(Yes, Japan’s Baby Metal are back with something new, and as the sun follows the night that means our Japan-based correspondent Phro is back, too.)
So, Islander said he’d take away my food supply if I didn’t get this written up and sent to him before nightfall. As such, you have only him to blame if you find the writing subpar. Well, okay, more subpar than usual. Whatever. I need my horsey cock.
Baby Metal, the semi-official house band of No! Clean Singing!, has released a new song, titled “Ijime, Dame, Zettai.” (Roughly translated by a group of feces-tossing, anus-slurping, toe-jam-eating howler monkeys as: “Bullying, Don’t, Definitely.” We slapped them around a little bit, and they came up with this slightly less steamy pile of rancid eggplant puree: “Just Say No to Bullying!” The howler monkeys have been fired.)
Now, if you think that’s a strange change of focus for a band that thus far has mostly sung about…something, well, you’re not entirely wrong. However, there is a method to this madness. (Ummm…a dim glimmer of a reflection of a method.)
Japan, as you may or may not know, has a bullying problem. I think every country does, but Japan has recently been making a big deal about it. It may or may not be related to the incident where one kid was bullied badly enough to commit suicide…and then the police tried to cover it up by saying there was no conclusive proof that he was bullied despite pretty much every classmate testifying that they’d seen a group of other boys beating him, berating him, and forcing him to “practice commiting suicide.” Which lead to his parents suing for damages–something that almost never happens in Japan. (There was some other shitty stuff that happened, but it’s depressing, so let’s move on.)
Look, I’m sure it happens in every country (just look at the suicide rate of gay teens in the US, for a horrible beginning). And someone finally realized that saying “just suck it up, people can only hurt you if you let them” is the equivalent of telling someone having a heart attack to walk it off. So they…had a TV concert about it? To be honest, I’m not sure, I stop paying attention whenever TV is used to try to solve…anything.
Anyway, apparently Baby Metal was invited to perform “Ijime, Dame, Zettai” on NHK (like PBS in the states, but slightly better funding). (At like 11 pm? Who the hell is watching 12-year-old girls in short skirts perform at 11 pm at…ohhhhhhhhhhh, nevermind.)
So, that’s why the title and lyrics of the song are so much different from their usual fare about exciting mornings (heh) and foxes (kitsune da yo). I’m sure I got a few details wrong, but I’m working from memory and this is my lunch break.
The song is a surprising straight-forward rocker/traditional-metal song. It’s long (about 6 minutes), but I need you all to do me a favor and at least watch the guitar solo. I swear for a second there it looks like the two little girls (that phrase will never not sound horrible and pervy) are actually playing the guitar (raise your hand if you thought I was going to say bone flute). I honestly am too stupid to be able to tell, so someone who’s not a blathering moron should watch it and let us know. (I realize no one is actually “playing” an instrument in most music videos, but I thought they almost looked like they knew what they were doing. Like I said, I’m a moron.)
Also, doesn’t the guy with the awesome beard kind of look like a stretched out, addicted-to-heroin Gimli????
They sound like the nursery school version of Arch Enemy.
Oh and yeah, that bearded guy is totally Gimli.
HEROIN SOAKED GIMLI!!!
*ahem* With that out of the way, One shall say that this song is indeed more straight-forward metal than their previous ones, and somewhat more pleasant to listen to; and that the girls are not playing the guitars along to the solo in the video.
One still doesn’t understand the purpose of the bearded guy in the video though…
As I have repeatedly watched the particular parts showing the hand and finger movements of Moametal and Yuimetal, I consistently perceive their hands moving in such a way that is consistent to the sounds of each individual guitar. Admittedly so, I don’t think they edited for the error occuring at 4m21s; during which, Moa travels the down the guitar’s neck (towards the head) from the center, while the notes are climbing. That seems to be the ONLY PART that is NOT consistent with the notes being heard in either solo.
Unfortunately, I know that you can easily say I don’t know what I’m talking about, but I will leave you with these facts: I have been playing guitar since I was 11. I was able to do what those girls appear to be doing by the time I was their age (14 at the time of the video – ps.. they both just had their bdays of 15 yrs). Lastly, I am now 31 years old, and have taught a number of youth and adults how to shred over those years. If you are still reading, I thank you for at least hearing me out.
I find this video depressing, as it doesn’t seem like the light-hearted invitation to pedophilia that the other videos are. Also, are we sure this video is about bullying, instead of the importance of taking care of your Gibson Flying V (or knock-off thereof)?
Yeah, the song is definitely about bullying, but I’m sure there will be more videos to appeal to whatever niche you may fall into.
I want it to be true that the members of Baby Metal can shred, or will learn how. I’m also waiting for the body mods, the piercings, the neck tattoos, and the instagrams of them throwing up their Jager and Red Bull in public. But not holding my breath for any of that.
So you basically want them to become the Japanese version of Kittie. I can support that.
One thinks there isn’t a shortage of Japanese versions of Kittie, although no name comes to mind.
Nevertheless, Old Man Windbreaker breaks wind in support of this campaign.
Pretty much. When they get a bit older, maybe they’ll start performing like this too:
Let’s hope not…
We can do much better than that, people.
(I’m not actually that familiar with Kittie, so maybe they’re awesome, but still…)
I really liked Kittie’s first album, but I haven’t gotten into much of what they’ve done after that. They went from having screaming/singing parts that nicely contrasted to just having all screaming all the time, and in their case, I think it turned them from something interesting to something adequate, but very run of the mill.
Hmmm…you’ve convinced me to give them a chance!
There we go. [One can never remember those names. 😛 ]
This is one of my favorite bands. I was fortunate enough to get to see them last year in a pretty small club. Let me just say this: it was goddamn fucking AMAZING.
Manko Lover was also performing that night, so there was some full-frontal male nudity as well.
This is such an awesome video.
I’ve posted it here before.
I should really write a review for them one of these days…
Yeah… I really don’t get grindcore I guess, especially not live… All I hear is jumbled noise that may or may not consist of the notes the band intended to play, and an annoying hollow tin-can sounding drum in the back.
The live video does have really shitty production for sure.
This is a studio version: http://youtu.be/-_JyVXVpLZk
I think this band in particular makes excellent use of grindcore, personally. Even if you don’t like grindcore, I think you can still enjoy the groove if you do like death metal.
How do I explain watching this at work…
With an erection?
Just point. They’ll understand.
I’m sure you’ll be able to get a new job. Eventually. Maybe.
Blame it on Phro?
I happen to like these guys unironically. The songs I’ve heard are solid and catchy (although consistently a little overlong) and the arrangements are obviously a lot more stimulating to a metalhead than the usual synth pop shtick. I also enjoy the awkward and unapologetic collision of metal and J-Pop visual sensibilities in their videos.
The music reminds me of that totally badass metal remix of 2EN1’s “Fire” that Invisible Oranges posted last year: http://www.invisibleoranges.com/2011/05/how-to-remix-k-pop-into-metal/
Granted, the songwriting on the 2EN1 track is far superior to anything I’ve heard from Babymetal and Pat Lukens’ arrangement is insanely creative and cool, but either way it’s nice to see metal infecting other genres.
They sound like a try-hard Aphasia. Or one of the countless anime metal bands that Japan loves.
I guess what I want to say is listen to Sabbat: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bo5lElLB6e0
First song I ever heard was Headbanger and that was strange enough to get me interested, then I heard this song.
When I was looking for a place to buy the songs online that is not itunes, I read that one of the girls does actually play guitar so yeah while she may be putting on a show for the vid, she does actually know what she’s doing.