2015 – the burning questions: are Babymetal Japan's weirdest band?

Terrifyingly, no. In fact there’s a lot more strangeness where they came from.

**Who: **Band-Maid

The schtick: Five Japanese girls playing aggressive arena-metal while dressed in frilly maid outfits.

**Weirdness factor: **Their YouTube page greets visitors with the phrase ‘Welcome home master’ and female fans are addressed as ‘princesses’. Hmm…

Who: LadyBaby

The schtick: Chirpy ‘kawaii (cute) metal’ delivered by cross-dressing Australian wrestler LadyBeard – who claims he is a five-year-old girl – and two teenage girls from Tokyo.

**Weirdness factor: **A cross-dressing Australian wrestler who claims he’s a five-year-old girl? Oh no, nothing weird about that.

**Who: **Man With A Mission

The schtick: Apparently these nu metallers were created in “the farthest away land of Ladyland”, and frozen in glacial caskets at the South Pole until global warming thawed them out in 2010. Right

**Weirdness factor: **All five members wear wolf heads on stage. Frankly, they’re not trying hard enough.

**Who: **Doll $ Boxx

The schtick: All-female power-metal quintet who look like Kiss-meets-the Spice Girls.

Weirdness factor: Low, although the opening 30 seconds of their Take My Chance video suggests they’re aware that their fan-base consists largely of middle-aged men with a deficit of social skills.

**Who: **Fear, And Loathing In Las Vegas

**The schtick: **Hyperactive blend of emo, metalcore and rave beats. Enter Shikari-meets-Alvin & The Chipmunks.

Weirdness factor: For anyone under 25 there’s nothing weird at all here: half the bands on alt.rock roadshow the Warped Tour sound like this. For everyone else it sounds like a migraine and aneurysm all at once.

Classic Rock 218: Features

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Born in the North of Ireland, Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.