Feb 052014

Here are a couple of quick update items about Japanese bands we’ve written about in the past.


Long-time readers of the site know that we have a thing about Baby Metal. A non-pervy thing, I hasten to add. If you’re new to the site, you can find all our prior blathering here. The breaking news is that Baby Metal, at long last, have announced they will be releasing an album. Entitled BABYMETAL, it will become available on February 26 via iTunes and assorted other sites (for CDs), which you can find via the band’s FB page or their web site.

The band have released a trailer for the album. It’s mainly just a string of clips from previous videos, but I’ll stick it up here anyway:





I  found out about The Wagakki Band last October from our Tokyo-based friend Phro and wrote about them here, embedding a number of their videos. In addition to recording covers of vocaloid songs, they also blend traditional Japanese instruments and musical styles with Western hard rock. And so the band’s seven musicians (not counting fan-swinging vocalist Yuko Suzuhana) include not only a drummer, a guitarist, and a bassist but also a tsugaru-jamisen (Japanese lute) player, a koto (Japanese harp) player, a shakuhachi (Japanese flute) player, and a taiko drummer.

On January 31, Phro sent me a link to a new video from the band that had just appeared on YouTube. I’m not sure about the name of the song, because I don’t read Japanese [update: Phro tells me the name is “Senbon Zakura”], but it appears to be from a forthcoming album named Vocaloid Zanmai, which will become available on April 23. Actually, I’m not sure about the name of the album either — the name I used is the one Google Garble gave me when I used it on the Japanese text that accompanies the video.

Anyway, the video is cool. Here it is:


  1. That is terrific news, seriously.

  2. Nice. I happened to pick one of the video suggestions the tube of you put on display after the Waggaki vid ended (http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=1bUV2wdOfXk) and found on same tube that it is another rendition of that crazy jap vocaloid stuff, though a bit more traditional sounding than Waggaki (as memory is quite poor, i can’t say for sure, but methinks Waggaki have also done. CMIW). For other non-vocaloid-derived japanese fun stuff, try Yoshida Brothers.

  3. I have a deeply conflicting ambivalence about buying a Babymetal album….which probably means I’ll love it.

  4. BABYMETAL!!!!!!!

  5. The Waggaki Band is just fascinating. i don’t know if i would buy one of their albums, but i love watching their videos.

    • I’m in that same camp. Watching them and listening to how they blend the very different styles of music is very interesting, but I think the distinctly Japanese parts of the music are still alien enough to my ears that I’m not yet ready to run out and get the music.

      • in case of the Waggaki the “japanese” parts are pretty much quite western-ears friendly, especially that in the videos they are usually heard after heavy studio editing to even out the voice and ehm, smooth it up a bit (unlike in the case the singing lady in the video i unhumbly posted a link to in my earlier post – it’s pretty raw in comparison). For a much harder test of endurance i recommend “gagaku” – traditional Japanese court music.

        • fck, just realized the link leads to a less westernized version of the same song by the Waggaki (& quite frankly i think i prefer the “japaneser” version) to the Waggaki one, although one can’t deny the latter is quite charming as well

  6. The title is Senbon Zakura.

    Here’s the vocaloid original: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xMQLi3FStiU
    The illustrations done for the original are worth seeing.

  7. I’m quite excited for a Babymetal album. I was shocked to discover I really enjoy their music when I heard them for the first time, and have been waiting for this for quite some time.

  8. I hope they put the babymetal album on google play

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