Filed under "Video"

花冷え。(HANABIE。) - “We love sweets”

22 December 2021 • Filed under ,

You're going to think you're ready for this. You're not ready.

Hang on to your wigs and keys.

HANABIE. is a four-piece metal band out of Tokyo. They initially formed as a high school music club and have kept kicking around for about 6 years since then, as best as I can tell.

I’m not into many metal bands, though I do listen to some artists—like Rolo Tomassi—that mix metal with other styles to give it a more varied, melodic, (occasional) pop sound. I have a love/hate relationship with genres already, and in this case I’m fully out of my depth in describing the genres that this band draws from. So, borrowing from descriptions written by others: HANABIE. play a mix of metalcore, death metal, and nu-metal with kawaii, rap, and pop stylings. Hope that helps. 🤷

“We love sweets”—specifically, the song’s music video—was my introduction to this band, and it’s one of those things that is so delightfully surprising and different that I didn’t know quite what to think after watching it, except that I totally loved it. I’m not alone; I’ve watched dozens of others’ reaction videos to the song, and the consensus is the same: that was amazing, but what just happened? It’s an incredibly tight, roaring, teeth-rattling, kawaii death-metal shredder with a surfeit of machine-gun double-kick drums than must somehow violate The Geneva Convention. This song is unconventional, shifting structures and bucking expectations as it goes along—“Bohemian Rhapsody” style—yet it remains cohesive. It’s total brain candy, and keeps me coming back again and again—a legit headbanger that is also catchy as hell.

True to my penchant for surprise and juxtaposition, part of the appeal here is the contrast between the harshness of the music and the humorous, cutesy appearance of the band. You will not believe that a petite Japanese woman could make her voice sound like that. It’s bananas. But when the novelty wears off, this band still has the chops to transcend the spectacle. The whole Girl’s Reform Manifest album is really solid, front to back—30 minutes and 57 seconds of legit face-melters.

(Sorry for any neck injuries or dental surgery that may result from watching this video.)

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The Unofficial Music Video

1 December 2021 • Filed under ,

Two seconds of John Cho's bare buns have rendered this video "age restricted". FYI.

I can’t count the number of times that I’ve clicked a music video on YouTube, only to discover that it was fan-made, and usually poorly made, but with a deceptively good thumbnail image. It’ll usually be just a photo with music playing underneath, or clips from other music videos spliced together.

For some reason, I’ve only recently stumbled into the world of cinematic fan-made videos, each taking scenes from a single film (or serial episode) and putting them together in a way that compliments the music. It makes sense; songs that appear on a movie soundtrack have been doing this for a while. The best of these videos are a real labor of love, filling a void in the absence of the original artist’s vision. Finding the right visual match for the song takes sensitivity and broad exposure to varied source material.

This video is a great example of a well-executed fan-made cinematic music video. It takes scenes from the film Columbus to make an unofficial video for “Apocalypse” by Cigarettes After Sex. It’s a song partially about someone being stuck in a place they don’t really want to be, and that’s also a primary theme in Columbus. It’s a great song, a great film, and a truly inspired pairing.

(Columbus, incidentally, is a beautiful movie. After watching this music video, I had to see it, and it turned out to be a really touching and nuanced story. And—as you can see—it’s full of captivating cinematography. Highly recommended.)

A few more videos in this style that I’ve really enjoyed:

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BAND-MAID - “onset”

21 October 2021 • Filed under ,

Yes, it's a band of maids.

Photosensitivity warning

This video contains flashing lights that could trigger seizures for people with visual sensitivities.

Youtube is wild. I’ve been watching it a lot during this whole COVID ordeal, and discovered some really great stuff thanks to all the different ways it suggests other content. I like a good metal jam, so the Tube offered me this video. I’m sorry, what? Are those Japanese girls dressed in maid outfits? Is that why the band is named “BAND-MAID”? It it really that simple?

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© Jared Christensen

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