Monday, December 30, 2013

What a StupiG Song Title

So this PV came out in early December, but I was way too in the Christmas spirit to review it because... Look, it's BiS! They're about as anti-Christmas-y as you can get! But I still wanted to review StupiG because... there's quite a bit to talk about with this song.

Oh yeah, say hello to newest BiS member Mogami Moga- I mean Koshoji Megumi! Okay, is BiS slowly turning into They now have six members, one of them looks like one of's members, both groups have an unconventional sound, and BiS has even appeared in one of's PVs. Next thing I know, BiS is gonna start singing three octaves too high! Yeah, I probably should start writing about the member changes of BiS more regularly, since they seem to happen with alarming frequency as of late. But the short version is I'm completely okay with Megumon, and I think she'll fit in with BiS nicely. Now let's talk about the BiS single she's debuting with! That single is of course STUPiG. And no, I did not misspell it, that is how the single is actually spelled. My spell check goes crazy when type this title out. I think I'll stick to typing it as StupiG. Less caps lock and still noting the odd capitalization of the name.

So wow, another single from BiS! That was fast. I feel like they were just releasing Fly/Hi, but I guess it has been awhile. That is, if you don't count the collaboration single with or that single featuring honorary member Koshino Junko. Yeah, whatever happened to that single? I heard the preview, and never heard anything about Koisuru Denpo Japan again. Oh well, BiS is releasing a new single now and has covers that make the girls look like Transformers, so everything is okay. Besides, with all the cutesy idol Christmas cheer I've been spreading on the Wonderland, I think BiS is the perfect idol group to bring us down back to Earth with a song that is strange, unconventional, and noisy. I should also note that this is my last PV review of 2013. After StupiG's PV, I'm transitioning into solely 2014 releases, with the exception of Time Capsule Reviews (should I choose to bring that back). But hey, why shouldn't I end 2013 with a review of one of the weirdest PVs I've seen this year? Besides, I've got year-end stuff to finish writing that I really need to get to.

StupiG is nowhere near as stupid as the title sounds. But it's better than Suzukake Ki no... you know what song I'm talking about. So what sound does BiS have in store for us with StupiG? Metal? Ska? Punk? Pop rock? Turns out BiS's Genre of the Week is noise! Kind of. StupiG isn't a complete noise song; the chorus is pretty clear. But the verses are pretty noisy. Now this isn't the first time BiS has experimented with noise. Teaming up with Hijokaidan's Hiroshige Jojo to form BiS Kaidan, the group released an entire mini-album of noise versions of BiS songs such as PPCC and Primal. The one new song on the album was a cover of Togawa Jun's Suki Suki Daisuki. Now I like some Togawa Jun so I did end up listening to BiS's noise cover along with the rest of the album. However... I did not care for it.

Look, noise is an iffy genre for me already. I enjoy Sleigh Bells, but other than them, I don't find a lot of noise artists that appeal to me. Unfortunately, BiS Kaidan is one of those bands I simply can't get into. The way BiS Kaidan handled noise just didn't agree with my personal preferences for music. If I'm going to listen to noise, I like when it sounds more cohesive, a melody made up from the noisiest sounds. When it's a series of straight-up noises and sounds solely existing to create noise and sound, I can't really get into that. And I feel like the BiS Kaidan album fell more into that kind of noise. All I'm trying to say is I prefer noise with some cohesion over noise with absolutely no cohesion at all. So where does StupiG fall? The noise bits in the song do have a clear structure, even if it's scribbled over with a ton of noise. Seriously, from the very beginning, StupiG is downright abrasive in sound. My headphones felt like they were going to explode. At first, I wasn't sure how I felt about this. My immediate reaction was "Eugh, this sounds awful," but when the entire song finished, I thought it was decent enough for another listen.

And through my subsequent listens to StupiG, I came to a very insightful, detailed conclusion: StupiG is a fucking weird song.

It's not like I'm not used to BiS trying their darndedest to look and sound as weird as possible. But even for a BiS song, StupiG is strange. Even now I'm not sure if I like this song, hate it, don't care for it, because I feel like every time I play it, I have a new reaction. I think my split reactions are because StupiG is a very disjointed song. When I first started playing it, I thought StupiG would sound like an electrified version of Idol. But then the chorus came in and things got upbeat and the song leaned more toward straight-up rock. And then the end of the song grew slow and kind of pretty. I feel like StupiG is several different songs stapled together to create one giant, messy song. But does that mean it is a bad song? I'm not sure. Over time, all the different parts of StupiG very slowly start to sound... cohesive. I don't if that's just because I've replayed the song so much or what, but I think if you have the patience, StupiG can grow on you. And the song isn't completely devoid of any people. Sure, the noise bits are very in-your-face, but I really like the vocal arrangement in StupiG.

My favorite part is during the second set of verses where Pour Lui starts singing, and then each member joins in one harmony above her. The final result is really neat. And Uika sings a lot, and honestly, I really like her voice. It reminds me a lot of Yufu's. And I do like how the chorus sounds; it's kind of like taking a break from the madness of the noise-induced verses. So in the end... StupiG is a mixed bag. If you can handle all the weirdness the song flings at you, then I think you'll enjoy it. And I do have to admit that StupiG is one of the few times where BiS has achieved a state of absolute insanity in one of their songs. They are a group that tries to push the limits on what an "idol" is so I guess musically, this does help add to that objective. For me, I'll wait until I have a clearer rip of StupiG to give final judgement. For the moment though, I think I can enjoy this song. StupiG isn't a perfect song, but it does leave an impression, which is more than I can say for some other songs I've reviewed.

Now if you thought the song was weird... it still is. But a song that goes to such epic, strange heights deserve a PV that encompasses and equal amount of shock-inducing strangeness. Does BiS deliver in that front? It's flipping BiS, of course they do! Now let's review this PV!

Nice to know we're plunging straight into unleaded nightmare fuel territory!

See? This is what happens when you don't brush your teeth!

Oh hey, those discs on Nozomi look pretty cool!

With those contacts, Tenten looks like she's giving the other members the stink-eye.

Ah, I'm sure the new member feels absolutely welcome into BiS!

Is Pour Lui turning into a Muppet?

I'm not sure what the hell this thing is nor am I sure if I want to know what it is.

Admittedly the set does look pretty detailed. Very grunge-y and BiS-y.

It'd be nice if someone could turn some lights on though.

Not that I don't like the strobe lights!

They make the PV feel like a darker, scarier version of Perfume's Chocolate Disco.

Let there be light!

Eep. Oh well. It's not like I was planning on sleeping tonight anyways.

Some of the contraptions in this PV look downright painful.

Like seriously, is some of this stuff even safe?

Having fun, Megumon?

Ow. You can practically see the tetanus in that puncture.

Oh well, time for more Ash-style strobe lighting!!

If I pause this part of the video every second, I get a different screencap each time!

But I definitely wouldn't want to have epilepsy and watch this video...

Egads, her eyes are freaky! Come to think of it, they show a lot of Uika in this video.

Okay, is Megumon's shirt or whatever the hell that is made from those hula leighs you can buy at the Dollar Tree?

Blegh. That is disgusting. And probably unhealthy.

You know, the set is kind of like this one giant web...

I mean, the way the girls are all connected to it... holy shit.

What if they're meant to flies caught in a web?

But... if they're the flies... then who's the spider?

Oh god this PV just got a whole lot creepier.

...I can't stop thinking about that "flies in a spiderweb" theory.

It's just... I have arachnophobia and... and... eugh.

I think... I need to go lie down for a bit. Maybe watch some Weather Girls PVs.

Okay... where was I again? Oh yeah! BiS scares me. Can you see why I wanted to wait until after Christmas to review this PV!? I remember watching this PV back in early December with a look of shock and terror on my face. But hey, at least the PV for StupiG leaves a very clear impression! In fact, combined with the song, I think you'd remember StupiG even if you didn't want to. Yeah, remind me not to show this to any kids. On second though... that would be interesting to watch their reactions. I will admit, as frightening as this PV was to watch the first time, it is nice seeing BiS finally shocking me with something again. With the group's recent PVs, I'd forgotten just how unsettling they can get. I mean, yeah, the PVs for DiE and Fly and Mura-Mura and BiSimulation were all pretty strange, but not unsettlingly so. Okay, DiE was in a subtler way, but not in-your-face unsettling the same way StupiG is.

I think what's so unsettling about StupiG is the sheer design of the this crazy set. There is a tone of detail incorporated into this giant set, and I highly recommend watching the PV in HD to fully see it all. All of StupiG is shot on this one set, just from different angles. The set looks very much like a cyberpunk S&M dungeon from the world of Blade Runner. Wow. I just realized how strange that sounds. But it's true! Some of the contraptions in this PV look absolutely painful too. Like the way Megumon is pinned to the contraption. Or how Tenten is hooked up to the machine with all those tubes. Or how Uika is practically dangling off the set by that hook. I'm sure no actual harm came to any of the idols, but the way this giant machine is set up tricks me into thinking otherwise. Even so, I have to admit I do like the feel of this PV a lot. It's very gritty but there a lot of vibrant colors and different lighting effects too. The costumes the girls are wearing are grotesque and twisted in the most interesting ways possible, and each girl has her own very distinctive look. The final result is a very surreal and unsettling PV.

As for plot or general concepts, I can't find much with StupiG. But I don't think the objective of this PV was to show anything thought-provoking or profound. It's just doing what BiS does best: shocking people and making Youtubers post dumb comments. The PV really just consists of a bunch of different shots of the girls and of the overall set, and a variety of lighting effects. There's nothing visibly symbolic about the PV, but I'm sure if you think hard enough, you can find something. The closest thing I could find to any symbolism was the web theory I went over in my screencap. Basically, what I noticed about the PV was that the girls were all connected into this one main set. Or more like they were literally restrained into the set. You know what's also forcibly restrained into one giant web? Flies! And other bugs but when I think of spider webs, I think of flies.

So the PV for StupiG is kind of like this big, giant neon spider web. With no spider.

Yeah, that's the one hole in my little theory. But maybe the spider's, I don't know, finding a mate or something? And maybe the girls feel "stupig" for getting caught in the web! I don't know, it's just a theory, but for me, it's a theory that does give the PV a creepier edge to it. As I said before, I'm arachnophobic, so just about anything spider-related gives me shivers. And even without a theory like that, StupiG is still a very shock-inducing PV. I mean, I'm pretty used to BiS, but even I found this PV to be really shocking on the first watch. In a weird way, it's kind of avant-garde. It obviously doesn't conform to any of the idol cliches in PVs, there's no real plot or symbolism, it's just BiS being crazy. As usual. If you like BiS, then I think you'll like this PV. If you don't like the weirder side of idols, then I think you'll probably hate this PV. I think for me, StupiG is an interesting PV. The PV has a very distinct design, and even though that design is very creepy, it does stand out. It's not my favorite BiS PV, but as my last PV review of 2013, it does leave me with quite the impression!

The song and PV for StupiG get a collective four apples from me. If you're looking for something entertainingly weird, any BiS PV will do, but StupiG takes the cake in sheer WTF-ery. The song is rather uncohesive, but give it some time and it might grow on you. The PV is freaky as hell, but I won't be forgetting it any time soon! I don't think StupiG will ever be my favorite BiS song, but I do at least have to give BiS props for such a weird song and PV.

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