- The first in an occasional series of ill thought through metal reviews, direct from the Metal Man Cave! Today – Babymetal.
SOME THINGS ARE HUGE in Japan. Sumo wrestlers, for example, because competition rules require this. And Godzilla is literally huge in Japan – thirty storeys high if the theme song from the spin off 1978 cartoon series is to be believed, and let’s not speak of Godzooky, Godzilla’s hapless reptilian sidekick in that show, just like Keith Harris’ Orville, but not a duck, a baby dinosaur, and not wearing a nappy, like Orville did.
Babymetal are huge in Japan too. They’re something called a kawaii metal band, a musical genre that blends heavy metal and J-pop, and they’ve been kicking around since 2010.
I was uninitiated in Babymetal until this morning when my friend Mark sent me this thing off YouTube.
I obviously thought this must be the world’s biggest karaoke place owned by some singing triplets, but not a bit of it. This is a full-on live arena gig (or possibly a stadium gig because to be fair the whole thing moves so fast I wasn’t able to properly check if there was a roof) with a largely unfeatured backing band and only the briefest of shots of the drummer’s feet. One of the singers has a very sparkly stick she carries around. This probably helps her move about when the high energy dance routines have done for her back.
There’s also a fella wearing a skeleton leotard in the crowd, just like the one Uncle Brian wore at that Halloween do at Carlton in Lindrick Working Man’s Club in 2007. It might actually be Uncle Brian at this Babymetal gig thinking about it, and it completely explains his mysterious disappearance.
Musically, the track HEADBANGER properly rocks. It’s like ‘Painkiller’ era Judas Priest if Halford, Downing and Tipton were not Halford, Downing and Tipton but some Japanese triplets in ra ra skirts. Mind you, there’s some ancient Egyptian cat iconography in the background, so maybe they’re mumm-ra ra skirts. ThunderCats was, of course, vastly superior to the Godzilla cartoon series, with Lion-O going on to run the Wetherspoon’s franchise and lose a whole heap of money because of Brexit.
The backing band’s outfits are an obvious nod to Japanese horror film The Ring, or possibly the loonies in One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest. Whatever, man. And I think I may even have spotted some dragons, because my current medication is that good. Also there’s a big shiny triangle with some symbols on it.
Try as I might, I can’t imagine Babymetal going down well at the local church’s open mic. I don’t know how they’d fit all their equipment in unless they moved the font, which has been standing there since the 1720s, or temporarily relocated Michael’s organ. Also, while I don’t understand Uncle Brian’s decision to leave Carlton in Lindrick in 2007, ultimately to turn up to a Babymetal gig in Japan, based on this track alone I have to respect it.
In short, I like Babymetal very much and will surely look at some more of their videos on Wednesday.