Howdy, readers! Did y’all have a wild week? Well, welcome back to another round of Ernie’s Weekly Discussion Question! Last week, we asked how you felt about comedy bands, and we got some very thoughtful responses. Most readers seem to be on the same page that even silly bands have their place.
This week, let’s roll back a bit and think about visual kei as an umbrella genre, as a forest made up of different trees. There are dozens of subgenres under the category “visual kei,” each with its own distinct musical style, aesthetic standards, and other such idiosyncrasies. And just like every genre of music, visual kei is dynamic and always evolving.
Some bands cross over between genres as they mature (Dir en grey is one well-known example), some meld aspects of multiple genres all at once (SuG, for instance), some manifest as two distinct acts (such as Panic Channel with their パニックちゃんねる / PANIC☆ch dichotomy), and some even pioneer new genres or craft niches entirely their own (like Psycho le Cému as the original “cosplay band”).
Do you have a favorite “subgenre” of visual kei? What are some of your favorite bands within that genre? Do you ever listen to bands outside of your comfort zone?
Conversely, is there a subgenre that just isn’t your cup of tea? Is there a band that you didn’t expect to like based on first impression, who ended up surprising you?
That’s a lot to chew on, but li’l Ern is hungry hungry hungry, so let’s get to it!
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