In the world of social media we live in today where aimless content is constantly shared across dozens of online accounts, it’s no surprise that a Japanese pop/metal band has run rampant through internet platforms. However, unlike Grumpy Cat, the sneezing panda and other internet sensations that came before them, Babymetal has caused a stir not only online, but also in the metal community.
After playing to a sold out Los Angeles crowd in their first-ever U.S appearance, this female fronted act of 14-17-year-olds verified that they have certainly caught people’s attention. With a sound described as J-pop meets metal or cute metal, this act from Japan is definitely not like anything you’ve ever heard - think the Spice Girls fused with Pantera. Now, with that said, the question remains: is this act just a lame gimmick hurting metal music or is Babymetal actually helping metal grow?
It’s a very interesting question to ponder as both sides offer very valid points. Supporters have noted that Babymetal’s newfound recognition is great as it is bringing notoriety to a genre that hasn’t seen the glimpse of mainstream media since the 80’s. On the other hand, disgruntled headbangers are outraged by the fact that their masculine pastime is being turned upside-down by three teenage girls in pigtails. Both strong arguments, we think it’s safe to say that whether you are pro Babymetal or not, the fact that metal is been discussed at all is a great thing.
Another positive thrown around about this Dance Dance Revolution meets Slayer group is that they are kid friendly. As much as older metalheads want to continue to rage to acts like Cattle Decapitation or Dying Fetus, it’s just not as feasible with children running around. So, like a good parent, they find a compromise. Kids like pop, the parents like metal, enter Babymetal.
Although there’s sense in that remark, for the childless metal diehards still in their youth, the claim remains that Babymetal shines a negative and foolish light on the music they have spent years backing. Again, another strong point.
So, after fielding argument after argument, we have made our decision. At the bare bones of it all, Babymetal is just a band trying something different. They are not forcing you to listen to their diverse style of pop/metal and they definitely aren’t suggesting other metal groups play their kind of music. We do, however, feel for metal fans who believe their brand of music is being poked fun at. Nevertheless, Babymetal is a parody act and like the parody master Weird Al has experienced throughout his entire career, people are either going to laugh along or drown out the sounds with something else. So, for Babymetal supports, keep supporting and continue to fund the dreams of this up-and-coming act. For those who cannot stand Babymetal, keep your hatred going strong and remain a “true” metal devout.