Babymetal recently released their first full-length record, which looks to be comprised primarily of previously released singles and b-sides, with a couple new songs thrown in just for fun. I got ahold of the record, and, I have to say that, sadly, I'm addicted. While I don't understand the lyrics, and can't really sing along (cuz I don't know Japanese), and I feel super creepy admiring the pop/death metal stylings of a group fronted by 14-year-olds, I can't help it. The music is completely disarming and infectious. And it's always interesting.
Part of the appeal is owed to the fact that someone somewhere is making music for kids that doesn't suck. I mean, I'm sure, given the way the girls coo the lyrics, that it's about the usually teen idol subject matter: love, having fun, breaking up, heartbreak, etc. (Although, I really really hope they're singing adorable pop tunes about giant kaiju attacks on Tokyo and soul-siphoning demon dragons.) But it's just done with so much enthusiasm and energy that I can't deny my desire to sing along while headbanging. Plus, since I can't understand the words, I get to make up my own lyrics. I've already decided there's a line in "Doki Doki Morning" that says something like "Ding, ding, ding/ Asshole has a hernia".
I've read several articles that have included lines like "This stuff is gonna piss off any true metalhead". Maybe because it's not pure metal. All the song have riffs that hit with industrial strength brutality, but they also veer off into non-metal territory. One tune shifts into gangsta rap out of nowhere, while another features reggae breakdowns. I guess it's not pure enough for true metalheads. I also surmise that I'm not a true metalhead, cuz I love this sh*t. It keeps me excited to see what happens next. It's like if a giant Japanese mech busted through my speakers and kicked me in the head, I'd be less surprised than I am by what Babymetal does next. And I've never heard metal that's so... so... CHEERFUL. I guess what I'm saying is that I know Babymetal is a concoction of some record producer, that it's not much more than J-pop with some riffs thrown in to spice it up. I know it's basically what you'd get if you fronted DragonForce with a girl group. I know it's not really metal. AND I DON'T FRAKKING CARE.
(And if you're concerned that my enjoyment of this group is evidence that I have some serious, deep-seeated problems, it's cool. I'm just as worried as you are.)
Here's "Doki Doki Morning" for you to check out if your curiosity has gotten the better of you.