I have some down-time with The STP Project right now, so I thought I’d share my latest obsession: BABYMETAL.
Baby Metal at first might sound like nursery music made by Motörhead (which would also be awesome, but for now we can at least hear it from the Ramones), but it’s actual a crazy infusion of death metal and J-pop. Yes, that’s right: cute, happy, perky Japanese Pop idol music fused with shredding, growling, throaty death metal.
イジメ、ダメ、ゼッタイ – Ijime, Dame, Zettai (No, More, Bullying):
At first, you think there’s no way that could work, …but then it does. It’s hard and fast and easily moshable, yet it still has a catchy tune that you could easily find yourself singing to yourself in the parking lot afterwards.
Babymetal are three singer/dancers, known as Su-metal (17yo), Moa-metal (13yo), and Yui-metal (13yo), along with a band comprised of extremely talented and hard-tempered pure-metal heads, headed up by their producer, Koba-metal.
The girls come from the Sakura Gakuin (さくら学院, or “Cherry Blossom Academy”), which is a J.pop idol group that more-or less works like a talent-search school for middle-school aged girls. Run by Amuse talent management, all of the members were encouraged to start side-projects to keep them well rounded, but did little Ms. Su-Metal (Suzuka Nakamoto) start up just another pop group? Not so much, instead, she grouped together with 2 younger singers and founded one of the heaviest things to ever split my face off while also making me go “d’awwww”.
Of course, some songs lean towards their respective poles in the newly created genre, with some being more up-beat and catchy, like this:
ド・キ・ド・キ☆モーニング (“Doki Doki☆Morning”):(translation here)
And some are totally smash-you-in-your-ear-holes-with-a-hello-kitty-sledghammer like this:
ヘドバンギャー！！- Headbangeeeeerrrrr!!!!!(translation here)
(DEATH) ですBABYMETAL – We Are BABYMETAL:(translation here)
It should be mentioned to anyone who feels they’re too young to be screaming about death (which, honestly, I don’t have a problem with), they are actually making a play on words. The word “Death” in a Japanese accent sounds exactly like “です” (desu, the ‘u’ is silent), which literally just means “I am”. The only words of the song are stating they’re names: “I am Su-Metal, I am Moa-Metal, I am Yui-Metal, We are Babymetal”.
Also, if you look closely, they aren’t even doing a proper “sign of the beast” with their hands. It’s altered to what they call a fox sign. Kitsune (fox) has a very deep history in Japanese folklore, and is more or less the mascot chosen by the girls. This all works pretty well, in my opinion, with their theme of melding cute and hardcore.
Basically, I think it’s super bad-ass. I mean, c’mon, how cool would that be to have your kid become a rock goddess with thousands of screaming worshippers?? These girls, some not even out of junior high, command respect from fully grown fans who could otherwise have treated them as inferior just because of age. If you don’t believe me, check out the crowd following along here:
Their CD release is today actually (iTunes store), so go buy it up to show them that the world wants more kids who rock, then go play it and mosh out in your living room with your toddler (they’ll dig it, I promise.)
Meanwhile, here’s a couple more videos to rock the nursery:
メギツネ – MEGITSUNE:(translation here)
いいね！- iine! (So Good!)
Uki Uki ★ Midnight:
おねだり大作戦 (仮) -Onedari Daisakusen (fan vid):