That band that divides metal all over the world, BABYMETAL, have released a new single called Distortion. Distortion apparently marks a new era for the band as they look to explore a new theme or concept in advance of a huge worldwide tour.
BABYMETAL are hitting up the United States before heading to Europe and ending at Download Festival in the UK throughout May and June and will no doubt pack out every venue they land at. Why? I don’t know. I am not a fan of the band either musically or in their design but I do get that they are popular. To be fair to me, I have tried to get into it but struggled. I don’t like the music, stylised as Kawaii Metal (Cute Metal). I don’t like the manufactured nature of the band with the three young girls fronting the band being pieced together and managed via a talent agency called Amuse Inc.
Mainly, I don’t like the fact that the band playing some pretty generic nu-metal edged music are hidden behind the girls. I don’t even like the fox symbol they do with their hands instead of the traditional devil horns. I like nothing about this band and I know that makes me sound like a “purist” or “boring” or “trying to be too metal” but the main reason I do not like BABYMETAL is because I find the music to be weak and the lyrics childish and annoying.
Here are I am again though, trying out a new song and who knows. I may change my mind. Distortion is hailed as the beginning of a new era with the band stating they want to explore darkness. They have previously explored the concept of light. Darkness sounds good to me.
Distortion, however, does not. It starts off with a decent enough drum rhythm and a slightly out of time guitar tone as the backing band known as the Kami Band bash away. Pretty soon the track becomes awash with electronica and sounds like a muddy mess. As the vocals start there are some uncredited male growls and an auto tuned/electronic sounding female vocals. This repeats a little too long before the J-Pop singing really starts with Su-Metal (Suzuka Nakamoto), Yuimetal (Yui Mizono) and Moametal (Moa Kikuchi) chirping away in there admittedly cute voices.
I say that but rumours have it that Yuimetal may not actually be in the band anymore though that is yet to be confirmed officially. She certainly hasn’t appeared at the recent US gigs, instead being replaced with other singers straight off of the factory line.
There is something to be said for the mix of nu-metal guitars, fast drums and cutesy singing. It isn’t horrid to listen too for short bursts but lets stop pretending this is good metal. The music blazes away backed by the electronic line as the intro repeats. A second verse comes in the same pattern before a sudden stop into a breakdown of sorts. The drums sound good here but too quickly more electronic lines and female vocals join but not seamlessly. Perhaps purposely done, it sounds off and distorted. That could be called clever based on the track being called Distortion but it sounds shit.
Yep, I tried but failed. I still don’t like it and don’t get their popularity. I am sure they are lovely people and well done to them for carving out a niche but this is surely a novelty. A bit of fun until Amuse Inc roll someone else off the production line? I don’t know. Musically, the guitars and drums have a bit of glossed power. The girls have good voices and are listenable for a time but the two sounds don’t mix particularly well for me. The electronica added as well makes it all sound like a bit of a jumbled mess. I don’t hear anything different to other songs to suggest darkness so I imagine fans of BABYMETAL will be delighted with Distortion. If you don’t like them, this isn’t going to change your opinion. Maybe it will just reinforce it.
If you do like them, check out the track and accompanying video here. It is available on all the usual streaming services now, like Apple music and Spotify. You can also grab this, and more from the band at the links below. Find out more on BABYMETAL at their website, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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Distortion by BABYMETAL
The Final Score - 2/10