Zsasz – Zsasz

Zsasz

The debut ep of Zsasz, the idol unit produced by Utsu-P, features one original song and four re-recorded Vocaloid tracks, and it’s seriously awesome.

For DC Comics fans, Zsasz is one the most evil enemies of Batman; for idol fans, it’s one of the most surprising units which came out last year. If you’re a fan of both, well… choose one. I recommend the latter.

Only a few group managed to hit me as hard as them with a debut song; honestly, “ピーターピーター” (Peter Peter) is probably one of the best debug songs I’ve ever heard. When you hear something like this from a newcomer unit you start wondering who is behind the project; and then you read the name of the infamous Vocaloid producer 鬱P (Utsu-P) who came up with the idea of creating an idol group. And he even kept some of the virtual singers’ vocals here and there. That’s seriously awesome.

Not as awesome as Zsasz‘s first ep though, which consists of five songs of which four were originally Vocaloid tracks, except “ピーターピーター”. In just twenty minutes, the group shows off some of the most solid and expressive vocals I’ve recently heard in the idol scene; put them on Utsu-P’s aggressive, melodic and at times bizarre alternative metal sound and you’ll get the idea of what this album sounds like.

The songs themselves are nothing short of incredible, from the composition to the production; Utsu-P enjoys getting a little bit of weirdness here end there, sometimes drawing in circus-like music and merging it together with Japanese scale melodies, but even putting these quirks aside their songwriting is top-notch. You’ll find yourself listening to these songs like in loop starting from “食事” (Shokuji), not being able to stop until your ears start bleeding. Which never happens, by the way, since “ぬいぐるみになりたい” (Nuigurumi Ni Naritai) is such a great track that you’ll forcefully stop any drop of blood just to give this ep one more listen.

I’m being serious: I’ve probably listened to this 20-minute album like fifty times in a few days and I’m not even remotely getting tired of it; how could you get tired of listening to “麺屋ぐろてすく” (Menya Grotesque)? This speaks a lot for how awesome Zsasz, Utsu-P and this album are.


Needless to say, this is a group we’ll need to keep an eye on. In case you don’t believe me, go give them a listen or buy a copy on Idol Underworld (hopefully it will get re-stocked).

BLACKNAZARENE – LastHymn

BLACKNAZARENE

BLACKNAZARENE’s latest MV for “LastHymn” reminds us that the release of their first mini-album is near; “Admiration” will be out on the 18th of February.

As much as I’d like to say that BLACKNAZARENE is the name of an extreme metal idol unit, they already denied this assumption long time ago through songs like “officialfake”; just a month before the release of their first mini-album Admiration, the aesthetically dark-themed group gifted us with a new MV for “Lasthymn”.

The song — which was already released last year — features piano and electric guitars intertwining to create a poetic background both mellow and powerful, on which the five girls put their souls and voices to make it emotionally stronger, especially during the dreamlike chorus. The video is set in a sunset-tinged forest and in what seems to be an abandoned building brightened only by the golden Sun of twilight coming through the windows; the gothic-like concept of the girls’ outfits perfectly match with the light & dark theme of these settings and also with the hopeful but slightly melancholic atmosphere of the song.


While we already knew that BLACKNAZARENE were a strong idol unit, this is a good reminder for their upcoming mini-album; Admiration will be released on the 18th of February, so save some money for it.

CHIKA RADAR #11: Little Emperor Syndrome

Chika Radar #11: Little Emperor Syndrome
Meet a new idol group named Little Emperor Syndrome, a unit filled with pop-rock, penguins and a little bit of weirdness; exactly what we always enjoy.
Penguins are cute. They walk so awkwardly, and they look so plushy… Really cute birds. Except Adélie penguins. Don’t google them. Anyway, why are we discussing about penguins when we should talk of Little Emperor Syndrome? I don’t know, but their social accounts are full of penguins; of course, they’re probably referring to Emperor penguins. But let’s forget about birds and move on to these young idols.


Little Emperor Syndrome have formed just recently, as their Twitter account was created last November and just a few days ago they started uploading songs on Youtube. Their music seems to be based on a pop-rock sound featuring powerful guitars, emotional synths and — of course — catchy vocals. While their music sounds a bit amateurish, the three singers are not that bad and all in all the songs are fairly nice.

Let’s check the first two songs, “Thank You The Hell” is the one leaning more on the emotional side, thanks to its slower rhythms and the strings and piano melodies enriching it. On the other hand, with “Dance In Aworld” things get a little bit weirder: vocoded vocals, some strange stuff happening after the first chorus followed by very fast drums, even a poetic moment before the end… what’s going on here? This song also works as an introduction… and what an introduction!


The debut show of Little Emperor Syndrome has been held on the 13th of January: sure, they’re a young unit, but this looks like a nice start. The other tracks have even more surprises, as they delve first into hip-hop with “KAGOME RAP” and then in heavy metal with “Monster Cake”.

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