The Japanese band Babymetal mixes headbanging with J-pop melodies and choreography in a way that "upsets the status quo"—and that's a good thing, writes Adrien Begrand at NPR. While metal fans are divided over the trio of Japanese teen girls (Suzuka Nakamoto, Yui Mizuno, and Moa Kikuchi) who bounce and squeak as much as they bash, those who like it "recognize that undeniable element of fun that somehow has become lost over the years in a sea of equally contrived darkness, hostility, and antisocial sentiment," writes Begrand. Among other reactions:
- At Metal Rules, JP Wood applauds the "very unique and interesting blend of styles" on the band's Toys Factory. "I expect this subgenre to grow, and in a few years people will look back at BabyMetal as the first of its kind."
- Vince Neilstein at Metal Sucks lists 12 reasons why Babymetal is "the single best" metal event in 10 years, including their "siqq dance moves" and talent for upsetting "troo" metalheads. "Sorry bros, these girls have more talent in their pig-tails than your stoner-post-crust-doom band will ever have in your lifetime."
- "Yes, they are a manufactured band" invented by producer Kay Kobayashi, admits Dom Lawson at Metal Hammer (language warning). But "is the fact that something's manufactured, does that necessarily make it crap? No, I don't think so." And Babymetal is "brilliant."
- Not all critics are on board, though: "This may very well mark the completion in the process to commercialize metal music," writes UG Team at Ultimate Guitar. "The really sad and confusing thing is the musicians involved and the composition[s] are really impressive."
(Read more heavy metal