Possibly the most Marmite band around release eponymous debut June 1. Internet gives up, goes home.
I'll cut to the chase. I've been yapping on about this band for over a year because I think they're brilliant; the biggest f*ck you to douchey metal bands and their stupid long hair and depressing lyrics. Babymetal are fun and I'm stoked that this curious chimera of a 7 piece (4 virtuoso musicians and 3 schoolgirls) are finally hitting our record stores and pissing off true metal haterz up and down the land.
'Babymetal: Babymetal' is full of surprises. Opening track 'Death' is apparently modeled on a cross between the Mickey Mouse Club March and a track by Napalm Death. It sounds bonkers, it is bonkers and to an outsider must look, well, bonkers. And it sets the scene for what is a really interesting and richly crafted work; an album that is ludicrously heavy at times with tracks like 'Catch Me If You Can' and 'Megistsune' delivering savage breakdowns in the midst of charmingly chirpy pop choruses. Verily sirrah, this is musical carnage!
Babymetal have been described by their detractors as cynical and exploitative, but when you dig a little deeper you can tell whoever put this record together really knows what they're doing. 'Akatsuki', 'Ijime Dame Zettai' and 'Headbangya' are very well written numbers and even smack of early 80's British rock music. This is not hyperbole.
Maybe it's the way in which Babymetal are so carefree with their attitude to the metal genre that makes this album so intriguing. They just don't give a shit. And that's why in the space of four minutes you'll have a song that veers between football chant, death metal growls, an Undertones-esque chorus and Reggae. Reggae. Death metal. You should read that again just for a laugh because you'll never read it anywhere else ever again.
But this record is slightly imperfect. 'Iine' is a rather punishing exercise in euro techno holiday resort music (real genre, fact) and Dragonforce-penned 'Road of Resistance' feels a little, erm, forced. But who cares. You can't please all the people all the time and this reviewer is hard to please.
In summary, even if you're not into metal 'Baymetal: Babymetal' might yet be your gateway drug. I'm reminded of Queens Of The Stoneage's debut 'Feel Good Hit Of The Summer'. I say move over, Babymetal are your Feel Good Hit Of The Year.
Image copyright Toys Factory.