My Pick of the Best Japanese Bands

I’m just going to take some time out to list some of the bands that have impressed me the most here in Japan – a few of them I have known about in England but for the most part I found out about these bands when I arrived here. This list is quite obviously going to be biased but its what I consider ass kicking music!!

First off, we have Gackt. Apparently over here he is considered uncool and strange according to most of the people I have talked with in Tokyo but I don’t care, he’s one hell of a talented singer and musician and that’s why I like him! Gackt makes a mixture of music, mostly ‘Goth rock’ but songs like Black Stone are quite pop punkish, he’s normally categorised under Visual Kei which is a genre of music over here.

Next we have Ken Yokoyama – he is a former member of a punk band known as Hi Standard, he now has a new band which plays pretty much the same pop punk style music. His band was the first punk band I discovered here in Japan and I was pleasantly surprised to find out about an underground Jpunk scene which I didn’t know about while I was in England. If you like MXPX, Allister or anything like those bands, then you’ll really dig Yokoyama’s music!

Following on, there is the Indie band known as The Pillows. The Pillows have been around for quite a while and I definitely need to get some of their music. I first found out about them after I heard their single Lady Bird Girl which I really recommend checking out!

Next up is a band for all of you dudes out there who love to skank! Ska seems to be popular in Japan, and although their sound is quite poppish (only way I could describe it lol) I really enjoy their music. Oreskaband is a relatively new band comprising of a young all female line up. I’d like to go to one of their gigs, it would be pretty fun!

Next up is the band that caught my interest from Yoyogi Park – With Bis. The band have a really good indie rock sound, I don’t think there’s any other way to describe them, in my opinion they just make damn good rock music!

Next band on the list is one that I actually found out from an anime, they did the opening and ending music for Tokyo Majin Gakuen Kenpucho Tou (which is a bloody awesome anime!!) and those 2 songs totally rocked my socks off – anyway they’re a pretty underground emo/hardcore band known as Acid. They’re touring in December so I’m seriously considering going to see them.

And the band that has impressed me the most?… well, this spot goes to Ellegarden who are an emo/pop punk band and they seem to (quite understandably) be one of the biggest bands in the punk scene here in Japan. These guys have even been lucky enough to tour the States, they are doing a Japanese tour now and I wanted to go but the tickets are sold out… what a pain in the ass!

To finish off, I’d just like to mention 2 special people who really deserve a lot of credit – Yoko Kanno and Nobuo Uematsu are (in my opinion anyway) musical geniuses – 2 of the finest composers to grace this world, they take talent to new levels. I recommend Kanno’s work from Cowboy Bebop and Macross Plus and Uematsu’s finest pieces IMO can be found in Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy VIII. Well that’s it, I’m pretty sure most people reading this will completely disagree with my pick of the best of Japan (that I have found out about so far anyway) but hey, it’s my blog 😛


9 thoughts on “My Pick of the Best Japanese Bands

  1. I’ll have to check some of these bands out. I saw Ellegarden live last year!
    Also, a three-year-old i teach is named Gackt, after the singer. Odd name.
    Thanks for the link, I’ll put you on my blogroll!

  2. Nice post!! I’m a fan of The Pillows and Ore Ska Band too! I think Nightmare and Abingdon Boys School are other really great J-rock bands, and for something heavier, Maximum the Hormone is fantastic too!! & yes, Nobuo Uematsu is a superb music composer!

  3. lol, woah, calling your kid Gackt, talk about extreme! Thanks for the suggestions rainova, I’ll have to check those bands out!

  4. Wow, nice list but I’m surprised you have no UVERworld, Versailles or Moi Dix Mois.
    For people who don’t know them and are interested, UVERworld is really poppish, but there isn’t one song I dislike. Versailles and Moi Dix Mois are both Visual Kei, great interesting sound though!

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