By Paris365 on February 18, 2016

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Last month Kamen Rider Girls released their latest single, "Next Stage," and I've been putting off writing about it ever since. You see, Kamen Rider Girls have always had hard rock music behind them, if not heavy metal, but "Next Stage" is a danceable J-Pop tune, a far cry from what I have always loved about them. Suffice to say I found it terribly disappointing. I didn't even listen to it once during the last couple of weeks. But I listened to it again today and I must admit that it's not a bad song. In fact, it's actually a great J-Pop song. But, yes, it is a J-POP song, not J-Rock. So, I'm torn. It's plenty catchy but not what I would have wanted their new single to be like. Fortunately, the B-sides are far superior and just what the doctor ordered.

First is "Girls Be Ambitious," which is like a cross between electronica and J-Rock. It starts off with the girls just singing over faint electronic beats but soon heavy metal guitars and drums kick in and it intensifies significantly. And when it hits the chorus, wow, talk about knocking it out of the park. It does have a danceable beat, but it's heavy as hell with angry, scorching guitars. Later, it has a killer heavy metal guitar solo. Now, that's the Kamen Rider Girls I know and love! Brilliant. This one definitely should have been the A-side, but maybe it is a double A-side because they did make a video for it. In any case, if you're put off by "Next Stage," you should definitely check this one out. In addition to the second B-side, "UNLIMITED DRIVE," which is blistering heavy metal and in the vein of their 2014 album Exploded. The marriage of the girls' pretty as can be voices and the fiery guitars and massive heavy metal drums is blissful. Enough to make me forgive them for jumping the shark with "Next Stage"? In a word, yes. -Michael McCarthy

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