I have to give credit to Alternative Press on this. I have always wanted to write a Babymetal post, but if you know who/what Babymetal is, you might find it really hard to put into words. AP posted something posing the questing, “Why isn’t anyone really talking about Babymetal?” The question is totally legit on a number of different levels.
Babymetal is a complete trip and then some! First of all, you have the singers who are these tiny, very cute, teenage, Japanese girls who typically wear tutus. Then you have the backing band who just pure annihilation with the face-melting metal they play. Mash the 2 together and nothing seems to make sense because these little Japanese girls are doing these very “cutesy” “tee hee hee” bop-around dance moves while singing very uh… “cutesy” “tee hee hee” bop-around vocals? … which eventually turn into insanely catchy hooks, all over top of this insanely talented, power-driven, break-neck-headbanging, semi-terrifying looking metal backing band.
Oh yeah… and it’s all in Japanese too.
So I’ve describe them, right? Right… then you should be adequately prepped to be shown the first video I saw of them of their hard, throw-down, fist-pumping metal song called… “Gimme Chocolate“.
Babymetal – Gimme Chocolate
So there you have it. Babymetal. The name seems insanely fitting now that you’ve seen a video of them. This seems like a band that the minds behind Adult Swim would put together. It’s really got it all. Immediately, there’s already a total lack of being able to fully understand the lyrics unless you speak Japanese. The band is off the chain with how good they are and how hard the music shreds. Then I follow that up directly with… but then there’s these 3 very tiny Japanese girls who look 12 but are really in their late teens, singing both odd and catchy melodies, and wearing tutus. It seems like a giant joke that apparently doesn’t get old because they tour the entire world and sell out pretty much every single show.
If you want to check out more Babymetal, there’s a playlist of their many equally mind-bending videos at the bottom of this article.
Anymore, it’s not all that out of the ordinary to see metal or an aggressive rock genre start to mash-up/crossover with pop music. A good hook is a good hook and fans predominately want that. Babymetal is a strange and amazing marriage of the two, but I’ve experienced this before from other foreign bands. The first one I really noticed was also a Japanese band.
Fact is a band I learned about randomly. The strangeness of the vocals mixed with very odd, poppy, aggressive music had me very curious and therefore, sucked in. As Pam from Archer says, “It’s like spoiled milk… you just have to take a whiff.” It turns out the odd vocals is from the singer singing in very broken English and the band is from Japan. The album sounds like they’re confused as to what kind of music they want to write; new age pop rock or hardcore. When I was talking about them, I summed them up as the Japanese version of Saosin, but even that wasn’t entirely on point. Short and sweet, though.
Another foreign band blurring the lines of heavier music with very melodic pop elements is a group from the UK, Press To Meco.
Only citing three bands might be a very small sample size, but I’m an avid new music explorer; maybe there’s just something going on in music overseas that just hasn’t taken complete hold in the US yet. I say YET because it looks like it could be starting to pick up speed in this very immediate present. I found the band, Thank You Scientist, earlier this year.
Mathy ska proggressive rock? It’s crazy whatever it is. It’s catchy and filled with odd mixes of instruments and styles. Let’s not think these other examples are nearly as extreme as Babymetal, but odd musical blends are certainly being found in more places than just within Babymetal.
Now is the time to go crazy in the comments. I’m a new band collector so if you have any examples of bands that fit this mold, post up a link and state your case. Or you can just talk about how Babymetal made you lose a little bit of your sanity and you’re not quite sure who you are anymore.
Hit me up on facebook, twitter and instagram. We can make it a support group of sorts for everyone still questioning what they’ve seen and if this world is even still real. Or maybe you just want some chocolate.
By: Eli Rebich