When Little Girls Go Metal: A Dissertation On Babymetal

BabymetalBabymetal

Babymetal

Who here is a mite concerned that people are trying to change the definitions of words?

Certain words are meant to have narrow meanings, but through overuse and lazy application, language loses its value and people with ulterior motives can use the vastly broad terms to do some scary stuff.

I won’t bore you with the legal examples I encounter in my studies, but there are a few that affect all English speakers, namely “epic,” “awesome,” and “beautiful.”

I’ll quote the ever-correct Maddox, “Not everything is epic, you shitheads.” Epic means extensive or grand in a sense that can’t be fully contemplated by the puny human mind. Finding a random onion ring in your order of Burger King fries isn’t epic.

It wouldn’t be awesome, either, because this word applies to things that cast a striking fear of the Almighty into your soul. Beautiful, on the other hand, has to do pretty much solely with superficial senses and means that whatever is being described is aesthetically beautiful. So, no, beauty is not really in the eye of the beholder; it’s in symmetry.

Cultural norms are different topics; they conform to your sense of familiarity and tradition, and sometimes actual beauty. Whatever.

One culture that seems to have been on crazy pills trying to redefine itself is the metal community. A substantial portion of metal authorities is deeming Babymetal “metal.”

There’s really nothing metal about them other than the color black and they have distorted guitars. They aren’t sinister (their lyrical content is about chocolate, for Chrissakes) and they aren’t rooted in the blues or punk. They are an electronic pop band that uses some instrumentation that has become identified with heavy metal.

That’s like saying Justin Bieber is metal because he wore a Municipal Waste patch on his battle jacket.

You can’t redefine metal because you’re bored with metal bands, fellas. If you’re bored with metal, don’t listen to metal bands. Don’t find a quirky electronica group you like and say they are a progressive step for metal and people who don’t embrace it are narrow-minded. I might be narrow-minded when it comes to metal, but, shit, at least I don’t think something is metal solely because it has loud guitars in it.

I’m not saying don’t enjoy it, I’m saying don’t call it metal when it’s obviously not.

Not metal:

Okay, that first part was a bit of a fib. Babymetal could get canned by their greedy corporate sponsors and I would probably procure fireworks in celebration of never having to read another Babymetal headline or hear another Babymetal song again.

Then there’s the “aww…adorable little girls” factor. Did ya’ll forget about Sockweb already? Holy bajeezus. Sockweb is an insanely talented, insanely fast grindcore band that springs from the mind of a seven year old girl and her multi-instrumentalist dad. Their album Werewolf makes you gnash your teeth. It’s really good.

Metal:

As opposed to basically getting handed material written by coproate pop song architects who specialize in easy to regurgitate lip-sync material, Joanie writes lyrics about things that actually bother her. Sure, they are presented in childish lingo, but she’s seven, dude, she did fantastically. She confronts the primal feelings of isolation, fear, and rage, describing struggles we all go through at one point or another.

Everyone who reads this has wanted to dig a bully’s heart out with a spoon after turning into a ass-kicking werewolf, right? And she tells you about these things in a Kat Katz-ian banshee wail. The kid’s going places.

The point is the music is extreme and you can definitely hear a hardcore influence, the lyrics contemplate something deeper and more impressive than typical pop music does, and there is a sinister twist to the project. Sockweb is very, very metal by definition. Babymetal is not.

Now go download Werewolf if you dig it. If not, feel free to continue crying about how Attack! Attack! broke up.

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