KNOW YOUR IDOL #16: 椎名ひかり (Shiina Hikari / Pikarin)

椎名ひかり (Shiina Hikari / Pikarin)

On this new episode of the Know Your Idol series, in collaboration with Idol Underworld, we will get to know the one and only idol from the Demon World, 椎名ひかり (Shiina Hikari / Pikarin).

Idols are cute, they said; they are not scary, they said. Well, the first half of this statement is certainly right, but what about the other part? 椎名ひかり (Shiina Hikari), or Pikarin for short, was probably the first idol that taught me that idols can be cute and scary. I still remember watching her going from kawaii voice to deep growl for the first time, and the fact that I haven’t forgotten about it in all these years must mean something.

In this in-depth interview, Pikarin talks about various things regarding her, such as her music, the many sides of her career and the reasons she bites and walks on people. Enjoy the interview!

IDOL LIVE COLLECTION #1

IDOL LIVE COLLECTION #1

I miss live shows may be the mantra of every music fan during this pandemic; but on the other hand, technology gives us a hand by letting us see concerts online. Yeah, it’s not really the same, but let’s be content with what we have.

Similarly to what I’m doing with the monthly Top 10 MV’s, here we have some recent live videos from various idol groups. Many units included here are very underground and all videos feature just one song, so hopefully you’ll be able to discover some new idols in a short time. Enjoy!


閏 -うるう- (Urū) – AESTHETICS

The first time we met Urū was thanks to Chika Radar #8; since then, there have been some changes to the unit, but what hasn’t changed is that if you enjoy the emotional rock style, you’ll surely like this group as well. Here you can get a taste of their energy with “AESTHETICS”.


Re:INCARNATION – JUST A HERO!!

Another group we met through our Chika Radar (episode #18), Re:INCARNATION bring a healthy dose of pure fun with their catchy and happiness-filled pop/rock sound. “JUST A HERO!!” is a very nice and light song indeed.


emmersive – Reload

emmersive is a very young group, and while they’re not really groundbreaking, their music is really enjoyable. “Reload” delivers a very idol-ish and light pop/rock sound which can surely be enjoyed by many people.


Dan te Lion – 天 (Ten)

Pop/rock seems really popular in this video collection, so let’s add some more thanks to Dan te Lion. Although I don’t see too many people talking about them in the international idol fans community, “Ten” proves that they are not really bad, mixing quite heavy guitars with a very pop sound featuring a rapped part as well.


lyrical school – last summer

Speaking of rap, lyrical school popped up in this collection: veterans of the alternative idol scene, they have been bringing us their hip-hop sound for a decade. The slow-paced “last summer” is taken from their 2020 EP OK!!!!! and this live video proves that they are still an awesome unit.


POPPiNG EMO – SELFISH

A very recent video from POPPiNG EMO for a song that also got a MV. “SELFISH” brings their rock sound with a nice guitar riff and an even better hook, reminding me that I need to listen to them more often.


AKIARIM – One

AKIARIM recently added two new members and here you can watch them in action; from what it seems, they are doing great with this line-up. “One” is also a very enjoyable song from them, filled with rock energy and featuring a great hook.


プシュケとラーガ (Psyche and Raga) – Winning Ark

Chika Radar #24 guests Psyche and Raga are a quite uncommmon group, with their psychedelic rock sound; but here they also give us a members perspective live video, which lets us look at them from the stage. The sound quality is not the best, but you can feel that “Winning Ark” is not half bad.


AIBECK – Stay Gold

Don’t be fooled by the quiet acoustic intro of “Stay Gold”: AIBECK can also be pretty intense, and you can feel it in this song as well. This also makes me think that their live shows, just like their music, are full of various emotions. I recommend you to take a look at the video interview to know more about them.


XOXO EXTREME feat. Silent Of Nose Mischief – 羊たちの進撃 〜The assault of the Lambs〜

Finally, let’s close this collection with one of the most unique groups out there. With the collaboration of genre-bending progressive band Silent Of Nose Mischief, XOXO EXTREME deliver a theatrical and poetic performance of “The assault of the Lambs”, where great instrumentals, emotional idol vocals and dramatic choreography blend together. Seriously astonishing.

INUWASI – Thanatos

Inuwasi

Listen to INUWASI’s second ep titled Thanatos, which blends idol music with rock guitars, post-hardcore energy, electronic synths and hip-hop beats.

The release of the second EP of INUWASI finally gives me a chance to spend some words for this great group; so let’s see what the brought us with Thanatos.

Taking its title from the Greek personification of death, the album presents itself with a cover art which reminded me of Katatonia’s Brave Murder Day, except in place of the dead bird we have a bizarre creature depicting the concept of the group: a colorful hybrid made of a dog which can’t chew and an eagle incapable of flying.

The five tracks of Thanatos draw inspiration mainly from powerful genres such as rock, post-hardcore and alternative metal, although other elements such as electronic synths and hip-hop-like beats make their way through the music to improve it and make it more varied and appealing. The usual catchy idol vocal lines make the songs very enjoyable and memorable, and at times leave room for some harsh vocals which further enhance the energy of the whole sound.

“Burnt Sienna”, a pigment that got famous during the Renaissance in Italy, is also the title of the opener: fast paced, full of energy, soaked in electronic sounds and even featuring vaguely middle-eastern vocal lines, it’s perfect song to start the album. Next up is “in flames”, a less experimental but still powerful and enjoyable track with some intense guitar riffs, cool synth melodies and a very nice hook.

Halfway through the album we meet “Hades”, another name coming from Greek mythology, representing the god of the underworld; the song leans even more towards the electronic side of INUWASI, with beats ans synths piercing through the electric guitars, without actually replacing them. On the other hand, “budh” — my favorite one — seems to get into some sort of industrial rock sound and features a very emotional refrain.

The final track is “holy”, which also got a music video recently. Post-hardcore electric guitars and hip-hop beats fight with each other just to get both replaced by mysterious piano notes, ending the album in a great way.

This EP shows that INUWASI are already a very interesting unit, although there is obviously room for improvement in both the production and the vocals; regardless, the group is absolutely praiseworthy for having an original concept and also an unusual music style which brings together many different worlds. You can listen to Thanatos below or on your favorite streaming service.


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