Visual kei band BugLug carved out an intriguing niche for themselves in the crowded Tokyo scene, balancing candy-coated oshare sweetness with a harder, avant-punk edge that grew more pronounced as their career progressed.
BugLug were launched in 2010 and signed to Resistar Records, home to Blu-Billion and Dog in the PWO. Their name combines the English words "bug" and "luxury" and is meant to represent the idea of doing something flashy, fun, and interesting. Their sound was described as "a new sense of mixed rock." Bassist Tsubame and guitarists Kazuki and Yuu had formerly been in Ruvie, and sweet-voiced vocalist Issei in the band Cult. On their early releases, such as their debut mini-album Super Nova, they were a typical oshare band, with cute and colorful looks and light lyrical themes. In 2011, Masaumi, formerly of Juliet, joined as the band's permanent drummer. After a couple of years, Issei, growing bored with the "good-boy" shtick, took charge of the band's lyrics and art direction and sent them in a darker direction fueled by his wicked sense of humor. Their first full-length album, G.A.G, released in 2012, started to show this change, cutting the colorful sweetness with darker themes and harder, punkier, metallic songs. Their subsequent two albums, 2015's Happy Birthday Kill You and 2018's Kai Tai Shin Sho, continued down this road, while their looks became darker and less flamboyant, albeit still stylish and unique. Fans embraced the change, however, sensing it came from the heart. Issei was sidelined in 2016; suffering severe head injuries after a fall down a flight of stairs, he spent two months in the hospital, but went on to make a full recovery. BugLug's fourth album, 2019's Futomei na Sugao ("Opaque Face"), balanced some of the heaviest material of their career with more melody and shorter, poppier songs. ~ John D. Buchanan, Rovi