Wednesday, March 6th, 2019

BAND-MAID – Bubble

Next, a Japanese band with somewhat (somehow?) less controversy…


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Katherine St Asaph: Could do without the Babymetal-ish “see, they’re in maid cafe costumes, but they can rock!” gimmick, and without the “California Gurls” breakdown in the chorus, but this is otherwise the kind of Lillix/Kittie/Liveonrelease thing that I have entire swaths of nerve endings for.
[8]

Ryo Miyauchi: Those opening riffs of “Bubble” provide a sweet hook to bring first-timers into their world, but BAND-MAID knock these hard-riffs-and-message packages out on the regular. That said, it’s better to hear these earnest messages of “believe your inner voice” from them than countless other similar-sounding bands made up of dudes.
[5]

Alfred Soto: Reluctant to check translated lyrics, I rely on melodies, key changes, and enthusiasm when listening to non-English recordings. BAND-MAID have a stick-like-glue chorus (I’m a sucker for strategically triggered whoa-oh-ohs) and more brawn than compelling verses. 
[6]

Ashley John: At first “Bubble” sounds like a Guitar Hero track. I can picture myself on a middle school friend’s basement couch, hitting the fake tabs as they roll down the screen. The song feels that tame until the chorus, where it explodes in a thrash of drums and vocals, but soon enough simmers back down to its previous restraint. The whiplash is well done. 
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Juana Giaimo: In the first half of the song, “Bubble” has a lot of energy — the guitar is edgy, while the higher-pitched chorus makes you immediately pay attention. But suddenly, the song starts losing structure. The quiet break in the bridge doesn’t help at all; the tension is lost, and once the noise starts building up again, it just isn’t the same anymore.
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Joshua Minsoo Kim: While it’s too clean and precise to sound as electrifying as it lets on, the songwriting makes up for any deficiencies. Most crucial is the sugary guitar riff that opens the song — a joyous motif that anchors the entirety of “Bubble.” Throughout the song, the drums and vocals keep switching gears to build tension, but that guitar melody allows for release in the most celebratory manner.
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Thomas Inskeep: I mean, it rocks enough, but to what end?
[5]

Iris Xie: BAND-MAID’s wholehearted devotion is touching, and the dynamics flow with an impassioned, graceful confidence, knowing how to release and pick the energy back up again. I’m also a sucker for any “woah-oh” vocals like in Kesha’s “Party at a Rich Dude’s House.” But honestly, I just like seeing Asian women doing badass things, and the powerful control that BAND-MAID as a unit exhibits is absolutely wonderful.
[7]

Julian Axelrod: I gotta respect a band that’s as manic and unsubtle as its name suggests. Unfortunately, I can’t bring myself to enjoy it.
[5]

Reader average: [3] (3 votes)

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