Saturday, April 28th, 2018

BiSH – Paint it Black

Not a cover of the classic originally made famous by Vanessa Carlton


Claire Biddles: I don’t know what I like more: The song, or the audacity it took to give it that title.

Ryo Miyauchi: Just three years ago, BiSH sang this narrative of being “shit idols,” desperate to climb from the bottom and be loved by anybody. Now they sell out arenas, and with popularity comes a change in image and sound. “Paint It Black” may be their cleanest in production, and their darkness easier to swallow, but they’ve yet to lose any of their self-determined drive that made them so compelling to follow as underdogs. Their desire to be better sounds like a scripted cliche — “I give up on giving up” — than their past work, but the rough edges present in each of the six’s voices ensure they’re still the odd and awkward idols trying their sincere best.

Tim de Reuse: The casiocore artificiality works as a gimmick because of how hard it’s leaned into; the unconvincing bass patch and pitiful snare sample sound exuberant when sequenced at such breakneck speeds. Add that to the sugary pop-punk guitar treatment and the laser-focus on delivering earworm after earworm, and there’s really no room to sit back and overthink things like I usually do — wait, shit, am I having fun?

Jessica Doyle: Man, it’s been too long since I got to reap some of the energy of chaotic-at-first-sight guitar lines. The high-speed trading off, and the live performances in which the singers seem to be pulling the chorus out of the backs of their brains, make it all even better.

Edward Okulicz: This could have been a lot of fun with its turbocharged hooks and guitars, but dear god this song sounds like ass. The bass and drums just don’t have any momentum and it makes what should be a thrill ride sound static and flat, as BiSH shriek to no avail, willing the song forward as it crashes into a wall instead.

Micha Cavaseno: As the greater nexus of WACK, a particularly bemusing eyesore in the Japanese music scene, continues to survive past a point of willful compromise, the groups have spent the last year defining themselves to new forms: BiS as a carnival of foolishness, Gang Parade as earnest triumph over the anguish of life, Billie Idle as self-confident pastiche work and BiSH as the surprising lackeys turned flagships with their blistering eagerness to embody disappointment. BiSH have never been personal faves for me but in falling down the rabbit hole with them, you appreciate all of these moronic kids for their dedication to be so earnestly shambolic. “Paint it Black” relishes in a knowing sense of failure and being bad, thereby demonstrating how much more punk a bunch of idols have managed to be compared to any “punk” act in the last 30 years or so. The strength of their rebellion isn’t in upheaval, but in an acceptance of failure to be “good.” No matter how generic their home productions guitar thrash is, the girls are just unabashed in letting everyone else down just to make sure they do them, and in that reluctant glumness is where their strength lies.

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One Response to “BiSH – Paint it Black”

  1. if you think the title is fun, google the tour merch of these kids