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BiS - IDOL is DEAD review

So, at last we're reaching the end of this long run of nothing-but-reviews that has plagued this blog for a while now. Only one album review left. I might touch on TGS and SKE albums in the year-in-review posts, but other than that it's only this and Passpo left now.

Anyway, BiS. I've gone into what I sort of like about BiS on Beats a few times, but I've never reviewed anything properly of theirs before. Thus this time, I will.

I'm also going to link any relevant PVs because they do help somewhat in understanding BiS' absolute psychosis.


Preamble: Cover fits well, Pour Lui looks a bit screwy, Wacky looks stoned off her tits, Yuffie's shadow cleavage is amusing, and Nozomi and Michael just look a bit like wounded puppies that want you to stop hitting them with a baseball bat that has nails coming out of it. That rather gory description aside, to the music.



1. IDOL is DEAD.



Well, this song certainly starts off with a bang, doesn't it? 7-string guitars and a genre which is hard to actually determine. Somewhere between Metalcore, Technomelodeath and black metal, I guess. Reminds me a hell of a lot of Blood Stain Child actually. Plus an idol group that does their own screams, I'm impressed. Anyway, it's musically quite interesting. Structurally, for such a short song it's very interesting. The chorus has quite a nice hook for such a brutal idol song. Really, the only thing standing in the way of this getting a very good mark is that it's not seven minutes long. Video is interesting, dark and grim (though those outfits are weird). 8/10

2. ASH.



This song is weird. Though weird in any given context is pretty much what BiS aim for so I guess it can't be helped. Once again, genre is difficult to pin down. Electronica/Grindcore/Indie Rock for the intro, some sort of digitised post-punk in the verse, which has some nicely reverbed to shit vocals and nice chord prog. Prechorus has another good chord prog, which then leads into the chorus which is just a pop chorus with the synths blazing away with the reverb-y vocals continuing.  Mid-8 post-chorus is some more death metal with synths layered over the top. Then we get a prechorus again, and chorus. And then the grindtronicore to end. It's nice. The music video is highly stylised, weird arty thingy that has *shockhorror* nudity. If perfectly featureless nudity. 9/10

3. PPCC.



PPCC means Peroperochuuchuu (lick lick suck suck) for those not in the know, which sums up more than I can be bothered to write about BiS in one post, really. Has some more of those delightful little post-rock moments and spacey vocals, plus the nice guitar work. The verse has a decent enough melody. Prechorus is short and effective. Chorus has an amazing hook, yet is still undisputably rock. Not bad going.  Post-chorus break is an interesting use of three chords. Unfortunately copy/paste for second time around. Then we get a little break of the intro riff variant, then a buildup chorus that's rather sexy. Then the legendary "Go Go Destroy! PPCC!" at the end. Nice. PV is weird slowmotion battle sequence in school swimsuits. As you do. 10/10

4. BLEW.

No video for this one. Shock. This one's more pop rock, with a decent intro riff. Verse riffs are awesome. Less reverb on vocals this time, which gives more clarity for what is a more straightforward song, I suppose. Prechorus is nice too, melody wise. Chorus is pretty hookless but has some pretty weird harmonies to keep me interested. Straight back into verse, prechorus, chorus again. Then intro riff again before buildup, which is interesting. Not the most amazing song, but passable. 7/10

5. CHELSEA.

Another with no video. The intro riff is epic. It's like a very very good punk riff. Well, not like. It is. Verse is also great instrumentation wise, vocals are interesting. Then back to intro. Then back to verse. Chorus after verse is quite punk but still catchy as fuck. Little guitar solo after the chorus is cool. Very Japanese-punk style. And then suddenly mid-8 with mild vocoder use and shitloads of reverb. Nice choice, works. Then broken down chorus into just drums and slight guitar is good. Keychanged final chorus also nice. Random fucking around at the end is win. This song is fucking awesome. 10/10

6. nerve.



This starts out techno as fuck. Then we get some 80s esque New Romantic bassline, then some really weird dodged synths into the verse, which is synth bass heavy and vocally not very interesting. Syncopation on the bass is cool. Prechorus is much better, weird guitar sounds and better vocal melodies, plus more syncopation. Chorus has a nice melody, but isn't quite as hooky as it could be. Back into verse and much the same through to the chorus. Guitar solo is decent, the tone is horrible. Prechorus hits back in halfway through the solo. Buildup chorus is quite nice with that thick as fuck bass and guitars intertwining. Not bad at all. PV is shot by fans on their phones. Just because they're kvlt like that. 8/10

7. Our Song.

Now this is shoegaze, post-rock, whatever you want to call it. That opening riff is so Boris it's a joke. Verse is also pretty, with more spacey vocals. Chord progression is also nice and sexy. Chorus is along the same vein, with beautiful spacey vocals and cool guitars. Drums stays in a support role, but perform it admirably. Postchorus break is nice. Then more verse. Then more chorus. Still just as sexy. Mid-8 has a droney feel mixed with something like Alcest to make it really nice. Chorus again kicks in and is still awesome. I really love this type of shoegaze. So good at expressing the ephemeral nature of existence. At the end there's a double time chorus, which is a nice variation. Then we get a quick break and that sexy intro riff again. 10/10

8. My Ixxx.



More "nudity" (with knickers and nipless apparently = naked). Anyway, songwise this is a nice poprock number with a number of post-rock attributes. The intro riff is very cool. The verse has more of those spacey vocals and a boring chord progression, made up for in the short but epic prechorus. The chorus also makes up for it with aplomb, being an awesome piece of music. We get a copypaste for the second time around, but as it's all good I don't mind. The synth/bass duet in the mid8 is interesting. Then prechorus/chorus back again. Short but sweet. PV is beautiful. Those lomo colours and nature stuff = win. 9/10

9. I wish I was Special.

Speedy thrashpunk this time. Nice intro, then some epic fast Dbeats and good Japanese punk chord progressions throughout the verse. Chorus is nice and quick. Second verse has a quick deconstruction riff. Second chorus is just as quick and good. Japanese punk-esque solo is good, as is the randomness. Straight back into chorus. No buildups here. 9/10

10. hitoribochi.



The only real ballad on the album, this is grim, but beautiful. The chord progression is fucked up in the verse, actually sounds quite black metallish with that riff. But then we get a quick prechorus and then a really slow but sexy chorus. There's some e-bowed guitars in the background adding beautiful ambience to it, and a nice chord prog and a good vocal melody make this awesome. Some techno elements in the mid8 and some interesting chord riffs are epic, then vocals come in with tremolo picked guitars and is just win. Buildup chorus with those e-bows = oh yea. Pure sex. PV is crazy. Shows them trying to run 100km to get to a gig. Damn. 10/10

11. IDOL.



The other crazy metal song on here. More 7-string guitars. More screaming. Intro is cool. Verse isn't particularly amazing. Only two chords. No real good melody. Prechorus on the other hand is really quite nice. Chorus likewise, really good melody and chord progression make this pop-metal. Second time around is much the same. Mid-8 has some really fucking deep guitars and screams. If they'd screwed up with the time-sigs some more it might have been Meshuggah-esque. But no. But still, good enough as a song. The PV has them being crucified. That's all you need to know really. 8/10

12. urge over kill of love.

This song starts with a nice little Sepultura/Orphaned Land-esque mix between thrash metal and world music, but then goes into dirty techno bass territory for the verse and prechorus, though the prechorus melody is much better due to it actually having a melody. Chorus has guitars and the dirty bass, and nice enough melodies, to make this a decent enough song, but still probably the worst so far. Second runthrough copypaste. Rap instead of mid8 isn't particularly inspiring. Could have done with the Arabic instruments going throughout and following chord prog instead of looping. 5/10

13. primal.



Damn I love this song. More of that delightful gorgeous post-rock sound. That opening riff is honestly beautiful. Verse has a really nice vocal melody. Chord progression is nice in first half, as quiet instruments, and then buildup with guitars into prechorus which is also nice. Chorus is wonderful. Melody and chord progressions all combine to make something that's uniquely precious in idol music. Verse two starts with all the instruments, no buildup this time. The mid-8 continues in this vein of awesomeness, then diminuendos a little, before getting back up to full steam for the final chorus. Honestly one of the best songs I've ever heard in Jpop. The video pushed the boundaries by featuring home shot footage (including what looks like a sextape), images of them smoking, injured, and having cameras rammed down the member's gullets. Business as usual for BiS. 10/10

Overall: Honestly, when all is said and done, I'm a music person. I like the idols, but if the music wasn't there I'd be thoroughly uninterested in them. Now, obviously, there are a lot of shit idol albums. People moan at me a lot for being "too harsh" on some reviews or not being harsh enough on others. My ratings are based on the average ratings of the songs, and then I may add points for being a cohesive piece of work or being conceptual, and remove points for re-using really old songs or being a mishmash smörgåsbord with no thematic links to anything whatsoever. On occasion, a collection of songs stands out (see: C-ute's Chou Wonderful), sometimes a cohesive piece of work does (Buono's We Are Buono). And sometimes things are just so diverse and wonderful you can't help but love it (Momoclo's Battle and Romance, Momusu's 4th Ikimasshoi). Still, my overarching idea of ratings is: if this was released by a group that had nothing to do with idols, would I still love the fuck out of it? In this case, the answer is unwaveringly yes.

8.6/10

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