Lady Gaga Announces Most Surreal Support Act Yet

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Not exactly famed for a middle of the road approach to music, Lady Gaga has just announced Japanese metal band BabyMetal as support for some of the shows in her upcoming US Tour.

Baby Metal

Rights; Kurini Santosu

It is hard to truly categorise just how unusual BabyMetal are because there is, quite simply, nothing else like them. The Japanese have always been great lovers of Heavy-Metal (much to my surprise; one often gets the impression that such a proud colonial nation wouldn’t meddle in such “low-brow” music), the festivals of Japan have, in the past, helped establish “The Big Four” of Metal music and hundreds more globally renowned bands have found an incredible following in the small island nation.

Despite this, the proliferation of surreal manga, cartoons and bright colours seems to suggest that Japan is concerned with the fluffy cheerful side of life too. And Japanese pop music reflects this perfectly. Just take a look at the work of Pop group ℃-ute and you’ll understand just how surreal some Japanese music is…

But BabyMetal are odd even for the Japanese. 

Lady Gaga sure knows how to pick them because BabyMetal are the surreal combination of blast-beating metal bands like Napalm Death and the recent – much lambasted – Avril Lavigne Song Hello Kitty.

And yet, somehow it is the most fascinating and interesting Metal band I’ve heard in a long time. Metal has a habit of staying very much in a safe zone of music, most groups follow very much in the footsteps of bands like Metallica and the other eighties mainstays. It’s true, there are bands which break out of the mould in various ways (Slipknot did it so well in the 2000s and Rolo Tomassi and Enter Shikari have recently brought new spins to the genre) but the majority of it remains pretty much the same old same old. BabyMetal have something about them though, they have the incredibly powerful metal music, the surreal dance routines (which so rarely accompany this kind of music!) and the novelty of having three young girls as lead singers. Will they become mainstream successes? I doubt it. But they’ll certainly be one to watch; even if just to turn to your friends and say: “Christ, have you heard this?!”

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About the author

Harry Parkhill

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I am the Editor for the Evans Review. I have previous experience working as a writer and editor for dozens of publications, including The Daily Telegraph, MSN, the Editorial section of (now defunct) LOVEFiLM, Kettle Mag and Journalism-Now Politically right of centre.

  • evansreview

    Haha, I’m glad you enjoyed it Billy! I have to say I agree, they are very odd! not the sort of everyday driving in the car kind of music but still very interesting!

  • http://afairjudgementdeserved.wordpress.com Stuart Armstrong

    When talking blast-beats, Napalm Death strike me as a strange example to use. BabyMetal are no doubt a strange mix of various metal genres, but I don’t think the sub genre Napalm Death are categorised as, grindcore, is one of them. I think more likely (from my limited exposure to them) BabyMetal probably draw their blast-beat like elements from death and black metal.

    Secondly, the assertion that ‘Metal has a habit of staying very much in a safe zone of music’ is odd to me, as are your examples of bands ‘breaking the mould’. This is not a criticism here, but seriously, take some time to explore it and metal is an incredibly creative and varied genre of music. It’s also always been a subversive, underground thing. What you hear come out into the mainstream, like Enter Shikari and Slipknot, is packaged for a wider audience. Move down into the depths of metal and you’ll find it is continually being challenged and reshaped.

    For sure, like any other genre, there is a certain degree of stagnation as bands find a sound and stick to it. But just take a look at album of the year lists from various metal websites and you’ll find a staggering array of creativity and experimentation.