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.)

© Jared Christensen

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