Better Off Dead – BiS, Death, and reBirth


I’ve been thinking about it for a long time. I’ve contemplated it, and I’ve felt a tiny bit guilty about it. Well, I’m going to say it.

I’m glad BiS broke up.

Now before you fly off the handle consider this. Brand new Idol Society have long been a favorite of mine since I saw the “My Ixxx” way back when. I know I’ve written about the group on a few occasions. I loved seeing how the group grew, expanded their sound, and destroy preconceptions about what an idol group should be. BiS always made the short-list for almost every category. But, now I’m saying that I am glad they broke up.

To start with, the group really ran through the mill with its lineup changes. Understand that membership in the group means you could literally have shit thrown at you at any moment. Rightfully so, it takes a special girl to stay with the group for any length of time. As the final lineup matured, we were looking at yet another set of completely new girls incoming very soon.

Like a Jack-go-to-bed-at-noon, the fragments of BiS have grown to produce some of the best (or at least most interesting) idol music in the current industry. I really mean it: there’s some stuff here that I love as much as anything BiS ever did. Just look at this:

BILLIE IDLE® (Hirano Nozomi and First Summer Uika)
What a treat! Like many people, I grew up listening to the Ramones before I even knew the word punk. BILLIE IDLE®, at least in their latest album, reminds me a lot of that stripped down, raw sound that made me pick up a guitar in the first place.

Gang Parade (Kamiya Saki)
It’s hard to say where I stand on Gang Parade, actually. They’ve gone through a series of name changes: Pla2Me, Period of Plastic 2 Mercy (POP), and now Gang Parade. I particularly enjoyed Pla2Me. But, with a new name comes new possibilities, and I’m not ruling them out already

Lui Frontic Akabane Japan (Pour Lui)
Initially this seemed like where Pour Lui would end up in the full time. But, now we see there are other plans.

Maison Book Girl (Koshouji Megumi)
One of the more intriguing things on this list. They’re like queens of the ⅞ pop, sounding alternately like simultaneous equations and Bossa Nova gone through a Brita filter. Whoever does their art direction is my hero: I love the aesthetic of this group probably as much as the music.

Tentenko
I have to confess that I love Tentenko. She’s like that really cool chick who your best friend picked up from the art school down the road and brought to your building’s kegger. She’s cooler than you, prettier than you, and seems to have a good time even if she looks like she’s in sweet misery. Tentenko seems to operate on a different level but isn’t afraid to chug down a Zima like it’s 1987.

What about past members?

Are we even counting Akishibu Project? The Akihabara/Shibuya group was formed by original BiS member Yokoyama Rina, who now appears in BPM15Q.

Akishibu Project

BPM15Q

Original member Nakayama Yukiko has been busy, too! First with Morphine Tokyo and then with The End.

Morphine Tokyo

the END

And, don’t forget Terashima Yufu! Now a solo artist, Yufu seems to be fulfilling her destiny as “The Honor Student” one.

Terashima Yufu

On top of these direct fragments, we also saw the formation of BiSH. Now, BiSH should be a whole discussion of its own. The fact remains that we probably wouldn’t have seen these girls like this with the BiS breakup. And, here me straight: BiSH is producing some of the finest music in the scene today. The excellent vocal work of Aina the End alone catapults this group to the top. If “KiLLER BiSH” isn’t on your list for Album of the Year, or if “Orchestra” isn’t in your discussion of Song of the Year, you probably shouldn’t be reading me.

BiSH

Now we have a return for BiS with, as predicted, a whole new set of girls for Pour Lui to torment. If their latest promotional video is to believed, the group found its purpose and will continue to question and confront the norm of the idol world.I’m glad to have another group in the mix, and I have full faith this new incarnation of BiS will bring to the party.

BiS

How is it that Brand new Idol Society created an entire ecosystem of music by themselves? We should also ask ourselves whether an act like the international selling Babymetal have gained any traction without BiS? What kind of responsibility to we on BiS’s doorstep for an alternative idol scene that competes favorably with the conventional idol scene (at least internationally)?

The ramifications of this reformation seem to hit BiSH the hardest since they will now be living in the shadow of a group from whom they were conceived, named, and purposed. But, see BiSH have long outgrown their need to attach themselves to their predecessors. Confident, brash, and with a swagger all their own, BiSH continues to be my favorite group in this post-BiS world.

BiS Official Links
Web Site | Twitter | YouTube | Facebook | iTunes

BILLIE IDLE® Official Links
Web Site | Blog | Twitter | YouTube | Instagram | iTunes

Gang Parade Official Links
Web Site | Twitter | YouTube | Soundcloud | iTunes

Maison Book Girl Official Links
Web Site | Twitter | YouTube | iTunes

TENTENKO Official Links
Web Site | Blog | Twitter | YouTube | Instagram | iTunes

BiSH Official Links
Web Site | Line | Twitter | YouTube | iTunes

About Number244

Contributor to New School Kaidan, idol fan TheNumber244 gets tickled mainly by Hello! Project. A former musician and full-time nerd, he calls Los Angeles his home. TheNumber244 is waiting for the day someone calls him "senpai".

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2 comments

  1. I think you can count Akishibu as they were a group Rinahamu founded and since then she has changed a lot as her “yume kawaii” empire continues to expand. With BPM 15Q, her solo stuff, Strawberry Syndrome, and Doping Berry. BPM 15Q just announced they’re adding new members, 2 who performed with them at eggman on 11/14.

    Out of the “post-BiS” groups, I lean hard toward GANG PARADE and BILLIE IDLE because of Uika and b/c Pla2me was the first group and killed TIF 2014 hard with just their one song to the point that I had to go to the release event for “Plastic 2 mercy”. I’m still a bit up in the air about GANG PARADE but if you see them live, they’re solid! The new 7-member lineup did 24 songs nonstop on 11/13 and while I had the highest hopes for Yui Ga Dokuson, Coco and Yuka were amazing as well. As for BILLIE IDLE goes, I was interested for Uika at first but Momo kills it! I only wish her and her sister Akira were on some kind of social media so I could see more of them. Both groups need to have more production value for their music videos or upload some live footage more often. At least BILLIE IDLE started their 1st tour this month?

    Got pulled into the new-BiS drama while watching the auditions and somehow saw their 1st live in the broom closet-sized venue called Nakano Heavy Sick. Aside from the Takamina-level respect I have for Pour Lui, I was definitely pulling for Kika and Go Zeela during the auditions as well.

    I took a while to be sold on BiSH but, their events/lives are fun and I can see them possibly making it to Budokan in the near future. I do worry a bit because new-BiS is back and GANG PARADE leveled up yet again.

    While I love Maison book girl for their unconventional music, I’ve yet to meet any of the members b/c I’m bad at those kinds of things. Maybe next time?

    Yuffie is intriguing as a personality but, I can’t get into her music.

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