clap clap* Y! M! C! K! Let's go! Let's go! *clap clap* Y! M! C! K! Waaaaaaaa!"
I rest my case. (They also built their own chiptune software.)
I mean come on, it's called "Electro World" for crying out loud. And Perfume is HUUUGE. And waaay less creepy than those dead-eyed AKB slaves. Much more family-friendly and all that. And the bass line rules my soul.
#6 The Aprils
Alright, if the over-the-top commercialism is getting to you, then The Aprils are here to wash it away with a blissful wave of super duper cute synthpop. Absolutely non-ironic and just plain happy. All in a way only Japan can pull off. This should be the ending theme to every happy animated film, in my totally factual analysis.
Remember when people made good, clever videos? This is one of them! And it has blurred out Super Mario Bros in it! And it's an amazing song! COME ON GUYS JEEEZUS! AKB48? Really? When THIS IS A THING THAT EXISTS???
Screw Tron. THIS is what living in a video game from the 2000s would sound like.
Sorry if I fell off the chiptune tip for a second there. Back on track! Floppy brings a more rock/punk/weirdo vibe to their tunes. A nice foil to all the happy crappy girls, am I right? Look, we can all get along because chiptunes!
BECAUSE I WILL NOT REST UNTIL POLYSICS RULES THE ENTIRE WORLD. Because reasons, that's why.
So there you go. Take your stupid factory-pre-set J-pop and CHOKE.
Here's the video for the new Polysics single "Everybody Say No." It's not super exciting, but you have to admit, the 303 traffic cone head thing is pretty awesome. The song is also not super exciting, but as always Fumi manages to bring the heat on bass and make it almost impossibly groovy.
The single is out on October 24th and their new album Weeeeeeeeee!!! is out in December. GET!
I tend to be a little overenthusiastic about things in the morning. It's not that I'm a morning person, far from it. Maybe it's the first blast of coffee slamming into my brain that gives me just enough lift to actually enjoying things for a while, before the rest of life slowly presses it all back down.
Whatever that case, when I see things like this new-ish video from MO'SOME TONEBENDER as my eyes remember how to focus and my mouth tastes like burning manna from heaven, I feel like things are sometimes OK.
It also reminds me that I need to listen to these guys more often. See below for reasons. (Hint: "Green & Gold" is one of my favorite songs of all time.)
[Get the album]
Not sure how long this video will last, so enjoy it now!
New Polysics! "Lucky Star" is the first single from what is presumably their next album. The song is a snappy, poppy one along the lines of "Black Out Fall Out" and "You You You." Fumi is no Kayo when it comes to pop vocals, but she has always been able to hold her own and does so here just fine. But I miss Kayo.
Anyway, it's Polysics in a nutshell. Chugging synths, retro blips, odd patterns and pure energetic fun. It's a bit repetitive, a bit shallow on a surface level, but there's plenty to dig into on repeat listens. The CD/DVD version includes what seems to be a full live show. Well worth it!
[Update: According to the above mentioned Mistabeen, the DVD is actually a collection of short clips totaling 20 minutes. Bummer!]
When I first heard that Polysics was going to be on the new L'Arc~en~Ciel Tribute album, I was excited. Of course I'm always excited about Polysics. Then I saw the rest of the line-up and, well, I had to triple check.
Listed among a hand-full of other Japanese bands were rather more incongruous names. Names like Michael Monroe (Hanoi Rocks), Eric Martin (Mr. Big) and John 5 (Marilyn Manson) (itself a head-scratching paring), Vince Neil (Mötley Crüe), TLC and, get this, Boyz II Men.
If that all sounds a little weird, well, so is the album. I'm not a huge L'Arc fan, but I do like some of their more rockin' songs. This album is not rockin'. In the slightest. It's mostly washed-up has-beens sucking the life out of songs that didn't have much life to spare. For crying out loud, Vince Neil sings the super-saccharine "Blurry Eyes" and not "Shout at the Devil." Sure, it's not the same iconic metal anthem that Crüe rode high on through the '80s, but still it was a giant missed opportunity. (I should also point out that much of this tribute is sung in English. Another jolt to the system.)
Ah well, at least Polysics managed to produce a really heavy, noisy take on "Seventh Heaven," a track otherwise totally out of place in this collection of zombies sluggishly devouring L'Arc's brains.
Listen to more of the carnage below.
I've been working on and off trying to unpack everything that's in the new solo album titled Flowering from TK, front-man for the band Ling Tosite Sigure. The short version: It's just like Ling Tosite Sigure. I can't really think of anything that's on Flowering that I would be at all surprised to hear on a regular LTS release. Not that that's a bad thing. If anything, TK solo is even more intense and dense, more chaotic and frantic. And what LTS fan wouldn't want that?
(Special thanks to @jakcadden for reminding me about this album.)
Dear Gods of the Great Head-o-bang! Please! Here my plea! Bestow unto me your Sacred Neck Brace so that I, your mortal servant, may continue to bang my head long after my unworthy neck muscles have slackened and withered. Grant me the power to headbang long into the night, my hair tracing your sacred symbols in the air, my limbs beckoning others into your glorious mosh pits. HEAR ME, OH GREAT ONES!
HEAD O BANG!
HEAD O BANG!
HEAD O BANG!
HEAD O BANG!
HEAD O BANG!
HEAD O BANG!
BANG! BANG! BA BANG!